Canvassing 101

Written by Gonzalo “Zalo” Crivelli, Video Coordinator, Team East

On June 30, Nicholas Jansen and I walked door to door through a suburban community where a proposed second Kinder Morgan Pipeline has been re-routed. After biking through the busy, hilly roads of Dracut in 89 degree Fahrenheit–a warm breeze cooling us down–we laid our bikes gently on freshly mowed lawns, retrieved our Pipeline Opposition Gathering fliers from my bicycle panniers, slipped on our Business Brown Climate Summer tee-shirts, stepped up the granite steps, and began ringing doorbells.

*Ding dong*
No response.
*Ding dong*
“Hi there! My name is Nicholas, do you know about the Pipeline meeting tomorrow?”
“I’m offly busy.”
*Hello!*
“My name is Zalo with a program called Climate Summer, have you heard of the pipeli-“
“I don’t want to talk about it.”
*Ding dong*
“Good morning! My name is Nicholas and I’m with a program called Climate Summer, have you heard about the pipeline meeting through your community’s Facebook page?
“No, but I’d like to know more about it.”
*Ding dong*
“Hello! I’m Zalo with Climate Summer, are you going to the pipeline meeting tomorrow at 6:30?”
“Yes! My husband and I are definitely going!”

Suffice to say, responses were as varied as they were interesting. Some of the residents
responded to our canvassing with curiosity, some with haste, some with enthusiastic approval of pipeline opposition, some with “let’s just say I’m not opposed to the pipeline”, and others with–I paraphrase– “don’t step on my lawn.”

Zalo blog

Team East posing with the most hospitable Julie and Bob! Best Potatoes ever!

By 5:00 PM, before Nicholas and I headed to Julie and Bob’s–a friendly, hospitable Dracut couple–for a home cooked dinner by the lake, we had talked to about 50 homeowners, 2 kids, 3 pet dogs, and handed out almost all of the fliers we printed that morning (just under 60).

Lesson: just give the pitch, raise awareness, and hope for the best.

 

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About njansen16

My name is Nicholas Jansen and I'm entering my fourth and last year at the University of Michigan. My major is Program in the Environment (PitE) with a specialization in water.
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