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We've knocked on 26,000 doors, in 9 weeks, across 4 counties

That's right. Over 26,000 doors in 9 weeks across 4 counties--educating voters on GLBT equality. It is pretty amazing when you think about it. Our canvass team is rockin'. The conversations with voters are happening and we are putting a real face to the GLBT community.

Mike Grigsby, BRO's Summer Canvass Director brings us this from the road:
I'd just had several tough doors in a row, one woman who kept telling me marriage was a sacrament (even though I wasn't talking with her about marriage). I'd had the discouraging experience of having a voter tell me that she only votes for ballot measures, not candidates, and even though I left her with information about a progressive, pro-gay candidate, I felt that we would be lucky if she voted, period--a fact made especially tragic by the fact that she was 110% with us on the issue of ending discrimination. Then there was a string of doors where no one came to answer the door when I rang the doorbell, even though the front door was open, I clearly heard the bell, and there were clear sounds of folks moving around in the house. I was at breaking point; I was tired and hungry, my feet hurt, I'd just drank my last drink of water, and I had 45 minutes to go before the end of shift. I looked at my walk sheet to ascertain the name of the voter I'd be asking for at the next apartment, took a deep breath and knocked on the door. It's crazy, but I'm still nervous at each door. I think it's a good thing, keeps the adrenalin pumping and keeps me fresh and excited.

The voter answered the door and I said "Hello, my name is Mike, could I speak to Jane Doe please?" She took one look at my BRO sticker and said "Sweetie, whatever you need, let me have that clipboard, I want to marry my girlfriend but I can't, so I will do anything to help you out tonight. Do you want me to refill your water?"

We exchanged a meaningful look, and this angel on earth realized by looking into my soul how tough the road had been for the last hour or so and after signing a postcard to the legislature, opened her arms and said "You look like you need a hug." Well, I've never been one to turn down hugs; if we hugged more and hated less, what a great world it would be.

Between this "battery recharge" and the thought that there were eight other BRO canvassers working as diligently and passionately in Salem that day, I managed to continue on, talking to several more voters and obtaining several more postcards (which ask the Oregon legislature to pass a statewide ban on discrimination in public accommodation, employment, and housing). I walked back to the minivan, ready to go pick up my staff and drive back to Portland to debrief and end our day.

Sometimes I wonder why I canvass; it's exhausting, and we could possibly reach more folks by mail or tv ads; but then I realize that face-to-face human communication is the most effective means of communicating, and I think back to all the experiences over the years when I've seen light bulbs light up for folks. That's why I do the work I do; if I can inform one voter about the anti-gay voting record of a legislator, or persuade one person to stand up and volunteer, or have one of my staff tell me that she wants to devote her life to progressive politics, my job is done at the end of the day. After all, we can only start one person at a time, one door at a time, to take back our nation and continue the resistance to the "neo-con revolution."

And that's why I'll get out of bed in the morning, put on my shoes, walk for miles and work for long, long hours: It is what I *must* do.

It is the fight we must all continue to fight.

Written by Mike Grigsby, BRO Summer Canvass Director
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By Anonymous Anonymous, at August 09, 2007 6:38 PM

Hi Mike from Heather C. at SEIU 49    



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