Please share your stories of offline political activism here. (More)
This week I again worked in our Democratic Party coordinated campaign office, making calls for our candidates. Three calls in particular stood out for me. My first call of the day was to a woman who, before I could got into my script, asked where she could go to volunteer for our candidates. I gave her our office address. She also said she would vote by mail, and I gave her the contact information for our Supervisor of Elections.
After that surprising and very encouraging start, I tumbled into a long string of no answers and wrong numbers. This is almost unavoidable with phone banking. It can be reduced somewhat with predictive dialing – which doesn’t connect the phone banker unless the phone is answered by a human – but that’s an expensive function and most local candidates can’t afford it. I noted the disconnected and wrong numbers in the database, so they’re out of the list. Phones with no answer go back in the queue to be called again later.
The second memorable call was to a Hispanic woman whose daughter answered. She said her mom struggles with English, but they would definitely vote in November, and would definitely vote for our candidates. I asked if they’d like to volunteer. She paused and said “Do you need people who speak Spanish? Mom would like to help but English is hard for her.” I assured her we always need Spanish-speaking volunteers and she said both she and her mom would make calls for us.
The third memorable call was answered by a son whose mom was making dinner. “Oh, we’re definitely voting,” he said. “All four of us. And we’re voting blue, all the way down the line.” He also said he would volunteer, and that he’d ask his mom and two sisters to help as well.
So when you’re phone banking this week, don’t let the no answers and wrong numbers get you down. They seem to come in bunches, like any random pattern, but just keep dialing away and you’ll soon talk to people who will renew your energy.