A door cracks open and the anticipation of a conversation begins. In less than four seconds, a front door becomes a gateway of information for a volunteer. For Obama campaign volunteers, canvassing neighbors and connecting with Maryland residents is a great opportunity to hear from the community.
From the moment we first spoke, I could tell that Annapolis Neighborhood Team Leader Joanna H was jubilant and fun-spirited. Joanna’s passion for social justice started when she was a teenager. A Sunday school teacher taught Joanna to think of everyone as equals. She grew up in Georgia during a chapter in American history when people lived, played and shopped separately based on racial differences. But Joanna kept these words close to her heart: “treat everyone the same.”
In 1968, Joanna met Coretta Scott King, the wife of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. To Joanna, “Mrs. King was a dear friend.” One of Joanna’s sons was in the same first-grade class with Dexter King, the youngest son of Coretta and Martin Luther King, Jr.
The two women had similar interests, human equality and their children. Joanna passed along her civil rights vigor to her children and grandchildren. Two of her seven grandchildren are voting age in this upcoming election.
She told me, “every vote counts, every person counts...it doesn’t matter how wealthy or how economically challenged the voter is.”
As I took notes during our conversation, reading my scribbled words was like a walk back in time. Joanna and Coretta were at voting age before the Voting Rights Act was passed—a time when many Americans could not register to vote. Today, Joanna is ecstatic to see her grandchildren vote for the first time for Barack Obama.
Not only is voting a right, it’s a civic duty. Make sure you, your friends, and your family are registered—then sign up to volunteer with the Maryland team.
You never know what rich stories you’ll hear as a campaign volunteer. All it takes is one knock on a door. Join us next Saturday as we talk to voters in Virginia during our statewide day of action!