Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Nervous Campaigning: Part 2

So I set out with my clipboard yesterday to go door-to-door looking for Obama supporters who would like to volunteer. (Would you like to volunteer? If so, click here to get started.)

I was pretty uneasy about it. And it turned out to be both difficult and fine.

First, I had wrongly and embarrassingly assumed that I was assigned to a druggy street just because it was in a generally low income area of the city.

Wrong! I apologize! This was prejudice on my part! Prejudice I foolishly didn't think I had!

It was a quiet, pleasant, largely black neighborhood, with a pedestrian traffic of mothers and babies in strollers and college students from the nearby campus. There were no bars on any windows. And the only person on my list I could find was a fortyish man who was patient enough to answer my questions and tell me he supports Obama, though he was too busy to do any volunteering.

The difficult part of my job: most of my list turned out to be the college students. And the only address I had for them was the street number of an entire campus, the historically black Shaw University. No actual housing addresses. A girl on campus told me the best time to find students between classes and who to call on the staff for help. But it's a big school.

This would be an easy job if I'd been asked to find any twenty students, but I'm looking for a particular twenty.

I enjoyed my clipboard expedition. And I'm working on figuring out how to do this.

I do have one remaining hesitation: is a 59 year-old white woman the most inspiring person to rally these students to volunteer?

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kenju said...

I can see how off-putting it would be for most of them, but some could be inspired by your zeal.

Peggy Payne said...

And the other thing is: this campaign is in part about not categorizing people. We've got a way to go at that, I fear.