I’m In. At least, I’ve put my big toe in. I’m not in like Clinton T., my neighborhood team leader with an engaging voice and smile. I’m not in like Mary R., whose bilingualism reaches out to both English and Spanish speaking voters. I’m not in like Frank M., who shows up to phone banks well equipped with phones and headphones. But I’m in. I tested the waters. It feels good. It feels right.
Too intimidated to dial a number of someone I don’t know, I volunteered to attend a phone bank and learn how to enter the phone bank data. While there, I observed the veteran callers and marveled at their ease and patience on the phone, and their conviction to reelect President Obama. I eavesdropped on their conversations and imagined the people at the other end of the line. I imagined the ones who said they were in. I imagined the ones who agreed to attend a caucus. I imagined the ones that volunteered to work for the campaign. I wondered which of President Obama’s promises had touched them and their families.
Was it the Recovery Act? Was someone in their household one of the 3.7 million Americans who had a job saved or created? Was it middle-class tax cuts? Were they part of the 95% of middle class families with a tax cut and/or unemployment benefits? Was it health reform? Was someone in their family finally able to get health coverage? Was it a Civil Rights issue? Do they have a gay service member in their family who can finally have the personal rights we all should enjoy? Is there a woman in their household who now has the right to fight for equal pay? I wondered who those people on the other end of the line were. I thought about how President’s Obama’s reforms have touched so many lives.
Yes. I’m in! A little deeper now. I’m hosting a phone bank this weekend. I’ll listen. I’ll observe. I’ll enter data. Maybe, I’ll pick up the phone and dial someone I don’t know. Maybe, I’ll get to hear a story about how President Obama has touched a life.