Not even the rain or dark, gloomy sky that dominated an early morning panorama could deter me from my duty. Tempting as it was to call the whole thing off, I was bound and determined to be there; to be counted to do my part in this unpredictable, shaky election that has the top candidates neck-in-neck.
Peering out of my bedroom window, I took a look at the landscape really wanting to stay home, dry. But President Obama’s Organizing For America recruited me to volunteer in any way I could, so I signed up for the Vote 2010 Event with the Illinois Democratic Coordinated Campaign (IDCC) to man the phones.
There are campaigners reaching out to voters all over Chicago in these last days leading up to what promises to be one of the most exciting elections around here in an awfully long time. Some are calling voters, some are going door-to-door, some are hosting election parties as fund-raisers, all in an effort to get the people at the polls. For the President, there is a hope that citizens of Chicago, as well as in the state of Illinois will cast their vote for the Democratic ticket.
My weather concerns dissipated by the afternoon as the sun came out changing the day dramatically. Great! I was glad it would be a comfortable walk to N. Wabash, right next door in River North. My trip took me along the Chicago River, with all the touristy river boats, restaurants, including one of my favorite places: Trump International Hotel and Tower. It’s the bomb! Very magnificent, sitting in the old Chicago Sun-Times site, all 92 floors of Chitown elegance. My building was just across the street. Sweet!
Upon arrival, I met Theresa, a dedicated Democrat who works hard for the party. She sat me down, went over the spiel, gave me my location, then I went to work.
Several volunteers were already there speaking with potential voters, urging them to support Gov. Pat Quinn, Alexi Giannoulias, and the Democratic ticket on Tuesday, Nov. 2.
I looked around the fourth floor office. It was definitely a campaign headquarters. There were posters, buttons, all types of campaign relics. Noticeable was a magnificent wall of photos I admired with high-profile Democrats. I spotted a woman I thought was Hillary Clinton in almost every one, posing with several presidents and VP’s! Much to my amazement, it was Kitty, one of the directors who runs the Chicago branch of the Illinois Democratic Coordinated Campaign in Chicago. She’s a fantastic lady and a dead ringer for Hillary! They even grew up in the same neighborhood.
Taking my position in one of the back offices, I joined the group, which Theresa said was small for a Wednesday night. I received my list with seven pages of names, addresses, including telephone numbers, of course to call to remind residents a vote for the Demos on Election Day is a vote in the right direction.
Soon I was joined by a gentleman named Phil, who had a few very interesting, challenging calls. I heard him say to a would-be-non-voter who seemed turned off by the whole political thing that no vote was essentially a vote for the other side (the Republicans). Phil went on to explain the importance of exercising our right to vote (no matter how you vote), in addition to the closeness of these races.
Political freedoms are woven into the fabric of our lives. However, there was a price to pay for them, even though it may seem like a very long time ago. We are all too aware of the countries in our global community that up to today, do not have political freedoms. Reminding people of the value of that freedom was a privilege while speaking to them by phone. Some seemed apathetic, hanging up, some confused; others were gung-ho looking forward to their chance to be counted come Tuesday, Nov. 2.
Last night I left feeling a sense of accomplishment. It was great to see the volunteers giving their time to such a worthy cause after a long day of work. Moreover, it was rewarding to listen to those manning their phones who did not have jobs, doing their part to bring about change; still believing in America as the land of opportunity.
It would be great to keep the legislative branch Democratic if only to give President Obama time and ability to see his plans to the end, hopefully to fruition. However, no matter who you vote for, it is important to heed the words of first lady Michelle Obama: “Don’t Stay Home!” Let your voice be heard; use your powerful tool for change.
To learn more about the IDCC, go here.
To volunteer go here.
Get more information on Organizing For America here.
For information on Vote-By-Mail For The 2010 General Election, call 773-219-6086 or info@VoteIllinois2010.com.
Important voting dates, deadlines, requirements, and more go here.
organizingforamerica.com, voteillinois2010.com, associatedcontent.com, vote411.org