While canvassing in Dolton today I can honestly say I had life changing experiences. I knocked on my first door nervously and entered into a pleasant conversation with a woman leaning JB. I left the conversation to find myself smack in the middle of a domestic violence dispute. Maybe it’s because of the reason why I was on the sidewalk to begin with but the lens through which I reflect on the voice of screaming little girl “Stop hitting my momma” is different. Communities with brown people suffering from unemployment, homelessness, and overall lack of opportunity lead lives full of stress and void of hope. Life works better for people, when the government works well people. It’s not fix all but it is a must have. The conversation with a Marine’s father only a block over was one with a passionate voter who said “I like JB but I want to see him. After he’s elected I want to know how we’re doing over here matters to him, after he gets my vote.” He took pride over his street being safe not knowing I had just dialed 911 walking distance from his door step.
I prayed with Mr. White (a Black man) in Cal City who’s a member of Jeremiah Wright’s church. He was leaning heavily toward Tio Hardiman (the only Black candidate), and wanted to know why I wasn’t (seeing as I to am a Black man). I explained to him that I felt JB had proven to me his heart for service. How as a Navy man, basketball coach, and youth mentor I recognize a servants heart. We talked about job opportunities, early childhood education, and criminal justice reform. He said “I’m going to sign this Commit To Vote card. Not because I know JB but because I believe in you, and I want you to make sure he does right by us. Let him know we’d like to see him.”
Mr. Henry signed the Commit To Vote card as well. I left my number for him because he wanted to take some CTV’s to work tomorrow and get his coworkers to commit to voting for JB. I told him when he calls, I’d gladly come bring him more cards so he convince more of his friends. He convinced Mr. Little (who was painting his house) and his neighbor who next door (new to Chicago from Louisiana) to sign CTV’s as well. Saying “Like the young man said he’s our best hope of getting Rauner outta there finally getting us budget. That’s the least the state government can do.”
My first day knocking on doors will be something I remember for the rest of my life. Not just because I got blood on my shirt, but because people need us. People need those who are willing to take the time to organize, strategize, and implement solutions that secure a better future for our communities. It’s bigger than me, than Mr. Pritzker and Mrs. Stratton, and this election. I’m proud to be apart of this campaign, but more importantly I’m proud of what this campaign means to so many Illinoisans.