Grassroots support for Elizabeth Warren on Cape Cod: Strong and effective [Letter]

Editor's note: The following letter was received in response to a  recent political post by Walter Brooks entitled "Brown vs. Warren: Deja vu all over again?".

To the Editor:

As a Cape Cod resident, Elizabeth Warren supporter, and active volunteer, I was baffled by the article written by Walter Brooks in Cape Cod Today. Over eight months before the election and only four months into her candidacy the Warren campaign has held over 30 grassroots events on the Cape and Islands, including canvasses, organizing meetings, house parties and phone banks. These events demonstrate the immense grassroots support that Elizabeth has on the Cape and Islands.

On Saturday, I was one of over a dozen volunteers, many of whom were senior citizens, who went out and knocked doors in Hyannis (in comfortable 40 degree weather). I hear there were a dozen more of us in Yarmouth Port at the same time. We spoke with voters who did not vote in the 2010 election to discuss the importance of supporting Democrats this time around and, in particular, the candidacy of Elizabeth Warren. Our group talked to nearly 50 voters, collecting 46 signatures to get Elizabeth Warren on the ballot. Personally, I found the experience of knocking on doors and talking to voters heartening, fun, and came out of it feeling as though I really made a difference.

If you’ve heard Elizabeth Warren’s story of how she successfully organized people to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it is clear that she knows how to organize and is committed to running a campaign that engages volunteers in communities across the state. This is the kind of campaign Elizabeth is running, and I, for one, am eager to be a part of it.

As a proud Warren supporter and member of the Barnstable Democratic Town Committee, I am ready to work to make sure she is elected in whatever way I am able when I am asked by her campaign, and making sure that her message gets across to my fellow Cape Codders seems to me like an effective use of my time.

The successful coordinated campaign run in 2010 when the Governor was at the top of the ticket is a prime example of the success of direct voter contact on the Cape. If we are going to pull off a victory for Elizabeth Warren in November, we are going to need to continue to focus on the person-to-person contact that wins elections, one vote at a time. As an older population, if we can’t knock on doors – let’s make phone calls. Either way, I will work against the assumption that seniors don’t have the ability to make a difference in this election.

At the organizing meeting I attended last month in Barnstable, sponsored by the Barnstable Democratic Town Committee, (a meeting which, I’m told, was one of eight meetings held in the month of January throughout the Cape and Islands that attracted over 500 individuals in total), the local staff member present emphasized the importance of our local voices speaking on behalf of Elizabeth – in casual conversations, at local house parties, through phone calls and through knocking on doors. Many people at the Barnstable meeting eagerly volunteered to help with these tasks. If you’ve heard Elizabeth Warren’s story of how she successfully organized people to create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it is clear that she knows how to organize and is committed to running a campaign that engages volunteers in communities across the state. This is the kind of campaign Elizabeth is running, and I, for one, am eager to be a part of it.

C. Gerry McGowan
West Barnstable, MA

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