Sparking Democracy

October 8, 2016

A van load of us went to Sparks today to register voters for the November 8th election.  We checked into democratic headquarters in time for the 9:30am briefing:


They went over the voter registration form with us in excruciating detail; mistakes can have legal consequences.

When they talk about the ground game, this is it. The office was hopping with lots of staffers. People were on phones, people were signing volunteers in, people were training other people. There were political posters on the wall, lawn signs available to handout, tables full of buttons, bumper stickers, and all manner of political paraphernalia. There were also lots of balloons, streamers and a huge table of food–some store bought, some homemade.

Some shots:




It was fun looking around.

We each left with a clipboard and a map of our designated walking area.

We dropped off these guys first in their assigned neighborhood.. Nora, Chris, not sure (she drove separately) and Kathy, who was celebrating her 75th birthday today!


Then we dropped off Pamela and Shari in theirs. They got right to work!


Then Kelly, Ann and I headed for our neighborhood:


We all worked for a few hours, then swooped everybody back up, headed to a nearby supermarket for a quick lunch, then got called back into headquarters because they wanted us to be on hand to meet…

Ken Salazar, a former senator from Colorado, Obama’s Secretary of the Interior until 2013, and now Clinton’s transition chief:


…and Catherine Cortez Masto, a candidate for senate to replace outgoing senate minority leader Harry Reid:


Well, it was just really cool. They talked, they thanked, they posed:


That’s Kelly to my left, the organizer of our group. There are other women here from Oregon and other parts of California. Lot of out of staters come in to supplement local staff and volunteers… a group effort!

Because of the Salazar and Masto visits, the place was also crawling with media. That heightened the excitement. Felt lucky to be there that day!

This was also the day after the 2005 video came out of Trump bragging about sexually abusing woman whenever he wanted.. which in turn lead to dozens of republican party leaders pulling their support of the nominee. This made for lots of animated conversations at the homes I visited! It also narrowed the lead that the republican candidate for senator had, thus Masto’s visit.

After hanging at headquarters for about an hour, we returned to the streets. I figured I, alone, knocked on approximately 100 doors in my 5-6 hours of walking. I talked to a lot of people, both Hillary and Trump supporters. My experience was positive with everyone I met, or at worst indifferent. Our entire group only faced a few people who were hostile in some way. All told, our Davis group of eight registered, we think, 17 on the day… average two per (Ann actually registered seven, a couple of us got two each, and the others got one or none… it’s hard work!).

Afterward, we headed into Reno. Some shots:

A lot is glitzy, flashy casino stuff… and a lot is old-timey:


This is the downtown bus depot:


After scoping out a few Basque restaurants, we settled on a great non-Basque place, The Depot (near, but not part of the bus or train depots):


Great beer, food and service. Recommend it.

Headed back to California, home by 10. Great and very interesting day. I thought it was worthwhile and will do it again.