This is a quick diary to relate the experience xian and I had today walking a San Ramon, CA precinct for Jerry McNerney.
Short version: great experience, highly recommended.
Lesson learned: even if (like me) you live in a deep blue district, there may well be a red(dish) district a short drive away. And if there is, now’s a great time to go help give that campaign a little momentum.
After doing my first door-to-door for Kerry in ’04 up in Medford, I was hoping to find a nearby race that (a) matters and (b) is something less than 7 hours away. McNerney seemed like the best fit, plus he’s a pretty-easy-to-like candidate. (more info on that score over at http://www.jerrymcnerney.com/)
The Dublin McNerney HQ is a 30-minute drive from where I live near Oakland. (Specifically, it’s at 6250 Village Parkway, right off 580.)
The folks there were friendly and well organized. They were also flexible — I showed up long after the start time listed on their site and it didn’t really matter. I was there with a pal, but they told me for future reference that had I shown up solo, they would have paired me up with someone.
They gave us a list of about 380 Democracts and unaffiliated voters in San Ramon (the vast majority were Ds). The instructions and maps were straightforward — I’m pretty inexperienced in this and they kept it simple enough for a newbie like me to handle.
San Ramon is about 5 minutes from the Dublin office. It was beautiful there today — nicer than back in Oakland. Sunny with a light breeze and a real treat to walk in.
We covered about 200 of the voters on our list. Almost everyone had flags outside. Almost everyone had a dog. Not everyone was pro-McNerney, but just about everyone who was home was friendly.
Most folks were either neutral or anti-Pombo. Many were strongly anti-Pombo (we heard “that crook” pretty frequently). A lot of folks who were happy enough to vote against Pombo hadn’t heard of McNerney, so it felt like we were actually doing some good just by getting his name out there.
Back at the Dublin HQ at the end of the day, the field director happened to be there — nice guy. The candidate’s wife was there as well. We had a great chat with them for about 10 minutes. She was genuinely appreciative, and the whole thing made the experience feel 100% human.
So that’s it. I’m planning to go back. They’ll be sending people out every weekend. They’ve also got phone banking going on during the week in Oakland.
All this is to say: if, like me, you live in a blue district, call your local Dem party and find a competive race you can drive to. Impact the polls today and you’ll help build up momentum going into October.
And specifically, if you’re a Bay Area type, consider giving Jerry a few hours one of these September Saturdays.
As Kid Oakland said, we all live in Pombo’s district. (Btw, the candidate’s wife quoted that to me, which was a treat in itself.) This is our chance to contribute to an important race. Think of it selfishly. Me, I don’t just want McNerney to win — I want to be watching him win on election night and feel like I did something to help make it happen.