Home

Phone Banking

March 28, 2020

phone banking

I thought maybe I’d get through the entire 2020 election season without doing any phone banking.. preferring face-to-face voter registration, canvassing, postcarding… and just about anything to the awkwardness of phone banking. Mostly, I so loathe getting phone calls from strangers that I just couldn’t stand the thought of being that person on the other end of the call annoying the hell out of somebody.

Truth is, phone banking has proven to be effective. Not as effective as face-to-face advocacy, but it meets its objectives a fairly significant percent of the time (as significant as this stuff gets, and we have to remember that elections are won by the smallest of margins, so these efforts are important — provenly so).

Still. I’ve avoided phone banking with the exception of election day get-out-the-vote phone banking, which is very fun. (We’ve done it at the crack of dawn with cappuccinos and scones as a huge group filling the rooms of the Wilkerson house a few times now.)

But since there is so little to do during days of self-distancing and shut-down businesses (including our newly opened volunteer center), At-Home-Political-Action is now a thing, and phone banking is at the top of the most effective things to do list.

A group of 15 of us gathered at 10:00 this morning for a training and then spent a couple of hours making calls to democrats in CA-10, Josh Harder’s district. This was extremely easy and satisfying because we were only checking in with folks to see how they were doing, inquiring as to their health and safety, and asking if Rep Harder could provide any assistance. Of my 22 calls:

-6 were bad numbers

10 accepted messages on their answering machines

-2 had full mail boxes

-4 were live people, all of whom were enormously grateful for the call

Josh Harder is a newly elected democrat, up again in 2020 in a very red district. His win last time was of the slimmest of margins. He is considered vulnerable and his win an essential part of retaining the house. I’ve been part of a voter reg group that’s gone down to Modesto and Manteca several times to register voters on college campuses and expect to canvass there, as well, when guidelines are lifted.

But for now…  it’s phone banking.