Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to President Obama: To New Beginnings

I wanted to share with you my political experience of helping out as a volunteer for the Barack Obama Campaign for Change over this past weekend. I was called by a volunteer on my cell phone on Halloween eve. The volunteer asked if I would like to come to the phone bank headquarters to call voters in swing states. I found myself saying yes and volunteering honey to come along as well.

It felt just like a scene out of a movie. Saturday, November 1st was a very dark, rainy and stormy day in San Francisco, so we had to cab it over to the headquarters. We pulled up to the building to see Barack Obama campaign signs out front. We walked inside with another gentleman who said out loud, as we escaped from the rain, "That's right, you have true dedication to come out in the rain to help out like this." Then we walked inside to become apart of a headquarters in a campaign that we all believed in. I felt like I was doing something that I believed in, and maybe I could help, in a small way, to bringing about change.

We signed in and went to have an orientation with about 10 other volunteers. In the morning the phone bank was calling Florida, but during our shift we were calling Colorado. We were given a list of about 40 people to call to encourage them to vote on November 4th. Below is the example of the script that we used:

Script Hello, may I speak with _____? My name is _Laura_ and I'm a volunteer with Barack Obama's Campaign for Change. I'm calling to ask you about your plans for voting in this election. Do you plan on voting in person on Tuesday, or have you already voted?

(If They Say They Won't Vote:) Well I hope you change your mind- just imagine how great it will feel to be able to tell people that YOU voted for change by supporting the Barack Obama in 2008! In case you change your mind, you can vote on Tuesday and the polls are open until 7 p.m.

(If Already Voted) Thank you so much for voting in this historic election!
Some of the more memorable calls were:

1) A 90 year old, undecided woman who's dog was barking in the background. She kept calling me "honey."

Me: Do you think you'll be able to go out and vote on Tuesday?
Undecided: Yes, but I can't decide who to vote for.
Me: It's great that you are going. Can I ask what is keeping you as undecided?
Undecided: I'm stuck between two candidates.... Ralph Nader and Barack Obama
Me: How will you decide?
Undecided: Well I know Ralph Nader doesn't have a chance in hell of winning, but I thought I would help.

2) An 11 year old boy answered the phone.

Me: Can I talk to your father?
Boy: He is not at home
Me: Do you know if your parents have voted?
Boy: I don't know about that stuff

3) I had a couple of wives question who I was when I asked to talk to their husbands. :)

4) There was a teacher sitting next to us and she got off a call and seemed visibly upset.

Teacher: I just have to talk to someone about this call.
Me: Sure we can talk.
Teacher: Well I just spoke with this 19 year old girl who said she was voting for McCain because she believes in his fiscal policy. This scares me so much as I am a teacher that works my ass off.
Me: You know, people of that age tend to vote the same as their parents. Try to think about the other people on the phone that you did reach.

I found volunteering to be a great experience that I would do again. It's rare in this world to feel apart of something and to feel that you can help make a difference.

Congratulations President Barack Obama!


Tova Darling said...

Haha! Anytime you have a job (paid or not) that requires you to talk to people on the phone, you always get some weirdos!

Helmey said...

thank you

Gia said...

I certainly hope Obama will bring about the change the whole world is waiting for.

You sure helped changing the world by being a part of his campaign ;)

Thanks for the visit.