I have some anxiety issues, so even though I'm a passionately anti-Walker Wisconsinite, I haven't done very much to help the cause (other than showing up at many Madison rallies).
The thought of knocking on someone's door and asking them to sign a recall petition literally makes my hands sweat, and I can't stop my tongue from pressing hard against my lower teeth.
I've donated as much money as I can, and I've called all the people I know to remind them to vote for Kloppenburg today. (My own daughter, a senior at UW-Madison, did not even know there were elections today. She protested with me several times at the capitol, too! Glad I called.)
Until today, though, I've basically been on my butt.
But I nervously stepped into the arena this morning.
I volunteered to stand outside a polling location in Shorewood and gather signatures for the recall of Republican Senator Alberta Darling. When I got there at 6:45 AM, I didn't seen any other volunteers (there were supposed to be two others there), so I turned around and did a walk around the block.
When I got back, Jim, another volunteer, was standing outside the exit from the polling place, so I put the "Recall Alberta Darling - Sign Here" sign around my neck and went to work for the next three hours. We were eventually joined by a 3rd volunteer, and we gathered about 25 signatures - a pretty good rate for recall work.
Shorewood is a pretty progressive suburb. It includes the UW-Milwaukee campus and has a prominent Jewish constituency.
The majority of the voters leaving the polls said, "We've already signed," followed by "Wish I could sign again." We had several firm, but polite, "No thanks." A few "No way" and "Absolutely not." Only one gentleman wanted to argue with us, but it was mostly about his unhappiness about us being so close to the polls. But we are on safe ground there - we checked in with the polling people, and they added our names to an "incident" report. But there have not been any incidents.
Also, we were on school property and the principal, at first, told us that we couldn't stay on the grounds, but after checking, he said we could stay, but we should avoid disrupting students. No problem with that.
So, I did it! I'm sitting in a coffeeshop now, but I go back for another shift soon. I'm still a bundle of nerves, but I'm proud to have finally participated.