Canvassing is defined by dictionary.com as "to solicit votes, subscriptions, opinions, or the like." During the primary, I visited about 1,800 doors in about four weeks. Pounding the pavement. Walking the ward. I've learned a lot about the concerns of our ward and I want to share some of those experiences with you.
The process of canvassing has been an exciting experience. You ring each doorbell not knowing what to expect. Will someone answer the door? Will they be relieved when the realize I'm not there to sell anything? What will be their top concerns? It's all part of the process of connecting with people.
I really prefer the second definition of canvassing - "discussing thoroughly". This is what I hope to do on each doorstep. It's probably no surprise that I'm often more prepared to talk than the voters whose door on which I'm knocking. After all, I have done this a few (hundred) times. What has surprised me is just how quickly people will start to talk about their hopes and concerns. The conversations have been both thought provoking and energizing.
The most exciting part of canvassing is when people connect with my message and we find out that we have common goals. The most common topics I find myself discussing are DMC, growth, busses, spending, internet, zoning and affordability. There have also been specific questions about zip rail, boulevard trees, bike lanes, sidewalks and much, much more. There is a lot going on in Rochester and no shortage of topics to discuss. I've been really motivated by all the people agreeing that we need responsive leadership and responsible growth at the forefront of our policy.
I'm planning on doing a lot more canvassing as we move toward general election. We will continue to announce where we will be knocking on our twitter and facebook pages. I realize that sometimes its not possible to answer the door, but I don't want you to miss out on the conversation. I am going to be working on filling this blogs with experiences from the campaign trail as well as using it to explore issues important to our area.
I look forward to meeting and discussing these issues with you.