Canvassing, going door-to-door, phone banking. The retail politics of being face to face, eye to eye, and voice to voice with a voter to talk about that candidate you are out supporting. The man that answers you in a towel and looks a little bit horrified that you are not who he was expecting. The lady that answers the door and curtly lets you know she could never vote for your candidate. The unanswered calls, unopened doors, and blank gazes. Campaign work can be daunting, but there's a payoff.
This past Saturday I joined Stonewall colleagues working for State Senate candidate Adam Haber. I've never met Haber, but I read his platform and am confident he's a great candidate for the LGBT Community and New York State. LGBT New Yorkers have too much at stake in this election and we can't forget that.
We will very likely have a Governor Cuomo that has not only supported our issues, but has championed them. No other Governor before or since could've or would've gotten marriage equality passed through the New York State Senate. It took political navigation skill. Cuomo is a political lion tamer and until Albany truly reforms he is the best possible master to that beast. To get GENDA passed and conversion therapy banned and surrogacy law reformed, Cuomo needs a solidly Democratic Senate. So in pursuit of those goals, on Sunday I went walking door-to-door through a lovely suburban neighborhood in Roslyn, NY.
Early on there was the super-supportive lady that was awesome and happy to see my canvas-buddy Blaise and me and was punching me in the arm and just totally from central casting for "amazing voter". Then there was a series of empty houses, "people that might have been napping", cute dogs that knew how to get to the window via furniture, modest supporters, more empty houses, and lots and lots of fun Halloween yard displays.
The most satisfying visits were to undecided voters, and one was particularly memorable. He opened the door in comfortable clothes and bare feet. He smiled and welcomed us. We explained why we were there and he let us know: He was undecided. He'd seen signs for both Haber and the GOP incumbent, but didn't know much about either. We asked some quick questions and learned more about what interested him and spoke to why Haber was the best choice for him. We let him know about Haber's background as a small business owner and as a former school board member. We gave him all we had and when we were done? We had a Haber voter.
When you're out canvassing, you hope that every transaction you have will result in getting an additional vote. Not every one does, but you get that One and then that Next One and then Yet Another and Even More. And that's the fun part. Voters are like rainbows. You always hope to see a rainbow after a rainstorm. They're not always there, but you still keep looking.
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES for GOTV efforts are in full effect. Canvas or phone bank and most of all: Chase the rainbow!