Canvassing in Modesto with Working America

By Lance Morgan

Last Tuesday, I canvassed for my first time! I worked in Modesto with Working America. As veteran's can tell you, canvassing is a little intimidating at first, but it soon becomes something that you can do. It is also becomes enjoyable and it feels like you have done something good and meaningful. CANVASSING IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE FORM OF POLITICAL PERSUASION!

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Members from Working America did an excellent job teaching us a short and easy to learn script. They are experienced, and I learned new ideas that can be used with communications for phone banks, writing email and canvassing.

The Basic Skills were:

  • Strong Language (telling residents what we are planning to do, instead of asking vague questions)
  • Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)
  • Eye Contact
  • IPAD control (they provided a preprogrammed IPAD that was easy to use to collect data)

The Rap Script was short and easy to use.

We asked residents for two things. One is to sign a petition, telling Congressman Jeff Denham to Protect our Healthcare and Social Security. The second ask was asking residents to join Working America so that they could be emailed, texted or called regarding issues that they identified as important. The membership sign-up was easy on the IPADs.

We started canvassing in teams of two in an upper income residential neighborhood. I liked canvassing by myself because I could talk better with the residents. The Working America team checked on our progress and gave tips how to be more effective. All was positive and fun.

I canvassed about 50 households and added 12 people to the Working America rolls. I also added 14 people to the petition. Evidently that was good for a first-time canvasser.

Canvassing was definitely easier as I gained experience. I enjoyed working with my team of canvassers, and I enjoyed the interactions with the residents we canvassed.

AFTERWARDS, I REALLY HAD A STRONG FEELING OF ACCOMPLISHMENT, MAKING A DIFFERENCE. I KNOW THAT MANY OF THE PEOPLE THAT I TALKED WITH WILL BE SUPPORTING THE ISSUES WE PROMOTED, EVEN IF THEY DID NOT SIGN UP OR SIGN MY PETITION.

Between now and November, I would like to form a team of canvassers who would regularly go down with me to CD 21. We would participate in Swing Left's canvassing events. If I have more than 4 of us, I can get a bigger car that can hold 6 passengers. Some weekends I will not be able to go, but some of you could drive.

I would like you to go once a month, twice a month or every week.

In May, I will be going on May 5th, May 12th and May 19th.

We can then figure out the logistics once we know who wants to go.

Thanks,

Lance Morgan (lance@cd21actioncoalition.org)

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