It takes a lot of dedication to get out of bed on your day off and volunteer your time. We were all a little bleary eyed last Saturday morning when we showed up at the Ohio AFL-CIO headquarters for a labor walk, but we made it. And once the coffee started to kick in we began chatting with each other. At my table were two Working America members with two very different stories to tell.
Dominc is a senior in high school. He is visiting colleges and prepping for his upcoming ACT. He decided to take an active role in his future and told his mother Monique, a Working America member, that he wanted to volunteer for the election. She has worked with us in the past and knew who to call. He’s knocked on doors every weekend this month.
Across from Dominic was Richard, but few people would know who you meant if you called him that. He is known across town as “Teach” due to the 33 years he spent working in the Columbus public school system. Teach grew up in Louisiana and he was excited to finally be old enough to vote in the 1956 presidential election. As an African American in the Jim Crow south, he faced discrimination at the polls and was falsely accused of failing a literacy test. He appealed the grade and fought for his right to vote. He hasn’t missed a single election since.
Despite their different motivation and the 60 years between them, Dominic and Teach are both invested in election 2012. They don’t want to just sit by and watch this historic race unfold; they want to be INVOLVED in the future of their country. This election affects all types of people and Working America has a place for each of them.
Here in Columbus we participate in the Ohio AFL-CIO’s labor walks and phone banks. Members also call from home using their computers and a Friends and Neighbors tool. We’ve had three Columbus members be spokespeople, addressing fellow Working Americans across the nation about why this election is important to them personally. On the other hand, some folks prefer to be behind the scenes and have been a huge help with data entry. We get together to watch debates and attend rallies. We’ve also been hosting postcard parties where we send a hand written note to voters with a personalized message.
And we’re not going to rest until Election Day. Activists are invited to join us on the phones, canvasses, data entry or whatever interests them the most. The next big postcard party is on October 22nd at 8pm at Dempsey’s restaurant in downtown Columbus. We’ll be having fun while making a difference. I hope to see you there.