Sunday, June 15, 2008
(Proudly cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)
Every weekend, my wonderful Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D-Fantastic) comes home to Orange County to listen to we the people (her constituents) and see what we'd like her to do for us in Washington. Oh yes, and she also joins local Democratic activists in precinct walks throughout the 47th Congressional District. Yesterday, I was able to take a peek inside the Loretta Sanchez campaign and join the candidate and a group of dedicated volunteers (and other local elected officials!) on a precinct walk in Anaheim. And oh my, I was pleasantly surprised by what would happen on this walk!
At 11:30 AM on Saturday, I arrived at the Starbucks in Anaheim where we were all supposed to meet. I ordered some sweetened caffeinated beverage and chatted it up with a few friends while we were waiting for Loretta Sanchez and her campaign staff to arrive. And within 30 minutes, all the fun really began.
Loretta Sanchez arrived around 12:00 noon, and she immediately began to talk with the other volunteers. There were volunteers from all over the district, and from all different communities. There were Latinos and Vietnamese and Caucasian and old and young. They were excited about future President Barack Obama, and they were thrilled about Loretta Sanchez, and they were pumped up about all the great local Democratic candidates in Central OC.
So anyways, the volunteer training soon began and we were quickly taught on how to knock doors, how to talk to voters, how to register new voters, and how to convince them to support Loretta Sanchez and other Democrats running down ticket. Oh yes, and we were asked to get more of these voters to sign up to vote by mail so that they will have an easier time remembering to vote... And so we can have a higher Democratic turnout in November. Loretta Sanchez herself reminded us of the importance of registering new vote-by-mail voters by saying, "That's how we win elections. We make sure our votes come in [early]."
Shortly before 12:30, we were all introduced to the other local politicians and Democratic candidates who had come out to help Loretta Sanchez. Santa Ana Council Member Michele Martinez, Santa Ana school board candidate Valerie Amezcua, Anaheim Union High school board candidate Annemarie Randle-Trejo, North Orange County Community College trustee Mike Matsuda, and CA-42 Congressional candidate Ed Chau were among the local Democratic luminaries present at the walk. And about 15 minutes later, I partnered up with Annemarie Randle-Trejo and we marched off to a nearby apartment complex to start talking to voters.
Within our first hour of walking, we encountered several people in the apartment complex interested to talk with us about the election. Annemarie Trejo talked with them all about her candidacy for the Anaheim school board, and we both discussed all of Loretta Sanchez's hard work for us in OC. We answered questions from several undecided voters. We signed up one new Democratic voter. And to top it all off, we signed two Democratic voters up to vote by mail. All in all, our first hour was quite productive.
In the next hour, we talked to several more voters in the Anaheim apartment complex. Annemarie and I met a fellow teacher who was interested to hear about her thoughts on education, as well as Loretta Sanchez's work for our local schools. We met a nice young person who instantly signed up to vote and to be a Democrat. And finally, we met a lovely woman who switched from Republican to Democrat because she was excited about Barack Obama, she no longer trusted the Republicans to help working class people, and she wanted to ensure Loretta Sanchez will be reelected to Congress to help implement future President Obama's policies. And on that note, we soon ended our successful walk.
Shortly after 2:00 PM, we returned to Starbucks to turn in our materials to the local precinct leader. She thanked us for our help, and we all soon parted on our own respective ways. I soon left to return home and recover from my busy day.
All in all, I received some very positive vibes from the Loretta Sanchez campaign that Saturday. The Congresswoman always impresses me with her strong ties to the community and her thorough knowledge of the issues local voters care about. Oh yes, and she proves her commitment to the community by coming back to the district every weekend to do activities like this neighborhood walk.
Loretta Sanchez is a true OC Democratic success story that should make all of us proud. From what I can tell, she will continue to enjoy success as our Democratic member of Congress. And hopefully with a strong Obama victory in November, long "Obama coattails" coming down ticket, and hard work by other local Democrats running, we can see even more Democratic success stories just like Loretta Sanchez this year. :-)