Voter Outreach as Therapy

30 Sep

These past few days have driven me crazy with anticipation. The organization I work for introduced our first California bill this year and managed to pass it through the Assembly and Senate, but now we’re waiting to hear if Governor Schwarzenegger will sign or veto it. He only has until midnight tonight so I keep reloading his web page, checking the news – I even called up my friend who works in Perata’s office to see if he had any inside information (he didn’t).

So I had to do something last night to get my mind off of this. I went down to the United Democratic Campaign headquarters in Oakland, which is also housing Rebecca Kaplan’s campaign and the California Democratic Party.

I hadn’t done any phoning for Rebecca since June so it took a few calls to get back into my groove, but once I did, I was so happy I had gone down there. If you’ve never phoned for a candidate or issue before, it might seem strange, but electoral phoning is extremely therapeutic. You have to focus, pay attention, take cues from voters, so there’s no energy left to think about anything else. It really is a great form of meditation.

The energy in the office also helped lift my mood. The space is huge, and there were several volunteers downstairs and upstairs calling for various campaigns – Kaplan, Obama, Yes on 2, No on 4, No on 8. And because of the office’s excellent location at Broadway and 19th, people were literally walking in off the street to help out. One couple walked in to grab some Kaplan signs, and Rebecca’s campaign manager talked them into doing some phoning. It was so great to phone with such a mix of longtime supporters and people who had just met Rebecca last week. I’ve phoned in several offices before, but none as diverse as this one.

Whether you’re supporting Kaplan or not, there’s probably a campaign down at the UDC office that you can get behind. So if you need some free therapy and want to help out with a good cause, head down to the office at 1915 Broadway anytime. It’s right above the 19th Street BART station and near about a dozen AC Transit lines.

And if you want to meet some of the great staff and volunteers who are involved with Kaplan’s campaign, please join us this Thursday night at Geoffrey’s for a Kaplan fundraiser and VP debate watching party.

Here are the details:

When: Thursday, October 2, 2008 from 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: Geoffrey’s Inner Circle, 410 14th Street in downtown Oakland
How Much: $30 – $300 sliding scale
More Info: kaplan.fundraiser@gmail.com
Geoffrey’s is easily accessible by public transit. Use the 12 Street BART Station (exit at the 14th Street side) or take AC Transit lines 1/1R, 51, 72, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, or 40.

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