Call for Change

I did something I’ve never done before earlier this evening; I volunteered to spend two hours in a large, almost-empty room above a funeral home in Brooklyn, with about a dozen other people, cold-calling people in upstate New York and Arizona as part MoveOn.org’s Call for Change Campaign.

Call for Change is basically a “get out the vote” campaign (incidentally, am I the only person who finds this expression semantically cumbersome and bizarre?) for the forthcoming Congressional elections on 7 November. Apparently there are 30 close races, and it would only take 15 of those 30 to go to the Democrats for them to gain control of Congress. The aim of Call for Change is to make 5 million phone calls to probable “progressive” voters who might not otherwise go out to vote.

However, I wasn’t calling voters; my job was to call other MoveOn.org members, and persuade them to call voters. All they need to do to take part in the Call for Change Campaign is commit to spending one hour over the next 7 days calling voters to remind them to vote.

MoveOn.org members that were really keen could commit to becoming “phone volunteers,” by calling for at least an hour every week up until the elections, and then as much as possible on the day before the election and election day itself.

I have to admit, cold-calling wasn’t a whole lot of fun, even though I wasn’t selling anything; I made about 60 calls, most of which were either unanswered or went to voicemail. I also had some difficulty making some people understand me because of my accent, and there were a few people who just hung up on me.

But I did manage to get three people (apparently this is above average) to sign up (enthusiastically) to be phone volunteers, so hopefully they will follow through and it will have been worth it.

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