I was originally going to post this as a comment to this post, but I decided to make it an entry in my diary because there might be folks out there like me who took a few years to get their wheels under them, so to speak. Until 2009 I’d never participated in a protest, never worked a political campaign, never put signs in my yard or stickers on my car, and certainly never worked any phone banks. Now? All that and more is old hat to me.
Back in the early spring of 2010, when WV primary season was just getting started, I had the brilliant idea to ditch the social studies, civics and history textbooks my kids had been using (I’m a homeschooler) and give them a hands-on lesson in the electoral process. So I started looking around for a good primary candidate whose campaign we could help out with. As it happened there was a really nice, personable local guy running for the GOP nomination for WV-01, US House of Representatives. I very carefully researched his positions on issues that are important to me and, after he passed those tests, I contacted his campaign and thus began one of the most exciting 6 months of my life.
We became regulars at the campaign office for the entire primary season, once even taking sub-sandwich fixings and providing dinner to all the staffers and the candidate. We stuffed envelopes, put up yard signs, stuck bumper stickers on my car, made phone calls (my then-9-year-old son even spent some time on the phones) and basically were very visible as enthusiastic supporters.
Our candidate lost the primary, but we lost no time in contacting the nominee’s campaign and getting on board with him. We walked in parades, carried banners, stuck on more bumper stickers, made more phone calls, attended rallies and debates, and again were visible and enthusiastic.
I did everything I could to ask intelligent questions, be knowledgeable about issues and events, be honest about when I could do campaign/election activities and not blow off those commitments. I found that everyone we met was happy to answer my kids’ questions as well, and I got lots of very positive feedback on my ‘hands-on’ approach to teaching them about politics, government and elections.
After the election (congratulations Congressman David McKinley!) I approached the county chair and asked if she’d mind to let me know when the next county meeting would be. She did, I went.
And at last night’s county meeting I was appointed by the county chair to fill a vacant seat on the county Executive Committee.
So just like audax, I showed up. I don’t know where I’ll go from here, but I’m definitely going to keep showing up!