Sunday, October 30, 2005
I spent yesterday afternoon going door to door in Oakland with two young women from Californians from Justice (CFJ)* urging infrequent voters to turn down Arnold's initiatives as well as Prop. 73, a measure that requires parental notification before youth exercise their abortion right.
Oakland is friendly territory -- the question here is not whether folks will oppose the Governor's power grab, but whether they will vote at all. Several people said they were not going to vote: "My vote doesn't count; they put Bush back in." My young friend begged these people to go out again: "I'm only 17 and I can't vote. Don't let Arnold take the money for the schools." At least one citizen promised she'd turn out one more time.
Precinct walks happen because people sign up.
Walkers are trained on their goals.
Walkers are trained about the propositions.
The group listened attentively.
Here's what we handed out.
This woman had an absentee ballot. After talking with the young women for awhile, she said she'd be sure to mail it in.
She voted for Arnold in the recall; but not again: "He's bad for the Mexicans!"
This voter was a teacher who wanted to talk.
When you walk a precinct, you have to keep track of your lists.
And when you bring your lists back, organizers check over the results.
After all that walking around, it is easy to feel at little glazed over.
*Full disclosure: I worked for CFJ in 1995-6 and again in 2003. The group describes itself as "a 10 year old statewide grassroots organization working to empower communities that have been pushed to the margins of the political process. We bring people of color, young people, and poor people together by leading large-scale community education efforts, training a new generation of grassroots civil rights leaders, and mobilizing public support for major public policy change in California."