Door-knocking: a narrative

In 2016, I waded into the deep end to go into communities to advocate for candidates I believed to be the best representation of my values. I knocked on doors in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Nevada, and DC. I called voters in Iowa, New York, Indiana, Maryland, California, DC, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, and more.

No other experience was as pivotal or life changing for me as was going to people's homes to knock on their door and talk about the issues and the candidates I believed in.


 

/By Beth Landry/ All across the country, all across our state, and locally to me, there are pivotal elections taking place this November. Candidates are running for offices to be representatives of the people, to uphold working class values, and to enact or defend policies that maintain and sustain quality of life for current people as well as future generations.

Running for office, although I've never done so, is a unique, demanding, and crucial element of our democracy. I know several who have done or are currently doing so. It is an experience like no other.

Politicos and the general population both have their take and their various methods of involvement in elections.

In 2016, I waded into the deep end to go into communities to advocate for candidates I believed to be the best representation of my values. I knocked on doors in Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Nevada, and DC. I called voters in Iowa, New York, Indiana, Maryland, California, DC, Florida, Nevada, Ohio, North Carolina, and more.

No other experience was as pivotal or life changing for me as was going to people's homes to knock on their door and talk about the issues and the candidates I believed in.

I was an anxious wreck. Where do I walk? I didn't hear their doorbell? No cars are here...do I knock anyway? Someone is on the yard cutting the grass...do I speak to them? Will they speak English? What about this "No Solicitation" sign?

I paired up with others. I brought good walking shoes and something to drink. I came prepared, or as much as you can be.

People opened up doors. Some had long and really dynamic connections with me. Some shouted and told me to leave.

For the hours upon hours I've made phone calls, 95% of those conversations paled in comparison to talking to voters at their door. People barbecuing outside and telling me their grill recipe, putting on their shoes to leave to take kids to a math competition, a family member answering, or no answer.

In my conversations, people spoke to the dozens of ways they are oppressed, but that's not usually the language they used. They knew and had internalized a cornucopia of problems relevant to themselves and their families.

They were relieved to see a human show up on their step who was invested in their future, and to hear a candidate for office felt the same.

Knocking on doors has literally changed my life for the better. I am a more connected, reflective, humble, and hopeful human being for having done so.

It may seem anxiety inducing, stressful, and uncharted territory. It may seem like a waste of time. It may seem like your schedule can't work it in.

I've had my hand to someone's door, hesitating before I knocked, scared of the outcome. Looking back on those times, my hesitation was my own manufactured oppression that my own morals and values aren't shared widely by most people. They were then, and they are now.

To reiterate:

All across the country, all across our state, and locally, there are pivotal elections taking place this November. Candidates are running for offices to be representatives of the people, to uphold working class values, and to enact or defend policies that maintain and sustain quality of life for current people as well as future generations.

Sign up to canvass at the doors this fall. I am positive you will be happy and empowered that you did.


Beth Landry, BSN, RN (She/They).