Spooky in Cincinnati

Our canvassers in Cincinnati ready for a night of talking about the spooky conditions working families currently face.

Labor against the war

by Kim Andrews—Pennsylvania

Saturday, October 27, Working America staff attended the war protest in Philadelphia in order to show support for our troops as well as our immediate withdrawal from Iraq. The labor support at the rally was impressive, especially for a cold and rainy day, taking up three long blocks in the city. After lining the blocks from Penn Hospital to City Hall, the people marched the streets carrying signs all the way to Independence Mall. Signs ranged from economic and workers’ issues such as SCHIP to questions of morale and political accountability. I think it was really important for Working America as well as the rest of the labor movement to make their voice heard at such an important and powerful event.


Activism is for all ages

by Chris Antonneau—Michigan

It was the night before Halloween and the street starting to get dark. We were having a pretty good night organizing and talking with people. One of our canvassers, Jennifer, was looking to get ahold of another concerned citizen. Next thing you know she was having a great conversation with a sweet retired lady. The lady had been watching one of the live debates and was more than willing to help with her civic responsibility. Even though she isn’t too mobile, she was more than willing the help by joining, giving a small contribution and writing letters to her lawmakers when we need her too.

This proves yet again that it takes us all doing our own part to make sure nobody goes without health care!

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Profits vs. people

by Christina Jens—Minnesota

While I was canvassing in Brooklyn Park, MN, I spoke to a woman who was thrilled that we were at her door talking about the problems with the health care system. As she grabbed my clipboard and began to sign she stated that she was one of the uninsured. A few years ago she was diagnosed with a neurological disorder, and her insurance company told her that it would cost too much to keep her alive and they had decided to drop her policy. Her doctors, however, informed her that it would be no more costly to maintain her health than it would be to maintain someone who had suffered a heart attack. Now, after being on medication to control her disease for the last two years, she’s developed diabetes as well.

I asked her for a contribution to help us work to change the system. She wavered for a minute, and then explained that she wasn’t able to do that. She hadn’t made it to the bank yet that day because her husband had been taken to the Emergency Room with a suspected heart attack. She’d not yet heard anything about his status, and was waiting for her son to get home before she told him and her daughter and would be able to go see her husband. The check book was with her husband, and I was the first person she’d been able to tell about his problems.

Her story has kept me knocking on doors since. It’s because of these injustices that we need to make sure that everyone has access to care that they can afford.

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Braving the dog

by Nathan Horak-Hern—Kentucky

While canvassing this past week I came to a Working America member’s house with a large yard surrounded by a chain-link fence. Sitting near the front door was a small, but unchained, dog. I love dogs, but even the smallest one can pose a major hazard to the canvasser’s efforts. After taking a moment to consider what the famous door-to-door worker Cliff Clavin would do, I decided against spouting useless trivia at the pup, and entered the gates.

I was soon rewarded for my “bravery,” as the dog was friendly and the Working America member was vitally interested in our cause. She has been an assistant at a cancer treatment center for many years. She told me she’d seen first-hand how our current governor’s “streamlining” of Medicare here in Kentucky had severely undermined people’s health care. She said she’d definitely be supporting Steve Beshear, the labor-endorsed candidate for governor, in the upcoming election, largely due to his efforts to give the poor and the elderly the assistance they need to obtain necessary health care. She even offered to volunteer if her work schedule would allow it. I thanked her for her dedication, and her dog for the hospitality, before rambling on to my next stop.

Paid for by AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education Treasury Fund.

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The biggest sign they had

by Maribeth Schneber—Kentucky

I met a woman in the field who was a staunch supporter of Steve Beshear, the labor-endorsed candidate for governor here in Kentucky. When I got to talking to her, she told me that she had a house for sale, and she had told the Beshear campaign to put up the biggest sign that they had on her property.

After a while her real estate agent called and told her that no one could see the “For Sale” sign on the house. The woman told me that she then replied, “I don’t care if I have to pay a few more months of the mortgage if it means that Steve Beshear gets elected.” She then offered to come to our office or to a Labor Walk and bake us all chocolate chip cookies for our important and hard work.

Paid for by AFL-CIO Committee on Political Education Treasury Fund.


Singing happy birthday on turf

by Kellie Hughes—Ohio

I was coming down the street and noticed three little girls, giggling as they sometimes do, in their front yard. As I got closer to the house, I realized they were waiting for me. As I was getting there, their mom came out and called them all back inside. I knocked on the door and was immediately invited inside. I told them what I was doing and a woman who had previously been a member took my clipboard. As she is about to sign the girls’ mother called for us to come into the kitchen. Apparently it was her teenage daughter’s birthday and it was time for the cake. So we all sang happy birthday to her. Our past member and I walked back into the living room and she signed too! Then the 3 other women came in one by one all signed and wrote letters as well! It was great that I, at least for that moment, was included as part of their family. It reminded me that you should never be afraid of “interrupting” anyone’s night.

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Children get involved, too

by Kellie Hughes—Ohio

I was canvassing with an observer enjoying a beautiful fall day when I came across a mom and her two girls. As she was signing, I was playing catch with the youngest girl and laughing with them all. When it came time for the close of my rap, the mother responded with “I have no cash, and my husband has our checkbook.” Just then, the oldest girl said “Mom, I have $5 we can give”. She ran into the house and came back out with the $5 in hand. I gave her the receipt and thanked them all!

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Members, a soda and a sandwich

by Athena Stanford—Ohio

As I was canvassing, I met a father walking with his two sons, aged 2 and 6. I spoke with them briefly, while signing up a neighbor. Later that evening I canvassed the father’s apartment, and the 2 year old, who saw me from the window, came running to the door screaming in excitement “Do you want a soda?! Squirt or Grape?!” I ended up signing up his entire family, and got a delicious drink out of it as well! They even offered me a sandwich! I declined their generous offer, but the enthusiasm and thankfulness of the entire family made the rest of my night!

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An Allentown success story

by Jessica Yates—Pennsylvania

A woman invited me in and was really excited; she said she remembered us from last year’s Living Wage campaign. She was very impressed because she said she never remembers stuff like that. I was very impressed with our success here in Pennsylvania.