Almost everyone who answers their door is interested in having a conversation. In the course of those, many unexpected things happen. One that I particularly welcome is when children stand with parents while we’re talking. I try to involve them in the discussion if they’re not too shy. I remember how I felt when visitors included me in what was being discussed when I was a kid. It made me feel like I wasn’t an annoying creature, but someone whose thoughts had value. One fifth grader I chatted with along with his mom and grandmother kept raising his hand as if in class. Each time he did, I waited until there was a break in the conversation, encouraged him to speak and then did my best to answer him. He ran into the other room and when he returned, he handed me a hand written note that said ‘I vote Jhon Clark for State Repersentative. Signature Jacoby.” Another six year old was fascinated when I told her about being given a fancy melon while campaigning. When I told her about saving the seeds, she begged me to bring her some. The next time I campaigned near her home, I left some in a box on her doorstep as no one was home. It’s important to remember that every child will grow up. If we want them to become intelligent and active voters, it’s good to involve them early on.
Adults also have plenty of dilemmas that they’re not sure how to solve. This morning, I referred a local resident to a friend who is good at trapping and removing pests as his neighborhood is experiencing an influx of rats. I also showed him how to look up property transactions for Hartland online. I’m stopping bu another potential voter’s house this afternoon because I promised him information on the massage therapist I use as well as the two acupuncturists Beth trusts because he has chronic and excruciating leg pains.
These are just a few examples of how campaigning is more that just soliciting votes. It’s an exercise in compassion and problem solving.
In recent weeks, it has become very clear that one huge difference between republican and democratic candidates is in how they listen to voters and use the information to shape their plans once elected. Last evening at the Somerset County Democratic Meeting, those of us running shared insights and experiences from the field. It wasn’t a surprise that health care-affordability and availability, to be specific, come up at almost every door we hit.
All of us are hearing stories that shock, sadden and worry us. In my last ad in The Rolling Thunder, I shared four examples of people who have had to give up or postpone important treatments or screenings because of no health insurance or an extremely high deductible. For each of those examples, I believe there are at least ten more I haven’t heard yet. Is my opponent hearing any of these? Is he responding with anything other than the party line? His campaign literature leads me to think not.
I’m not promising that my being elected will change availability or affordability, but I do believe that a collective of new, compassionate legislators at state and national levels will bring about positive change. YOUR part in that is to help me, Sue Mackey Andrews and Jeff Johnson get elected on November sixth. Once you do your part, we can do ours.
Numerous voters have asked me what Question One is all about. The link below will take you to a pretty comprehensive series of questions and answers about it.
10/23/18 Government class at Nokomis High School 9:30
10/25/18 Candidate night at the Hartland/St. Albans Lions Club 6 P.M.
10/30/18 Meeting with JMG students at Nokomis High School from 12:30- 1:45
Daily, weather permitting-Going door to door in Canaan and Palmyra.
I am grateful and proud to have these fine organizations endorse my campaign.
I’ve knocked on about 85% of the doors. Better than 95% have been willing to have a conversation and sometimes you get a bonus like the wicked neat sticka and cantaloupe
we got when we stopped in to see Jill Breen
I’m currently doing doors in Saint Albans and stopping at every place unless there are opponent signs, no trespassing notices or the place is clearly vacant. One place I hit this afternoon had two vehicles with Massachusetts plates. Would you have skipped it? I saw someone working in the garage, so I grabbed a palm card and introduced myself. There was a couple who had just moved from western Massachusetts and were unloading their belongings. We ended up chatting for almost an hour and not just about politics. I was able to recommend a dentist, a chiropractor, a healthcare facility as well as where to buy fruit trees and berry bushes next spring. I also alerted them to good places for book sales and that it’s buck night at the Pittsfield theater on Monday. I suspect they might even vote for me come November.
I have been endorsed by the Maine State Employees Association and the Maine AFL/CIO. More coming soon.
The past few days have been brutal in terms of weather-humid, hot and occasionally drenching. Several times, I was ready to set off and knock on doors, but didn’t. Why? Because I put myself in the shoes of people behind those doors, asking myself, ‘If I’m hot, sweaty and feeling wrung out, would I want to talk politics?’ Many running for office might disagree with staying home, but the more I campaign, the more I realize that trusting my gut is absolutely necessary. The weather will improve.
Thus far, we’ve covered most of Cambridge and Ripley. I’m now working on Saint Albans, stopping at every house regardless of party affiliation or whether the people are registered. One gentleman I chatted with about his antique cars and his experience building them has never voted, but allowed as how he might this time around. Another is a dedicated firefighter, serving both St. Albans and Detroit as a volunteer. He’s worried about eroding financial support as well as the challenge of recruiting new volunteers. These are issues facing many rural towns and are the kind of problem a county-wide brainstorming session (something I’d like to see happen regularly, maybe as a potluck supper affair) might address.
Another gentleman is dealing with chronic Lyme disease, has no insurance and is very upset at the medical and insurance establishments’ reluctance/refusal to recognize that there is such a diagnosis. He told me about an eye-opening film, Under Our Skin (http://underourskin.com/) that offers a penetrating look at the issue. I have ordered a copy so I can show it later in the campaign.