I have to write this, as my heart is kind of full right now.
I spent two & 1/2 hours this evening phonebanking for the Bernie
Sanders campaign at one of the local campaign headquarters. The setting
was interesting enough in and of itself. It turns out that the national
campaign has been renting vacant houses for their volunteers to stay in –
and paying the campaign staffers’ travel and living expenses too. This
not only gives the campaign volunteers room and board for their trips,
it also helps out folk who are trying to rent out vacant houses – local
landlords or people who had to move for work and haven’t sold their
houses yet. That rent money may well be preventing a forclosure and a
black mark on someone’s credit score. It’s certainly good for the local
The volunteers are young folk who have been driving from State to
State working for the candidate of their – and our – lifetimes. One
young gal was 17 years old, and from Maryland. She is one month and nine
days too young to vote in the November general election. So she is
doing the only thing she can – volunteering for Bernie’s campaign.
These young folk volunteering for the campaign are filling in the
gaps that us older folk can’t get away from work so much to do. There
were several people my age and older also there, volunteering to
phonebank. I’m 54, by the way.
I have been to two debate watch parties and one “last bash before the
Primary” party. The folk FILLING the restaurant where these events were
to capacity were of all ages, both sexes, and every race. It was an
extremely diverse crowd.
Speaking of volunteering, I have been to phonebanking events
organized completely outside the campaign by local non-affiliated
volunteers. They’ve been using their own equipment at local coffee shops
like Starbucks, local restaurants and the like. The comraderie, good
will, and hope are amazing. The energy at these events is like none
other; It is so positive and uplifting that you can’t help walking away
knowing that the world is a better place than you ever thought it was.
I spent three years as an elected Democratic Precinct Committeeman in
Illionis before moving to California. I was volunteer I.T. and web
support for the county party organization where I lived. I was directly
involved in that office and technical suport for the county party in
Obama’s home State during his second run for office. I have NEVER seen
volunteerism like what Bernie Sanders campaign is receiving from
un-solicited members of the general population. I have never seen a
candidate with the honesty and clear-cut Progressive record of one
Bernard Sanders in my lifetime.
As to the calls I was making, most of them where I was able to speak
to someone were very positive. This, in a heavily-Republican part of
California. I got a couple of Hillary supporters who were civil, and one
poll worker who was not happy with me, and a lot of voice mail
I left polite messages reminding folk that tomorrow is the California
primary, and asking them to come out and vote for Bernie tomorrow. One
gal had a full inbox, but her voicemail greeting said it was OK to text
her, so I did. I received a text back from her later that evening,
thanking me for volunteering for the campaign, and saying that she had
already voted for Bernie by mail. I also received a phone call back a
little later from another gal I had left a voice message for, with
essentially the same message.
In fact, almost every person I reached and actually spoke to in some form had already voted for Bernie by mail.
By the way – my wife and I did the same, and when we were pulling up to
the big blue mailbox at the post office, so was the gal in the car
ahead of us.
One can only hope that the rest of the ones I left messages for had done the same.
When I got home afterward, I found this hanging from my door handle:
Yeah. You can feel the bern in Cali, alright.