Giving hope

by Nathan Rose—Minnesota

I was canvassing in Brooklyn Park where I met a woman whose child was hit by a car. She lost her home to pay for her children’s health care and lost her job while nursing her injured child. She said that she now just wants to help fix the health care system however she can, even if it’s through volunteer work. “I don’t even want money,” she said. “I just want to help people by doing something that matters.: Then she gave me an apple and a DPM, despite the fact that “every dollar is precious,” she said. “Thank you. This gives me hope.”

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Keeping our jobs here!

by Patricia Penton—Ohio

I asked a man what issue was most important to him and he eagerly replied, “Keeping our jobs here!” I was so excited I told him that that was one of our most important issues. He went on to explain that he was in jeopardy of losing his job in the manufacturing business and sincerely thanked me for being out in his neighborhood that evening.

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Children…what sweethearts!

by Erin Bogle—Missouri

I young boy was hanging out while I was canvassing houses in his neighborhood. When I arrived at his house he appeared with a bag of pennies. He felt Working America needed these pennies more than him. His mother couldn’t afford the 5 dollars and he insisted that we take it, so that we could “make schools better!”

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Dad Died at Pennsylvania Steel Company

by Kara Kukovich—Pennsylvania

I was canvassing in Bethlehem when I came across a woman sittin on her porch. When I told her who I was, she got excited and eager to sign on. She said she always signs anything in support of the AFL-CIO because her (deceased) father was such a big supporter and member of the union. She began telling me the story of how her dad worked at a local steel company and was killed in August of 1984 when the roofing rafters fell through – something the union had been trying to get fixed because of the imposing danger. Her family got paid $200-400 for her dad’s death.

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House Reps Cringe When WA Canvassers Show Up

by Jackie Lima—Pennsylvania

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 was “Rally Day.” The “A-team” was fired up and ready to go! Across the street from Congressman Charlie Dent’s office in Bethlehem, PA, we outfitted ourselves with crutches, bandages, whistles and a megaphone. We carried clothes lines of Working America health care petition signatures from the 15th Congressional District encircling the lawn and sidewalk in front of Rep. Dent’s office building. We chanted: “What do we want?” “Health Care!” “When do we want it?” “Now!” “Charlie Dent – health care is bent!” Posters read “Honk for health care reform!” and passers by honked in support. The press and the police stopped by to see what was going on. Several workers from the office building came out also. Two of them were not registered to vote and true-to-form were given voter registration forms by WA canvassers. One of them addressed the crowd through the megaphone to have her voice and story heard. PA State Director, Jenn Jannon and Allentown’s Canvass Director, Jennifer Hofelich spoke to us about the critical need for health care in America. Congressman Dent was given a “Get Well” card and pieces of the petition signed by Working America members from his district – letting him know that his constituents DO CARE ABOUT THIS ISSUE!

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Where is the safety net?

by Curtis Neff—Minnesota

I am a field manager in the Twin Cities. Yesterday I was taking out a potential new activist on their observation day. The woman we canvassed in the trailer park was very sad. Her lights were being shut off. She had just lost her job due to downsizing. We have AFl-CIO community Services cards we hand out to people falling between the cracks. Unfortunately in this economy we find more and more of these people. Our services lead people assistance with food, utilities, health care programs, workers rights, unemployment assistance, job training, English language programs, volunteer opportunities, and community activist training. I was taken aback by her appreciation for the opportunity to have some help where it seems like there is none to be found. I was choked up over this and had to take a minute to get to the next door. My observer was able to see the real compassion and empathy we have as Working America activists. Some folks are making it through life real swell while the majority of us are struggling or not making it at all.
Exxon Mobile just made 11 Billion dollars in the second quarter and we can’t afford to drive to an interview to keep the lights on. Where is the Safety NET!

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Doing the right thing

by Abdirisak Farah—Minnesota

I met a young lady who was really in a hurry. She asked, “What can I do for you? I introduced myself and told her that we are fighting for health care. Then she said: “I don’t care if I am going to be late for work. I will sign this because I’m one of the 47 million people without health care that you are fighting for. Keep up the fight! You are doing the right thing!”

I was so pleased.

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