Friday, October 17, 2008
Last night I headed up to the Presbyterian church up the road, which was hosting the Equality for All Campaign's "No on 8" phone bank.
I was nervous, because I'm generally pretty phone-phobic, most especially when I have to call people I don't know. Since a couple of us were new, there was a training session, with objectives (get people to vote no! get them to give money!), some time to practice the script, and then bang! Here's a 3 page list of phone numbers in the 916 area code. Get to it!
It was indeed pretty terrifying. Then it got better, because I realized that only about 1 in 10 calls would yield a conversation, and most of those conversations were "Oh, So-and-So doesn't live here anymore."
By the end of the night, I had spoken with about 5 people who promised to vote no, two who declined to state, and two who said "Actually, I support that initiative."
Pretty good stats, I'd say. We were told not to engage in debates or arguments with likely "yes" voters. We were just to wish them a good night and get off the phone as quickly as possible. You could tell that this was super hard for one guy in the room. I think he was having to physically restrain himself from berating any "yes" voters that he encountered.
When it was "friends and family" time, I got my mom and my bestest friend to donate some money, too, which was great.
In all, it was a really positive experience. I really felt like I participated in a cause that I believe in, and I hope that all of our efforts will successfully block the bill (please, please, please!!!!)
If you're an Oakland/Berkeley person, come phone bank with me next week! Thursdays from 6:30-9:30, St. John's Presbyterian Church, 2727 College Ave, Berkeley. There might be pizza.