I think my friend Marc Acito has been an inspiration to me, because I find myself doing things I’ve never done before. Yesterday it was volunteer for a presidential campaign.
Now, I’ve been a voter for a very long time. I’ve voted in every single election since I turned 18. Primaries. Local elections. All of them. And compared to the average American, I’d say I’m pretty political. I’ve volunteered for campaign initiatives and have even hosted fundraisers for local candidates. I try to keep very informed on local and national politics.
Here in Oregon, we’ve had a number of anti-gay ballot initiatives and I’ve done my duty, phone banking, going door-to-door, helping to raise money. But never have I felt inspired to work for a presidential candidate. Until now.
Granted it, it took me a while to warm up to Barack. I admit, I was a huge Hillary supporter. But slowly, I’ve been won over. There is something about this campaign that has gotten people excited and that makes me what to get involved.
I think it started back in May when Barack Obama visited Oregon. Even then I was pulling for Hillary, but I went down to the waterfront to see him anyway. I was inspired to see so many of my fellow Oregonians so excited about this man running for president. It was one of the largest, most diverse crowds I have been in in Oregon. People of many races, ages and genders all excited about this man who could make history. And who has some pretty good policies.
So, yesterday, I took myself over to the Obama headquarters. Much to my surprise, I ran into my neighbor and her eight-year-old daughter. We were given clipboards and sent out to register voters outside a post office. A post office is a great place to register voters. Lots of people are going in and out and many of them are in the process of changing their address, and thus need to update their voter registration.
In two hours, we registered eight voters. Not all of them Democrats. Most people were appreciative of us being there, thanked us, stopped to ask us questions about Oregon’s vote by mail system, absentee ballots and college students who are out of state.
It felt good. It felt like the right thing to be doing right now. It felt American.