Join JCUA for its next GOTV canvass on Sunday, Oct 28, 1-5 pm, Wa-Pa-Ghetti’s Pizza on 208 McHenry Rd. To RSVP, contact Ali, Director of Organizing, at 312-663-0960,ext.125 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
During our debriefing after the Or Tzedek Summer 2012 Reunion, more than a couple of Or Tzedekers expressed discomfort with the act of canvassing. Some teens felt as though going up to people’s homes and asking for something from them felt like a violation of their personal space. Others were sympathetic to residents who would promptly hide from us upon seeing us through their windows.
It takes a lot of courage to knock on people’s doors and try to engage them in something they are not necessarily interested in from the outset. I still get nervous before every single canvas, and as I approach my first door, my words become as clumsy as my feet and trip all over themselves. However, there is an incredibly important distinction between solicitation and civic engagement canvassing (one that is legally recognized! Even if a community has passed anti-solicitation laws, door-to-door voter registration is still legal).
When you are registering people to vote, you are not doing it for your own monetary gain. Quite the contrary, you are facilitating their right, responsibility, obligation, and incredible freedom to have a voice and be represented in our government.
On both the state and federal levels, elected representatives will make decisions that will have huge consequences for our lives. If a community does not demonstrate their power through voting in the elections, then they will not show whoever is elected that their interests need to be taken into consideration.
Yes, voter registration work can sometimes be exhausting and uncomfortable. But it can also often be exhilarating and fun! No matter what your take is on the physical work itself, voter registration work is always, no matter what, absolutely critical to building a socially just society.
To do our part to register voters in Illinois’ communities, JCUA and Or Tzedek participated in a canvassing event on September 30, 2012 in Highwood, IL. On that beautiful Sunday, our canvassing team consisted of volunteers from the Lakeside Congregation and Hafaka, Harper College, Or Tzedek’s summer sessions, the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Refugee Rights, and JCUA Lay Leaders.
The event was an exciting opportunity for us to engage with members of the Highwood community, around current issues facing immigrant populations in Illinois today. We can’t wait for our next Get Out The Vote (GOTV) canvassing event on October 28 to turn people out for early voting.