An update on our Florida effort
A message from one of our Florida Team Leads, Jordan Goldwarg(who is also our North Carolina team Captain). Amy Sommers, Maria Abando, Bert Greenwood and Dan Roach are also leads for this Florida effort.
It was another epic day for team Florida, with 844 doors knocked and 23 voters registered, of whom 17 were returning citizens.
Here are some of the stories from the team that stuck with me:
Marcia, who arrived early in the afternoon and immediately got to work in the field, was able to convince a reluctant man to register to vote when he thought about his kids and the example he was going to set for them. When he finally decided to register, he yelled back to his kids, "Your dad is going to vote!" When Marcia asked if there was anyone else in the house who would like to register, he motioned to his kids and said, "There will be."
AJ knocked on the door of a gentleman who was cooking and said that he wanted to register, but that he was in the middle of cooking and didn't want his food to burn, especially since he was getting ready to leave for work. But he asked her to leave a form with him and come back later in the day to pick it up, and sure enough, he had it ready when AJ returned.
And I want to offer special thanks to Diane and Joanne, who have done a great job of taking photos and getting stories from folks they are registering. Here are some from today:
"Sheila is affiliated with the Friendship Ministry Church. When we asked if we might have a space in the shade outside to talk to churchgoers after services, she said, 'You will come inside where we have air conditioning! Just tell us what you need for table and chairs and we will be ready.' She expounded on the importance of civic rights for all of their parishioners and welcomed us to return this Sunday for the June 30 deadline and future Sundays as needed."
"This is Troy, owner of two barber shops. He welcomed us, took fliers and sent us to his other barber shop. He cares deeply about this issue as he was arrested and went to trial but was acquitted. He wants to be part of the positive change in community."
"This is Mr. and Mrs. Hannah. Mrs Hannah opened the door wearing her fine white dress and pearls. When I commented on how lovely she looked, she told me she just came from a funeral. She then listened to my question about registration and said she was all set but not her husband, Herman. She invited me in. I learned Herman had never voted in his 70 years. He filled out the form while his wife picked up the phone to call her son and tell him to get over to her house as 'Miss Diane' is here signing up your father!' Her son didn't come but she and I chatted about all the benefits of voting. After Herman signed I reminded him this was because of his wife, her gift to him to let me come in. We laughed at the idea of an annual debate over political issues to cast a vote each year. When I asked if I might take a picture, Mrs Herman sweetly went over to where her husband sat and joined him. The seriousness of hard times preventing this basic right before was made light as Herman tried not to wince as she sat in his lap waiting for me to snap a picture."
"Here's a different kind of story. I met this man in front of an auto body shop and he told me he had never voted. He said he had not committed crimes to block him, but never cared, it never matters. We talked for a bit and he eventually said, 'I think I have it'. He pulled out his wallet and pulled out card and paper after paper until he found his voter registration card. We talked about the wage hike amendment and Andrew Gillum's loss by 130K votes. And on... he looked me in the eye and thanked me politely for my time and promised me he would vote. It was humbling..."
The stories go on and on. All part of the drama of building a more perfect union.
As for me, I am heading back to Seattle tomorrow, but I will pass the baton to Bert Greenwood before I do, so look for more updates from her! Thank you, Bert, for being here.
Before I sign off, here is one final photo, again courtesy of Diane, of the outside of one of Troy's barber shops:
All the best,