This Saturday I skipped the farmer's market
October 4, 2012
In Latest News
By: Jessica Stewart
This Saturday I skipped the farmer's market.
On Saturday morning, you can usually find me at the Grand Lake Farmer's Market in the sun buying and eating various tasty things. It's often my favorite part of the week.
Don't get me wrong - when I rolled out of bed I would have rather headed there than to a neighborhood walk to go door-to-door for a school board candidate. But I also know that James Harris, the candidate running for school board in East Oakland's District 7, is a truly good man. He is a former teacher like myself and grew up in East Oakland where he's now raising his kids. We really need people like him on the school board representing families and students.
So I headed out, my amazing husband Jon in tow, to East Oakland to meet several others on the corner near International and 98th Avenue where Elmhurst Community Prep, the school at which I was a founding teacher in 2006 where we met Richard.
Richard kicked us off by asking us to share why we're doing this work today. I looked around the circle - a group of very busy people with lives full of other things to do - and felt grateful to be with them. On a great Saturday afternoon, with a host of other things they could be doing, they were out fighting for Oakland kids.
Richard paired us up and taught us how to walk a neighborhood (how to use our list of voters, what to say, and what to do if no one is home). After answering some questions, he assigned us our blocks and we headed out.
My husband and I walked a few blocks to our assigned blocks and started knocking on doors across the street from each other. It took us a moment to get our system down, but we were in a groove pretty quickly.
While we walked, we saw most of what you'd expect on a Saturday morning in a residential area - lots of car washing, a little girl's birthday being set up with pink and yellow balloons and party hats, and people tending to lawns. I had to compliment a few people who answered their doors on gorgeous landscaping. I even took a few pictures to remember ideas for the future home that I don't yet own.
Together, Jon and I knocked on about 150 doors. At about half the doors, no one answered and I left a postcard on their door. Most of the time when I spoke with a voter, they were pleasant and smiled when I told them that I "don't normally do this" door-to-door walking but I really think James is a great guy and would be a good school board member. My favorites were when someone would tell me they were definitely voting for James and thank me for being out here helping his campaign.
Jon joined me at the door when I had one more house left - and we hit the jackpot. We met Mr. Johnson, who currently works at Elmhurst. We had a great long conversation about the school, kids, and school board. He's supporting James Harris now and promised to tell others. I walked away from his door smiling and told Jon that I'm glad we've got more time between now and the election.
As much as I love the farmer's market, you probably won't see me there for the next four weeks. This election is just a month away and I've got more voters to talk to before then.