Get Your Boots on the Ground for Democracy: This Sat. & Next

There isn’t much time left before Nov. 7 Annapolis City elections, so why not just give up just one Saturday morning, do something fun, and make a real contribution to your community?

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Canvassers gather around to get their packages
Canvassers gather around to get their packages

Two important needs in life are:

1. Being appreciated
2. Believing that you are doing something worthwhile, making a difference.

You can fulfill both of these needs by helping Democratic candidates in Annapolis on the next two Saturday mornings between now and the election. A friend of mine recently suggested that if I was serious about helping in political action, this was by far the best way. Despite my misgivings, I was very pleasantly surprised when I actually showed up to take a shot at walking the streets for the Democrats.

John Sarbanes cheers us on before we go out to get to work. Photo: John Wells

It is a proven fact that when parties get people out on the streets talking to their neighbors it not only increases partisan votes, it also increases turnout, something that is sorely needed in our Annapolis elections. There isn’t much time left, so why not just give up just one Saturday morning, do something fun, and make a real contribution to your community?

These events were fun and interesting. The atmosphere in the room, packed with volunteers before we set, off was electric.  We got some rousing speeches from key Democratic leaders including Mike Busch and John Sarbanes.  I had not heard Busch speak before, and was impressed by his polish and charisma so soon after undergoing a liver transplant.  The message was very clear:

We really appreciate what you are doing. We are going to do it right, and are going to find out what the people want from our party and give it to them.  You are the key people to make this effort work.” – MD House Speaker Mike Busch

A number of other excellent speakers spoke at the “warm-up” session before going out.  I was particularly impressed by Sheila Finlayson, who I never heard speak before.  Now I can see why she is running unopposed.  I was also impressed by Mark Rodriguez, Kurt Riegel, and others, who were not just eloquent in thanking us, but also in describing key issues.  Mayoral candidate Gavin Buckley spoke well, and briefly, with the kind of poise and charisma that first attracted my interest when I heard him speak long before the election was in swing.

Canvassers gather round to get their packages. Photo John Wells

In my first debut as a set of “boots on the ground”, I was paired with a seasoned second-generation canvassing veteran.  Her mother had been a precinct chairman and “knew everyone in her district.” It was also her goal to get to know everyone in hers.  She had been out almost every weekend since May, and you could tell looking at her shoes that she has covered many miles. It was fascinating to see how she added her personal touch, leaving hand-written notes to those who weren’t in, and gently persuading disaffected voters to consider making the effort to vote.  These are the kind of folks that form the backbone of the party.

I cannot tell you the exact questions that we asked voters. However, I can assure you that the Democratic Party is making every effort it can to find out what needs to be done and how to become the reborn party of the people.

Most people we met were very encouraging, impressed that we are willing to take our personal time to be out campaigning. Sure, not everyone was pleasant. One man told us “I left the communist state of Maryland to go to Pennsylvania, and you know what I think of all your politicians.”  Well, when you get someone like that, you just move on.  Meanwhile, you meet a lot of nice folks, especially if you are working your own neighborhood.

For more information about canvassing, and to sign up visit the D30 Democrats web page, Canvassing for the Dems or for information about pre-election events including the Mayoral Town Hall at Eastport Community Center next Wednesday, November 1. see:
District 30 Democratic Club Events. Feel free to contact me as well, especially if you are interested in sign waving, or placing signs in yards.

If you need more information about your ward’s candidate, visit ActionAnnapolis.com, where you can view a terrific set of information about the ward candidates.

John Wells jnw.wells@gmail.com or call 410 507-1862

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