From Jodi W in 2018
When I started volunteering with NAT, I would cringe, and perhaps even hide, anytime anyone mentioned canvassing. It was with extreme trepidation that I buddied last spring with NAT board member and long-time canvasser Nancy Dodge. She was excellent at sharing suggestions and support, but at the end of my shift I was still so leery of knocking on people’s doors. Doubts danced in my mind: “I don’t know all the answers to everyone’s questions,” “I don’t know all the facts about the candidates,” and “I might be bothering people.”
During the recent gubernatorial primary, I decided it was time to confront my fears and canvas specifically for my candidate of choice, Mike McCabe. I canvassed multiple times in partnership with other volunteers. I found that even though I did not know all the answers, I could share with people where to get more information. I also found that many people are happy to talk and some even thanked me for my involvement and volunteering. I did have people along the way who did not want to chat, but they were few and that only deterred me for a moment. Along the way, I had many wonderful conversations and was introduced to some particularly cute puppies.
After the primary, I quickly returned to canvassing with NAT. I have now canvassed multiple times with them and look forward to continue my canvassing in October and November. Throughout the experience, I felt supported with the trainings, debriefings, and, let’s not forgot, snacks. I still sometimes have to take a deep breath prior to canvassing, but once I get started I am good to go and happy to now be buddied with new volunteers. Reflecting on my short canvassing career, I have enjoyed the conversations and meeting neighbors, but during these difficult political times, what I enjoy most is being a part of the change.