Phone Banking

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.

2 comments:

Brandi said...

I'm glad to hear you enjoy the phone banking. It's something I've done for campaigns (not Prop 8; I'm not in CA), and I still hate it. Under duress, I'll do it for a cause, but I just dread it. My partner, on the other hand, actually *likes* it!

If you're really into it, you can phone bank through the Obama website from your home. The automated system dials for you, and you just sit on the couch and try to convince some undecided (!?!) voters.

kat said...

Well, I'm one of those folks who is terrified of even the most mundane of phone calls. Unless it's a family member or a really good friend, I just dread making phone calls.
That said, I think phone banking was a good experience because 1) I was working for a cause that I really believe in, and 2) it was helping me get over my fear of phones!

 
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