I walked into the crowded conference room, joining about three dozen strangers, sitting at long folding tables, phones in hand.
The scene was familiar and welcoming. I was taking part in an activity I’ve done countless times before: volunteering with a political campaign.
United by our common goal, we played call after call, taking quick breaks to chitchat about ourselves, but mostly focused on the task ahead.
Last night, I called voters in Colorado, from a New York City office, urging people to attend their local caucuses, reminding them of their polling places, and persuading them to vote for my candidate.
I’ve been a political junkie since I was young, joining my parents as they campaigned for local candidates, including themselves. Both my mother and father served on the town’s Board of Selectmen, my father serving as First Selectman. They’ve been staunch Democrats their entire lives, as I have.
I’ve stuffed envelopes, walked door- to -door, and made phone call after phone call. I registered to vote as soon as I turned 18 and insisted my three children do the same. When I taught, I’d often share news stories about other nations where voting wasn’t a right, or about countries first holding their first elections to create a democratic government.
Some say you shouldn’t talk about politics. Like sex and money, these are topics that shouldn’t be aired in public. Maybe that belief applies to two of these topics, though there’s nothing subtle about what’s shown in movies and television.
To me, politics is life and death. I’m happy to talk about it all the time, hoping to convince people to consider what I believe.
Take a recent visit to New Orleans. My taxi cab driver eagerly chatted about the city and his life story. When I asked him what he thought of the current political situation, he claimed that when the state had a woman governor, (Katherine Blanco, 2004-2008), she threatened to “take away the Saints,” the city’s professional football team, and “no one messes with the Saints,” he said, showing his obvious distrust of a woman politician. I tried to convince him he couldn’t equate one person with another and later I couldn’t find anything to substantiate his belief about the Saints, which shows how important it is to know the facts when voting.
This presidential election, I’m with HER.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has been a role model to young women since she served as First Lady, then as US Senator, then as Secretary of State. She’s devoted her life to social change to better the lives of those less fortunate. She has the worldly experience and has dealt with bullies before. I’m hopeful she can tackle the one before her now. She’s the smartest person running; it’s time for love and kindness, time for her to take charge.
It’s a big birthday year for me. I’ve told my friends and family I need no gifts, only donations to the Hillary for President campaign.
When I was in high school, there was a popular slogan printed on t-shirts.
“A Woman’s Place is in the House… and the Senate.”
I’d amend that now to add: “And in the Oval Office.”