I Canvassed For Obama On Election Day
On election day I took the day off from “work” and volunteered for the Obama campaign in Orange County. I spent the entire day canvassing (Megan and I managed to cover three neighborhoods) and we even drove a nice older fellow to the polls towards the end of the day. That was one vote for Blue that I can say I was directly responsible for depositing into the Obama account.
If you’ve never volunteered for a political campaign, I highly recommend it. It’s quite fun and super easy to get into. You just show up at your local campaign headquarters, proffer yourself for volunteering, and pick a task. Tasks can range from making calls, knocking on doors, driving voters to the polls, to cleaning the office. They pretty much need any and all help they can get.
Canvassing is simply cruising through a neighborhood and putting up door hangers on houses or knocking on doors and directly reminding your supporters to get out and vote. I did two neighborhoods on foot, which took about an hour and a half each, and one neighborhood via bike, which took about an hour. For the most part, everyone was friendly and I enjoyed talking to Obama supporters. Also, it’s great exercise!
After hitting each neighborhood, I checked in at campaign headquarters and got a new list of addresses to canvas. The campaign headquarters was ROCKING on election day, with young volunteers dancing out front and waving signs at a busy intersection. Seriously, it was a dance party all day long. They set up a big speaker system and pumped out Jay-Z, Stevie Wonder, and Kanye West while commuters honked their horns as they drove past. I remarked to Megan that there was no way they were dancing on the sidewalks to Jay-Z at the McCain headquarters. Bunch of stodgy mf’ers, is my guess…
A Couple of Funny/Ironic Moments
- We canvassed the Parramore neighborhood, which is perceived to be one of the roughest neighborhoods in Orlando (re: black and poor) and the folks I interacted with were, by far, the friendliest. I got several handshakes and hi-fives when people realized I was volunteering for Obama. It was fucking cool.
- I biked a section of College Park, one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Orlando. One lady pulled up in her Mercedes, rolled down her window, and asked me if I was lost, so obvious was it that I visually didn’t belong in the neighborhood. What, Asian dudes don’t bike here?? I told her I was canvassing for Obama and she replied that most people there “were voting the other way.”
- I was standing on the sidewalk outside the campaign HQ listening to cars honk when a fat, white guy in an SUV gave me the finger…his wife gave me a thumbs down. It was totally awesome!! LMAO.
A BigAss Party
After the polls closed, we hit downtown Orlando for the election party and it was electric. There was much celebrating and cheering when it was announced on CNN that Obama had won the election. I felt pretty good about the whole deal. In fact, I felt like my guy had won and that I was also a victor. I thought both McCain’s and Obama’s speeches were excellent, among the most inspiring political speechs I had heard.
The party moved to the bars of downtown Orlando and we partied until closing time. We accidentally ran into the election parties of Scott Randolph, a state rep, and Alan Grayson, newly elected congressman, at Slingapore’s. We hung out there for awhile and partied with the volunteers of those campaigns and it was totally cool.
If nothing else, I recommend volunteering just to make friends with like-minded people. If you’re a dude, there are a lot of young hotties who volunteer for these things.
What Obama Means To Me
I’m usually pretty cynical realistic when it comes to things like politics, but I feel inspired by Barack Obama and I think he represents a pure form of the American Dream…a black man from middle class roots rising to the presidency. Awesome. Besides that, I admire his intelligence and articulation, and I really do think he’s best qualified to address the towering issues our country is facing right now (economics, jobs, war, etc). I’m very proud to have helped out in my small way and I feel hopeful for the future.
Some of our blogging friends joined in to this conversation, check’em out:
- Single Mom Seeking: Election day, it’s down to the wire
- 20-forty: Will Obama’s Victory Affect Attitudes Toward Interracial Dating?
- Miss Polyamory: Barack Obama – The 44th US President
- Very Smart Brothas: The Shorted Post You’ll Ever Read From Me
- Sheila Goss: Barack Obama Our First African American President