Political Action Center

Across Florida, hundreds of caregivers are volunteering their time and energy to elect candidates who will stand up for quality care and restore the middle class. Here is an interview with an 1199SEIU Florida Member Volunteer who is making the power of being united work for all.

Q: How long have you been working on this campaign and what have you been doing?

A: I have been working this election as a Member Political Organizer since January. I go out and canvass in neighborhoods. Canvassing is when we go into a community and knock on doors to encourage people to get out and vote and to also register people to vote.

Q: Describe some experiences you’ve had on the doors.

A: My experience in the field has been good, bad and ugly. I’ll start with the negatives: the sun, the rain, and when we can’t get into buildings to make connection with the folks who live there. The ugly is when we’re called bad words, like the “N-word”. Any bad word you can think of I’ve been called it. I just put on an extra layer of skin to do what I have to do.

There have been many positives. One day I was phone banking and there was a lady on the other end of the line who called me everything in book but child of God. I took the abuse. It was fine because that’s what I’m here to do. A few days later, she called me at eight o’clock in the morning. She apologized for the way she spoke to me. She said, “I really cussed you out and I’m sorry I called you things I shouldn’t have.”

It was an emotional conversation. She complained that Obama hasn’t done anything for her. She told me she’s a single mom and her son is trying to go to college, but she doesn’t have money.

I explained Obama’s plan that if her son stays in school he can stay on her insurance until he’s 26 years of age. I also explained Obama’s plan to fight for students to lower college loans and also make sure we all can have affordable healthcare. I told her Obama is fighting for us, the working class.

She decided at the end of the conversation she would vote and to get her son registered to attend school at Miami Dade College.

Another positive is when I knocked on an old woman’s door who said, “I don’t want to vote. I came to America when I was 20 and now I’m 90 years old. Why should I vote now?”

We talked for almost an hour and at the end of the conversation she decided she would vote. I gave her information to request an absentee ballot. A few days later, she called me and I went back to her house. She showed me that she actually got her absentee ballot. A few days after that she called me again to say her son helped her fill it out and she was putting the stamp on her ballot and putting it in the mailbox.

If there was nothing else I accomplished during this campaign, I feel my job was well worth it knocking on that woman’s door.

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