Building a Campaign From the Ground Up: One Volunteer's Perspective

Since this is my first time volunteering for a political campaign of any sort, I thought it would be good to document my experiences working with the Jim Neal for Senate folks.

Not knowing what they might need today, I went dressed business casual -- the idea is for me to help answer phones and do office manager stuff, but today was about getting things started, literally, from the ground up. There's no phone or internet in the office yet, and no chairs, either. Just donated desks, file cabinets, and the like, all of which were various levels of dusty and/or mildew-y.

Thankfully, the office isn't far from my house, so I was quickly able to dash home and change into more suitable cleaning clothes, plus bring in a folding chair and a folding stool so folks would have something to sit on.

Today's task: take all the furniture that had been donated and give it a solid cleaning. Actually, my very first job was to go to the local Food Lion and buy cleaning supplies, THEN go home and change so that I could deploy them. :)

I met another volunteer, fellow BlueNC-er chun yang, who's an older woman, a mother, really nice, was around for the whole Nixon thing and says the current administration totally gives her flashbacks to that time. She and I talked about ourselves, scrubbed tables, wiped down counters, and cleaned the sink in the break room, while Joe, the campaign's field coordinator, hassled the Verizon folks about when they'll be able to get phone service hooked up (allegedly sometime today).

Tomorrow's adventures may include a trip to UNC Surplus for bargain-priced office supplies.

So far, it's a lot like volunteering for a science fiction convention, with basic stuff that has to be done to get up and running, and little glamour (I didn't expect any). People who know me in person are no doubt laughing, because (a) I'm a pack-rat, and (b) cleaning isn't exactly my forte. ;)

Still, I'm excited, and I'm having fun. And I would encourage anyone who wants to get involved in the political process to step up and spend some time volunteering. You meet nifty people, and you come home feeling like you've made a difference.


Comments

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Please keep us posted on your experiences. I've volunteered on campaigns before, but have never had the time to actually be in the office and do what you're doing. This should be really interesting.

Oh - and thanks for supporting Jim Neal for Senate!

Be the change you wish to see in the world. --Gandhi

You're welcome :)

My paid job is only part-time hours at the moment, so figured as long as I don't have a full-time job, I can do this and feel like I'm making a difference. I'm happy to support Mr. Neal; I think he's the person to send Elizabeth Dole packing. :)

-Angry Grrl

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Get angry. Get involved.

What she said.

Thanks. Very cool.

No prob; I look forward to

No prob; I look forward to sharing these experiences with folks. Who knows? It may encourage others to do the same. :)

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Get angry. Get involved.

This is nice.

Where is the campaign office located?

One of the pitfalls of childhood is that one doesn't have to understand something to feel it. - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

It's in Durham, in an office

It's in Durham, in an office building near the Hwy. 54/55 intersection, aka "Greasy Corners" ;).

-AG

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Get angry. Get involved.

Very interesting.

Please continue with regular updates as time permits. The nuts and bolts of politics has become increasingly interesting to me.

Cheers.

Person County Democrats

I actively oppose gerrymandering. Do you?