I would love to share my experience of the last two weeks of the campaign, when I went to Reno, Nevada as a member of the Vote Corps. The VC is another great idea of OFA: a group of people willing to move to a swing state for the last two or three weeks of the campaign, and commit to working on the campaign for at least 40 hours a week through the election. That meant that the young staffers and field organizers, who mostly appeared to be somewhere in their 20’s, essentially had a group of full time staffers who were mostly retired, bringing with them many years of experience in getting things done. Because it was Nevada, a lot of the volunteers were Californians. I’m a New Yorker, but I’ve spent the last year roaming the west in an RV, and Nevada was the closest swing state at the time.
I did what everyone else has been doing: canvassed, did data entry, took photos at a few GOTV events, bought healthy snacks, and, for the last four days, kept moving the army of volunteers at our staging location in and out, collecting the data they brought back from their canvasses, and preparing the lists to be brought around again. My shortest day — 10 hours — was my first. For the rest of the time I probably averaged 12 hours a day, still considerably shorter than our field organizers’ days. Adrenaline is a wonderful thing.
I don’t like knocking on people’s doors. I’m old enough to have been brought up when it was important to be ladylike, and though I’m a very strong woman with strong opinions, I’m still too ladylike as far as I’m concerned. I also don’t like it when people call or knock on my door to try to convince me of something. So interrupting someone’s day, especially day after day, makes me uncomfortable.
But I had some great experiences. The first place I was sent is the largest and oldest mobile home park in the country. The area is divided into a fairly coherent grid, but the homes tended to be stuck haphazardly all over the place. There were lots of fences, behind which were LOTS of dogs, many of them pit bulls. Clearly, that’s the security system in Sun Valley. There were yards full of a wild profusion of things — bags of clothes, couches, boxes of dishes, old cans, hardware, even sea shells at one house. Despite the utter wildness of the place, or perhaps because of it, I liked it and kept asking to go back……
You can read the rest of Betsey’s post here