Quinn and I just got home from a fun-filled day of not being on the Winnie, not canvassing and not driving all over Palm Beach and Broward County.
Yes, this was a Winnie-less Weekend!!
Different focus for the campaign this weekend...it was all about phone-banking.
Phone banking for volunteers. Phone banking for fundraisers. Phone banking for opinons. Phone banking for planning.
Joined the crew noonish on Saturday and we worked until 5-ish (doing the aforementioned phone-banking, of course). Then it was time for fun!
My roomie Quinn (who I hadn't seen since late last Monday night because he's basically been spending most of his waking hours and then some at work) and his buddy Courtney, Jacob and I headed over to the Tiki Hut for some liquid R&R then it was off to show Quinn what the beach looked like while the sun was still in the sky.
Did the A1A drive up to Beach Place, started at Hooters (they DO have the most awesome chili-cheese dogs!) then wound up at Howl at the Moon. HATM was fun...not as much fun as Hugh Jorgan's of course...no one sings better or has more stage presence than Jeramie....but Quinn and Courtney seemed to enjoy the music as well as the atmosphere.
Sunday was a late start for everyone.
Got in around 3...guess what???...time for more phone-banking!! Woohoo!! You wouldn't BELIEVE how many people seem to be getting in the shower just as the phone is ringing...or so we were told...
And that's basically how our day went.
This weekend was all about reality. How you need to work the phones, as well as take out the trash every night, clean the bathroom, vacuum the office and organize what needs to be done once Monday morning and a new week roll around.
One of my favorite sayings is 'God is in the details'...or something close to that. This weekend was all about details of the tiniest degree. It was about the routine. The mundane. The oh-so-very unglamorous but totally necessary things you need to do to get your candidate into office.
This weekend I got to see behind the scenes and then some....and I'm glad I did. It makes me feel more connected than ever to this absolutely awesome group and the goal we're all working our hearts out for.
Got the following request from Chris Stow-Serge at Stork HQ :
Florida- Don’t let 2000 happen again! Jim Stork is a progressive Congressional candidate in one of the most competitive races in the country. He’s running against conservative Clay Shaw in Florida's 22nd District, a Democratic leaning seat that Gore won in 2000 by 5% and John Kerry is currently leading with double digits. Shaw votes with Bush 92% of the time. Stork, the former mayor of Wilton Manors and a highly successful small business owner, is running an aggressive and intelligent campaign in the center of Presidential battleground politics – Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Stork for Congress NEEDS YOU. We’re seeking full-time field coordinators. The job will consist primarily of door-to-door voter contact, as well as some community organizing, and events with the candidate. This is a great chance to get involved in an historic campaign. If the thought of a repeat of 2000 makes your head spin, e-mail a resume and cover letter to email@example.com.
Stork for Congress
On a personal note, this whole campaign... from candidate to staff to volunteers...is one class act. I would work for them in a heartbeat if I could...but I can't, so I volunteer instead. Here's your chance to make history in South Florida...are you up to the challenge??
More campaigning for Team Stork this past weekend. Decidedly different scenarios, venues and outcomes this weekend from last weekend.
FRIDAY A WEEK AGO -
Canvassing in Jupiter during the day on Friday afternoon after having had a root canal Friday morning...95 degree heat and matching humidity...not the smartest idea I've ever had but hanging out with Abby and Amanda is always fun and the night canvassing in Abacoa Town Center was a great way to end the day. And Amanda's first time up as a Winnie driver was flawless!
THIS PAST FRIDAY -
Worked...no root canal...no day off.
SATURDAY A WEEK AGO -
Chris's first day driving the Winnie solo. First stop was the Boynton Beach Bahamas 33rd Birthday celebration...great time! Jim was along for visibility...singing, speeches and incredibly yummy home-cooked Bahamian lunch...quite possibly the best Mac 'n' Cheese I've ever had and the BBQ chicken was beyond awesome as well.
Next stop Jupiter for more canvassing. Within minutes of reaching our destination, the top shelf in the storage closet at the back of the Winnie shifted as we turned a corner. The four 1-gallon jugs of fruit punch that were sitting on the shelf also shifted. They shifted right out the door to the floor, where they promptly split in half.
What followed was most surreal...
The sound of the shelf falling, the jugs cracking, Jason (one of the volunteers) shouting, the look of sheer panic on Chris' face as he turned around to view the torrential flood of fruit punch barrelling our way...all these scenes are permanently etched into my memory.
So we pulled over, cleaned the Winnie as best we could, and fortunately we were only blocks away from Joan's house (Team Stork Field Director) where we attacked the Winnie with lots of Oxyclean, water and paper towels. Cracks me up the guys had never heard of Oxyclean...maybe it's a chick thing???
While we thought it best to swear everyone to secrecy initially, the Great Fruit Punch Flood was too good of a story to keep under wraps.
Back on the sidewalks of Jupiter to finish canvassing then off to a Shakespeare-by-the-Sea Festival for even more canvassing. We on Team Stork just LOVE to canvass!!
The drive back to Stork HQ was uneventful (and dry) and another quick Winnie clean-up marked the end of our Saturday.
THIS PAST SATURDAY -
Breakfast at Rascal House in Boca Raton then off to the Palm Beach Fairgrounds for a Sports Fair visibility event. Had to leave shortly after arriving to attend a friends baby shower. Was a hit in my 'Stork' shirt!
No events after that thanks to the rain, so I snagged a 4 hour nap. (Wish daily naps were mandatory like they used to be when I was 5 years old.)
SUNDAY LAST WEEK -
December in July at the Dreher Park Zoo...what fun! The zoo trucked in snow....and by the time we got there it was streaked with dirt and leaves and such but it was SNOW in really hot and humid FL and it was so much fun!! I persuaded a 6 year old to let me hold his snowball...he was afraid I would throw it at him and was reluctant to part with it...but eventually he gave it to me and I felt like a kid again. Not that I grew up around snow in So Cal, but it was such a cool feeling (no pun intended) and I was probably more excited and giddy than I should have been.
The Zoo was really neat...lions and tigers and bears and PRAIRIE DOGS!!! We loved the Prairie Dogs!! Jacob couldn't stop feeding them...all of us hanging over the enclosure walls ooohing and aahhing at how cute and funny they were...we could have stayed there all day.
Next stop, Meyer Amphitheatre for the Jazz Festival. We were a bit early and stopped to eat at Baileys. Got one of the server's that Abby knew (Sam) to put Stork stickers on both sides of his server notebook...to go along with Sam's Kerry Sticker.
Eventually wound up at the Jazz Festival and within an hour the effects of the day took hold of us and we were all ready to go home and call it a day.
THIS PAST SUNDAY -
All set to go at the office at 9:30.
Jason and Paul along for the ride and Abby at the wheel. And off to the Zoo we headed. Oops...change in plans...Zoo was called off....no prairie dogs :-(....so we got an early start over to John D. MacArthur State Park for a Bluegrass Concert.
Seems PAX TV Station had rented out the entire park for their company picnic and the concert that was supposed to be in the outdoor amphitheatre was now being held in the Air Conditioned Acoustically Way Cool Nature Center. YES! There is a God!!
The Bluegrass trio (On The Edge) was practicing and we were their captive audience. These guys were really good....bluegrass music would make an awesome soundtrack for a documentary...for a campaign...that utilizes a Winnebago....wow, what a concept...but sadly the group doesn't have a CD or a cassette of their music so there goes that idea.
Since we had to get back to attend the Kerry/Edwards Fundraiser Dinner at the Westin Diplomat (as volunteers...what? you were thinking distinguished guests!) we left the Nature Center vowing to come back next month and catch more of On The Edge.
After a quick stop at my house so I could change for the event, we wound up back at HQ.
Not as much on the go this past weekend as the weekend before. Still, we were visible, we did talk about Jim and hand out literature, and we all had a good time.
The guest speaker at the Kerry/Edwards Dinner was our next Vice-President, Senator John Edwards.
John, Jacob, Steve and I were all pressed into service as 'directional' volunteers. Jacob and John blocked a hallway to allow VIP entrance only, Steve was directing people as they entered the hotel, and I directed attendees to the escalators...lots of smiling and saying hi and chatting with Ernesto, my volunteer-mate who is volunteering on his first political campaign.
After several hours, our volunteer efforts fulfilled, we a crowded into a small banquet room along with the press and distinguished guests to hear Edwards speak.
I first heard Edwards speak approximately 6 weeks ago at the same hotel during the Jefferson-Jackson dinner. His speach last night had the same effect on me....he's one powerful, charismatic speaker.
And did I mention our next VP??
So that's the wrap-up for the last two weekends.
Two weekends ago root canal, lotsa sun, Bahamian Food, Fruit Punch Flood, Shakespeare, Prairie Dogs, Snow and Jazz.
This weekend Team Breakfast, Sports, Bluegrass, lotsa rain and meeting our next VP.
I really love my weekends now that I'm on Team Stork!
Who ever knew campaigning in a Winnebago could be so much fun??
Spent the weekend campaigning with the Stork for Congress group...got to hang with Jim and the staff as they cruised from event to event in "Winnie", the Stork Campaign's customized Winnebago. Can I tell you how totally cool it is to have an AIRCONDITIONED Winnebago to work out of when you live in South Florida...in July? Let me tell ya, it is BEYOND COOL...in more ways than one!
Early Saturday morning I met up with Dannielle Sylvester, Jim's Campaign Manager and Abby Ross, Candidate Aide to Jim Stork and the Winnie at the newly-opened Stork's Bakery on Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale. Why did the Winnie stop at the bakery?? To pick up 500 individually wrapped Stork Shaped Cookies that we'd be handing out during the parade! Right then and there I knew I was gonna like hanging out with the Stork Crew. Not cause I'm into cookies....I'm more of a Key Lime Pie person if you want to know the truth...but the originality and creativeness of the people behind the scenes really appealed to me.
First on the agenda was the "Plantation Fourth of July Parade" in Plantation. The idea was to have Jim walk in front of Winnie and have volunteers hand out Stork Cookies to the parade-goers. That worked for about 20 minutes, then the more people Jim stopped to speak with, the farther behind the Winnie we got. It was all good, tho. Jim saw lots of voters during the 3 mile parade, Field Coordinator Chris Stow-Serge carried baskets of cookies for John and Amy and myself (the volunteers) to distribute, and his younger brother Morgan (the best skateboarder in the world!) skated around Jim and the volunteers and had a great time!
On the ride north towards Jupiter, I got to chat with Chris about blogs and his proposal for me to be the unofficial 'official' Stork Blogger. Since Markos of the venerated Daily Kos picked Jim to be one of his dKos8, the Stork Campaign has gotten savvy to the ways of the blog and the impact they can have on a candidate. But of course, all of us here in blogland already knew that, didn't we??
Got to chat with Jim as well about all sorts of things...personal, business, political. He is really sharp, incredibly intelligent and way funnier than any other candidate I've ever met....and I've met a few!! In Jim, you get a down-to-earth Independant-thinking Democrat. He's a breath of fresh air and getting to know Jim and his staff made me more convinced than ever that we need to get Jim into office.
Next stop was Jupiter...no, not the planet! The town about 20 minutes north of West Palm Beach. Roger Dean stadium, home of the Jupiter Hammerheads and the Palm Beach Cardinals was the next visibility event planned. We handed out balloons and literature, had a great time at the game, met more Stork volunteers, got to tie balloons with Jacob Bean, another Stork Field Coordinator who came down from MA to help with the campaign and the fireworks at the end of the game were really cool. All in all, a fantastic night.
Sunday...Fourth of July!
Another day, another venue, another opportunity to get the word out.
Jim, Dannielle, Dannielle's boyfriend Juan and his mom Teresa (visiting from Peru) were in the Fort-Lauderdale-By-The-Sea parade handing out the ever-popular Stork Cookies from the vintage Cadilllac they rode in.
Meanwhile, the volunteers fanned out across the Sunday Jazz Brunch in the park along the Riverfront in Downtown Lauderdale. THAT WAS FUN! I was paired up with a really cool guy named Paul, who had closed the restaurant he and his partner Eric owned in Philly and moved down to the Wilton Manors area of South Florida.
After meeting back up at the office, it was off for more visibility.
We cruised thru Deerfield Beach, met some really nice Stork constituents near the Boardwalk, cruised over to the Cove, hit Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton where we found lots of pro-Stork people (a good thing!!) then headed off to our last visibility event of the day up in West Palm Beach for the Fourth on Flagler.
Lots of miles put on the Winnie, lots of Stork stickers handed out and more than several hundred Stork cookies found their way into the hands (and tummies) of South Florida residents and potential Stork voters.
This is what a candidate goes thru to get the word out. Being with Jim and the staff over the last several days gave me a glimpse into what running for office is like. From my bird's eye view in the Storkmobile, I wish everyone reading this could really know how good Jim is and how good he will be for District 22 in South Florida. I can't vote for Jim Stork since I don't live in his district. But I can and will do whatever it takes...blogging, volunteering, donating, to make sure he gets elected into Congress on 2 November.