Activism

Published on July 27th, 2018 | by Guest Contributor

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Canvassing: Making One Person, One Vote A Reality

By Javier Espitia
Cleveland Deputy Regional Director, For Our Future Ohio

Javier Espitia, Cleveland Deputy Regional Director with For Our Future Ohio

No matter the election or issue, there is nothing that can replace the impact of knocking on a door and having a conversation with a voter. Having a genuine human connection with a voter at their doorstep has always had a place in any campaign and it always will.

Face to face conversations with voters help personalize esoteric issues and humanize candidates that might seem distant. Importantly, these conversations empower communities that are too often taken for granted or not taken into account at all.

“…Canvassing is one of the few ways to constantly engage working-class communities…”

In a world where the 1% have a disproportionate influence over what positions and policies candidates take, canvassing is the great equalizer.

Canvassing makes the idea of one person, one vote a reality; a parent wanting to protect the Medicaid expansion for their family carries the same weight to a canvass operation as a wealthy banker who wants to see the capital gains tax slashed at the expense of social programs.

That banker already has the ear of decision-makers and elected leaders, but that parent who wants basic security and a better future for their family doesn’t have the same kind of access and influence. However, to a field program, they are each counted as one voter.

There are many communities all over northeast Ohio that have, over generations, seen an exodus of good-paying jobs only to see them replaced by worsening systemic inequality.

It’s challenging to maintain your belief in the democratic process when your neighborhood schools are struggling for lack of funding, while nearly 600 million dollars in taxpayer money is being squandered on fraudulent online charter schools like the now-shuttered Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow (ECOT).

It’s difficult to believe in basic institutions when the stock market is hitting all-time highs, but you don’t even feel your kids are safe playing on the sidewalk in front of your house. Given the realities of struggling communities in northeast Ohio, it’s understandable why one might be tempted to completely tune out of the democratic process altogether.


Often, these communities are promised big sweeping changes by candidates right around election time and then abandoned immediately after.

Ultimately, only good things can result from people being more civically engaged and holding our leaders’ feet to the fire. Increasing levels of apathy and cynicism are cancerous to any democracy and canvassing is one of the few ways to constantly engage working-class communities to hold our leaders accountable — not just leading leading up to an election, but also, and especially so, when it comes down to the hard work of enacting meaningful and positive change after elections.

For more information on what For Our Future Ohio is doing across the state and how you can get involved, visit http://forohiosfuture.org/on-the-ground/.

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2 Responses to Canvassing: Making One Person, One Vote A Reality

  1. Pingback: Canvassing: The Hard Work That Can Bring The Blue Wave - Swing State Voices

  2. Pingback: New Tool To Help Bring In The Blue Wave: www.MyOhio.Vote

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