I’m a summer organizing fellow in Allentown, Pennsylvania, where we are changing our nation one voter registration form at a time. Volunteers, fellows, and staff members step out of our campaign office every evening to walk our neighborhoods and talk to eligible voters who haven’t yet registered to vote.
By 6:00 p.m., as the sun starts to set, many residents come out to their porches to cool off, and children play on the sidewalks. This culture of fraternity allows us to connect with many people at once—making it easier on our time and resources as volunteers.
Our city’s grid system has also helped my team in registering voters. A lot of streets cut through the city, placing many houses and apartment buildings on highly transited streets, while others are “hidden away” on narrower streets or alleyways. This has allowed my team to connect with families who are often forgotten because of their less visible locations. We believe in walking every corner of Allentown and talking to everyone, whether they live in easily accessible areas or away from this city’s main roads.
Talking to neighbors out in the streets has truly allowed us to register more voters than we imagined. Of course, it has been a challenge. It may take us several attempts to convince one person. But as one young lady told me last week as I registered her to vote, “I’ve been asked so much, I might as well do it!” That’s our challenge—and it’s what makes every day of volunteering a great time.