Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 4
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 1|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 2|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 3|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 4|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 5|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 6|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 7|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 8|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 9|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 10|
|Vermont Campaign Journal - Day 11|
Day 4 - Its the one after Day 3
I was the last one to sleep last night, and the first one up this morning. Lovely. I got up, checked my mail, got some breakfast, and then walked out the door at 8:30 am. Just as everyone else was waking up. Hardy did a great job preparing directions and materials and such for all of us. We split up again today. Dave, Alexis, & Rio went to Johnson State College today, and Ken & I went to Lyndon State College.
First stop though was at Jay's house. Hardy printed up some invitations for the fundraiser that Jay and his mom were throwing for next Saturday. I dropped them off at Jay's house in Burlington. He is going to give them out to his neighbors, and a bunch of other folks. He has already gotten the Secretary of State to come to the NYRA fundraiser, and I bet he is going to get a bunch more now. It should be great stuff.
Then I was off to pick up Ken in Waterbury. I was right on time, cause I'm awesome like that. And Hardy had awesome directions like that. I picked up Ken and then we went out to Twinfield High School. Some students contacted us (and posted on my blog here, yippie!) about speaking to their group today. The school was east of Montpelier, we got there at 10:30, right on time again. The students wanted to interview us for their project on the drinking age. I wasn't totally clear on the details of what they were working on, but Hardy made us some info sheets with the research we've done on highway deaths and alcohol use since the drinking age was raised. He's all cool and organized like that. Its so great not having to think or worry about planning stuff. I just show up where I'm told to and get to work.
Mallorie was the student who invited us to come to speak to her group. She seemed cool, and reminded me of Scarlett Swerdlow. They were all a lot younger than I expected. I figured high school, but they all seemed to be in middle school. All the better though. If people get involved in NYRA in middle school, then they've got lots of years to be involved until they "age out". It'd be great if Mallorie and the others really get involved in NYRA.
We crowded into some room, and Mallorie asked me some prepared questions about the drinking age, and another student worked the tape recorder. Half way through the interview, the fire alarm rang. Hehe, we all went outside for the drill. I brought some of the flyers and lobby cards, in hopes of getting the students outside. Ken and I were just hanging out there, and the advisor guy came over to talk to us about the project. Its called Project Citizen:
Project Citizen is a curricular program (ppt 3.7 KB) for middle grade students that promotes competent and responsible participation in all levels of government. The program gives young people the skills to work in and influence public policy. In the process, they develop support for democratic values and principles, tolerance, and feelings of political empowerment.
Mallorie and her classmates considered a list of 140 different issues, and finally narrowed it down to one: lowering the drinking age. Very cool. Lowering the voting age was one of their top picks too. The whole project is about proposing some public policy issue and trying to get the legislature to work on it. They research the issue, draft a bill, etc. And unlike wimpy model congresses and crap, this is real. The students really push for actual legislation and get involved in the real political process. Sounds great to me. Several bills that were proposed and sponsored by students in the program actually ended up becoming law. Awesome.
So this group is taking on the issue of lowering the drinking age. Great. After the drill was over (we weren't allowed to recruit there, heh, no surprize) we went back inside and finished the interview. They were all definitely interested in NYRA and getting involved, especially since we were working on the same issue. They will show up to the debate we have scheduled for Tuesday in Montpelier. I gave them some more cards and flyers and information sheets on the subject. They are going to organize the other students.
We got a picture or two of us all, but then my camera went dead (damn it), I just bought new batteries too. Crappy Energizers. They bought some buttons, and then Ken and I left. We continued down Route 2 to St. Johnsbury. I was hungry though, and asked Ken if there was any fast food in the area. All he thought of was a Burger King in New Hampshire. He said it wasn't far away, so we decided to go for it.
It wasn't quite as close as I thought, but we got to see some more beautiful Vermont countryside on the way. Plus I now get to add another new state to my list of states I've visited (yay NH!). We got some grub and I added some oil to the car. It was really low. Then it was back to St. Johnsbury, and then up to Lyndon State College.
We got there around 1 pm. We didn't have a table, so we just fanned out and starting going up to people. I wasn't successful right away, a lot of people said no. Of course its always tough starting like that, people are very influenced by others around them. So if they see someone else say no, they are far more likely to say no themselves. If everyone else is signing up, then they are far more likely to sign up too. Human psychology, go figure.
Finally, people started signing up. I spent most of the day in the same general area around the snack area/student center. I did well, but it wasn't a constant stream of people. I had to run some down and wait around until someone passed by. It was fun how when I recruit in an area for a few hours, how I end up getting to know (superficially of course) a few people as I keep coming in contact with them. One guy, around 28, and former member of the military, was a big supporter and kept bringing me his friends and convincing them to sign. A girl totally didn't support me, and she would groan everytime one of her friends, or someone else would sign one of my cards. She'd be like "oh man... not you too! Don't, wait.. no, ahhh, crap." hehe. It was half-tongue in cheek, but she didn't support it at all. Her boyfriend signed though. :)
This Swiss girl that Ken talked to was a gung-ho supporter. He gave her some extra fliers and cards, and she was going around passing them out. At the end of the day, we left extra cards with both the military guy and the Swiss girl, and gave them Hardy's business card so they can send them in once they collect more signatures.
We were supposed to meet up with a local NYRA-VT member around 3 in St. Johnsbury, so we left Lyndon State College for a bit. Problem was, we never fully arranged a place to meet. He just said main street. I had Hardy call him and give my cell phone number, but my cell phone just died. We walked around downtown a bit, signed up a few people on the street. Then I stopped in this frame shop, and the owner there was quite supportive of lowering the drinking age. I told him we were having a silent auction for a fundraiser, and he didn't need much explination at all. He just handed me a rolled up print. I forget what it was of, its out in the car. I really need to clear my car, its a mess. No one seems to respect the car much, and spill all kinds of food and such on the floor and seats, and let things fall on the floor (which is all wet) without noticing or picking it up. Sigh, anyways...
We didn't stick around too much longer. We walked past a few more local businesses, but none of them were really the types that would have anything to contribute. We never did meet up with the local member there, but I do hope he stays active.
We went back to Lyndon State. We were advised by a few students that the best time/place to go to recruit was dinner time, cause everyone would be going to the cafeteria. So at 4:30 we headed over to the cafeteria. Ken was outside getting people as they came in, and I was in the cafeteria itself getting people when they were sitting down eating. I got quite a lot right there, because everyone was sitting down they had no where to go.
Ken had to get back though, so around 5:20 we got in the car and left. He counted up the cards, and we got around 130 for the day. Not too bad. I dropped Ken off in Burlington. His mom was going out to diner with an old friend at Friendlies, so I dropped Ken there. Ken apparently lives pretty far out there, near Waterbury, down a really messed up dirt road. That's why we don't pick him up or drop him off, and we have to arrange rides for him. After I dropped him off I popped in my sappy cd. I do miss Cathy. Especially when on the long, quiet drives between stops.
I got back to Hardy's around 7:30. Dave, Alexis and Rio were already back. They were all at work on the cards they had collected that day. Alexis and Rio were sorting them out by zip code, and Dave was entering them into the database. They had collected 109 for the day. So we totaled 240. Not bad. 90 on Tuesday, 350 on Wednesday, and 240 on Thursday.
Since Bonnie was on my computer (or hers no doubt) I hung out with Alexis and Rio a bit, and then played some video games with Rio - Eternal Champions on Sega. Bonnie & Hardy made us some dinner - beans, rice, and corn bread. Mmm, corn bread. Nothing wrong with that. We talked a while, and then I got online. Talked to a bunch of people, checked my e-mail, briefly checked the forums and started writing this account.
After talking to her online a bit, I called Cathy. We hadn't talked on the phone since I got here. She was having a down day, so talking to me cheered her up a bit. :) Everyone else teased me though. hehe. Alexis and Rio showed Dave the Numa Numa Dance. Now that even Dave has seen it, I can officially declare that every person in the world has now seen the Numa Numa dance.
Everyone went to bed, and while I wasn't yet done with this, I went to bed too. I finished it up in the morning, which is right now.