Thursday, August 12, 2010

Construction-paper fish

The walking's going well. So is the fundraising.

I've exceeded the goals that have been given to me each night quite considerably.

Last night I even earned a fish. That means I get to put my name on a construction-paper fish and hang it in the Clean Water Action office. It's fun to collect fish. Actually, I might have earned one on Tuesday night, too. I'm not up-to-date on the construction-paper-fish guidelines at the moment.

A few things have changed at Clean Water Action since the last time I canvassed for the organization in 2007 but not really too much has changed. It takes a bit to get back into the swing.

But last night I was back in flip flops (cushy flip flops, not those thin ones from Old Navy that I used to canvas in a few years ago) and I walked my whole shift in the heat. I raised $358 last night. That's a very good start for my first week canvassing in a few years.

I enjoyed it too -- even though I needed Ibuprofen and water to sustain myself during the neighborhood treks.

Tuesday night I enjoyed listening to the music of an ice-cream truck winding its way through an neighborhood in Brownstown. An Indian man was driving. The tune was a variation of that old Shaker melody "Tis a Gift to be Simple."

Last night I enjoyed chatting in a Rochester neighborhood with several people from foreign countries who were willing to donate money to protect the Great Lakes Water Basin even though they hadn't lived in the United States very long and they were not registered voters.

It really warms my heart -- the affection people express for our Great Lakes Water Basin when I stand on their front porches -- or inside their foyers, enjoying a few minutes of air conditioning.

Everyone is not affectionate, of course. There are certain people who don't like anyone on their front porch. And typically each night you meet a few people that assume you have a political position that they find offensive so they try to give you a hard time and throw you off your mark. They hassle you about permits and explain that they don't think you are allowed in the neighborhood.

To those people I say "call the city in the morning. They'll explain it to you. And have a good evening."

We always get permits, of course. But really, it's a constitutional right to canvas. And most people really enjoy talking to people from Clean Water Action -- even if they don't care to donate money.

Most people are receptive to democracy. It's heartwarming.


  1. Wow! You do live in a very different part of the country from Philadelphia. Music from an ice cream truck with a pleasant tune rather than a distinctive bing-bong. Porches. People happy to talk to door-to-door canvasers. Thank you for a glimpse into another, perhaps simpler, part of the planet.

  2. Wearing "flip-flops" makes too much noise when it hits against the bottom of my heels.