We’re walking, we’re walking…

One of the best ways to get your name and face known during a campaign is walking the district. And while those of us in District 8 are running unopposed for the RTM, the top of the ticket has a tough fight on their hands. As a result, we decided to walk part of the district with the candidates yesterday.

The problem with planning a walking campaign during the fall is that you’re a victim to the weather. Rain washed out the last two weekends for other districts and all of New England got soaked for seven or eight straight days so we approached yesterday with some trepidation. Fortunately, as we converged at our district leader’s home around 11, the skies brightened, we were reintroduced to Sol and the temperatures rose dramatically.

Four of the five RTM candidates were ready to join forces with the others. Taking advantage of the weather were our First Selectman, Ken Flatto, his running mate Denise Dougiello, our candidate for Town Clerk, Charlotte Leslie, and Rich Jacobs, who is running for a seat on the Town Planning & Zoning Board. Pat, our leader, suggested we work a number of the streets in and around Holland Hill School, where the district will vote on November 8.

Once parked, we divided up into teams and hit the street. We were armed with print outs of each street, on each print out was the voter’s name, age, affiliation and if they voted in any election since 2001. We carried with us flyers for the district, the top of the ticket and Rich’s own flyer. I wound up paired with Denise who I know and like, but don’t know all that well.

Turns out, we work well together. We’re quick, efficient and chatty. I suspect we covered more ground than the other teams, certainly got more to allow us to plant lawn signs in front of their homes. I was impressed how Denise remembered being on some of these streets either for the 2001 or 2003 campaign.

(A word about lawn signs. Marty Pasko and family came to dinner last weekend and as they drove through town to check it out, they were impressed by the sheer volume of signs for both parties dotting the residential and commercial streets. Apparently there is not the same level of activism in their New Jersey town. Was nice to hear.)

We also left a lot of flyers at empty homes. Most we spoke with, shook our hands, accepted our flyers and had nothing to discuss. A few had issues and we listened as I took notes on the printouts (which have to be returned to HQ for analysis or action – things like sending out absentee ballots or giving the infirm a ride to the polls). The issues that came up were the expected ones, and we largely had support. Only one home was vehemently against Ken and there was a personal component to it.

We walked until 2 and everyone felt we had accomplished a good day’s work. I expected to be out longer but it was a good day’s work. Will any of this make a difference, I have no idea, but since it is a time honored tradition, I presume this continues to be an effective method of getting the word out.

2 comments

  • Trust me, campaigning makes a difference.

    One of the things that I like about our state rep, Frank Smizik, is that he’s committed to being part of the community. I remember how impressed a local friend of mine was when he got a phone call from Frank himself. As he put it, he didn’t get a call from the campaign, but from the candidate himself. That helped tip his vote.

    In your case, in an uncontested election (as you said you have) campaigning still helps. If you ever find yourself in a race, people will remember how you cared enough to run a campaign even when you were a shoo-in. And they’ll respect that.

  • David Bishop

    Love the ‘Dave’ reference in the title.

    ‘He’s White House Chief of Staff Bob Alexander. What an honour for you. Really. We’re walking, we’re walking…”