I was disappointed and upset by last week’s front page article, “Months of canvassing, 430 votes to show for it?” (Nov. 6), which suggested that my many hours of canvassing and phone banking for Barack Obama had, in the paper’s estimation, made so little difference. Anyone who has ever spent an afternoon knocking on doors to talk to ten voters knows it’s far from the most efficient way of reaching people, but face-to-face contact is still the most effective way of changing minds in a campaign. Just because my individual effort did not make the difference in the election does not mean it was not worth doing.
In fact, my experience last weekend in Philadelphia demonstrated beyond a doubt that my work was worth every ounce of energy I poured into it. Sixty Yale students blanketed a working-class neighborhood in West Philadelphia, making instant connections with complete strangers over a shared passion for the same campaign. One gentleman named Albert Townsend stopped me on the street to ask if I would check whether he was registered to vote. When I called him back the next morning to tell him his polling place, he told me, “When I vote tomorrow, it’ll be because of you. Thank you for doing this work.”
When Barack Obama won the election on Tuesday, I was proud to know that it was because of my vote, and Albert Townsend’s, and countless others that I made possible. No one person was responsible for the outcome. All of us owned a piece of this campaign, no matter how small.
The writer is a junior in Branford College and the lobbying coordinator for the Yale College Democrats.