I enjoy reading Blue Mass Group, and I am so grateful that Democrats in this state have this amazing resource at our disposal. The ability to write freely and exchange ideas in such an unfiltered arena makes for great conversation and learning opportunities. I have wanted to dive in an join this community, and now I am doing just that.
So, my first blog post on BMG – my Dem Doors Diary from the Oct. 8 canvass in Natick.
A beautiful Saturday morning before the rain got here, and no one was home – not a huge surprise, but it definitely made the canvassing this morning a little bit slow.
It was our weekly Saturday canvass in Natick, and today I was partnered up with long-time activist Anne Manning. Our route was an interesting one: seventy doors, but spread out in a way that made walking the map in any logical way something of an impossibility. No bother, though – this was Dem Doors at its finest: an undecided neighborhood, two passionate Democrats, and nothing but time as we each had several hours to get through the lists.
Even still, there were times when my energy began to dip. Let’s face it: this has been a tough campaign, characterized now by deceitful and incessant negativity from the other side, and people are tired of seeing commercials and getting phone calls around the clock. I kept thinking back to a Tweet I had posted a couple weeks ago: “Exhausted and did not want to canvass, but then thought about how hard Elizabeth Warren will fight for us. Time to hit some DemDoors!” That thought reverberated in my mind throughout the day.
And then we hit the row of Scott Brown lawn signs – a series of those red and blue bags with “He’s For Us” greeting us every few steps. We walked up to #73, knocked on the door, and found out that the house we were looking for was at the back – #73A. We walked down the road and past the garage to #73, where we were greeted by a older gentleman.
“We’re sorry! Just looking for another house – your wife told us it was out back,” Anne said. It was at this moment I noticed how beautiful his garden was, but my wandering thoughts snapped back into focus with his response.
“Well let me tell you something – “ he began. O boy, I thought, this should be good. “I’ve already convinced him, my neighbor.”
“To vote…for whom?”
“Who do you think? Elizabeth, of course! And we love David Linsky, as well. Listen, I told him, you’ve got to vote with your pocketbook. My neighbor, he’s a Ph.D., and I told him – Scott is going to cut the funding to his program; he could help form a majority in the Senate, and then that majority would be singularly focused on doing things that are terrible for Massachusetts.”
“I agree, and I…” I tried to cut in. But he was not done yet.
“Listen, I’m a Pipefitter. Been a union guy my whole life. We’ve had Elizabeth come and speak at our meetings. We have phone banks for her. We’ve organized canvasses for her. We’re fighting for her because she actually has our backs – Scott’s in this for himself and for the right-wing Republicans. That’s not us.”
Anne and I could not have been happier. What incredible passion! And of course, he had done what Democrats do – engaged his friend and neighbor in a meaningful conversation about the issues that matter to him. He had empowered him with the truth about the choice we face, and he used his own perception and his own understanding of that choice to convince his neighbor to vote for Elizabeth Warren. That, I thought, is a Dem Door home run.
Before we left, I had to ask – “Your garden, it is absolutely amazing. How did you do it?” It was astoundingly beautiful. The colors, the smells, and the neatness of it all: I felt like I was in the illustration of a Lewis Carroll novel.
“Take a walk around – go around the back and it spits you out right by my neighbor’s driveway, if you still want to go and speak with him.”
Of course we took him up on this offer, and as we started his walk his wife came out of the house to greet us. “We love gardening,” she said. “A few hours a week and it gives us time to relax together.” The two small fountains at the back with the cast-iron patio furniture; the flowers and small trees; the perfectly manicured grass – this home had it all, including two passionate, articulate, and energized Warren supports who are doing their part to keep Natick blue. If I were to tweet this, it would be simple: “Beautiful garden, amazing people, Warren supporters. This is #DemDoors.”