Forthcoming

"Freeing yourself was one thing; claiming ownership of that freed self was another." author Toni Morrison (1931- 05.08.2019)

“If I tell the story, I control the version. Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me”; Nora Ephron, author/comedian

"Make your story count". Michelle Obama

"Social pain is understood through the lens of racial animus". Researcher/author Sean McElwee writing in Salon, 2016

"We are citizens, not subjects. We have the right to criticize government without fear."  Chelsea Manning; activist/whisleblower

“My father was a slave and my people died to build this country, and I’m going to stay right here and have a part of it, just like you, And no fascist minded people, like you, will drive me from it. Is that clear?” Paul Robeson; activist/singer

“We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you're rich and guilty than if you're poor and innocent”. from civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson

“This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?” Frederick Douglass, WHAT TO THE SLAVE IS 4TH JULY? 07.05.1852 (full text in blog)

Senator Elizabeth Warren "We're a country that is built on our differences; that is our strength, not our weakness"

 

"We are more alike than we are different"v  Maya Angelou

As a Black writer, I was expected to accept the role of victim. That made it difficult in the beginning to be a writer.      James Baldwin

I often feel that there must have been something that I should’ve done that I didn’t do. But I can’t identify what it is that I didn’t do. That’s the first difficulty. And the second is, what makes you think you’re it?   

         Harry Belafonte, activist and singer at 89

 

It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble; It's what you know for sure that just ainst so.

Mark Twain

 

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.

Mary Tyler Moore

 

 You can’t defend Christianity by being against refugees and other religions

Pope Francis:

 

"I don't have to be what you want me to be". Muhammad Ali

"The Secret of Living Well and Longer: eat half, walk double, laugh triple, and love without measure"  attributed to Tibetan sources

Recent audio posts include interviews with Rumi interpreter Shahram Shiva, London-based author Aamer Hussein, South African Muslim scholar, professor Farid Esack, and Iraqi journalist Nermeen Al-Mufti's brief account of Kirkuk City history. Your comments on our blogs are always welcome.

 

Getting Out the Vote: A Personal Experience

2014-11-03

by Barbara Nimri Aziz

“Hello”.  Good morning, I’m Barbara Nimri, a volunteer with the State Democratic party campaign. We are calling to ask …   Click. (They hang up.)

Good morning, I’m a volunteer with the Democratic Party campaign in District 19. We hope you’ll be voting on Nov. 4th and we’re asking you to support ….  “I don’t discuss my vote with anyone.” Click.

I continue for 3 hours—more than 100 calls. A volunteer comes into the campaign office and asks if there’s hot coffee. Someone arrives with a supply of lawn signs.

Good morning, I’m … . and we are urging voters to cast your ballot for … running for Congress this year.   

“I can’t talk now, and I’ll decide when I get to the polls.”

Good morning, I’m ……..               “Is he on the Working Families Party ticket? I’ll vote for whomever WOR endorses?”

There are as many as nine parties listed on the New York state ballot. Smaller parties often haven’t their own contestant, so Republican and Democratic candidates seek their endorsements.  (I saw candidates with four parties endorsing them. No other choice, I guess)

Good morning, I’m… .  We have a strong Democratic candidate running for Congress in our district.

 “Well I don’t get out much; I’m ill.” We can arrange transport … I see. Thank you.

Good morning, I’m … .  Click.

Good morning. I’m … . “I’ll make up my mind myself thank you.” Click

Good morning I’m … . “Voting's a private matter; I don’t think my vote is any of your business.” Click.

This campaign strategy is supposed to be a science. Facebook and a webpages must be augmented by volunteers—we’re all women-- congregating at call centers to work the phones, with numbers of all registered voters provided by the Board of Elections.

Campaign advice: “get your message out in 15 seconds; be cheerful; don’t argue”. Some candidates use rotocalls. Our strategy says personal live calls are best. I punch in the next number.

Our head office announces that only 10% separates us from the incumbent. He’s ahead but we’re closing in; another week until Nov. 4th. We have a chance.

With 2 days left, we concentrate on registered Democrats and independent voters . So no rebuffs, no hang-ups. Well, almost none.

Good afternoon, my name is …. a volunteer with the state Democratic Party campaign. We hope you’ll be voting Tuesday; will you support our candidate for congress?  

“Yes, I expect to vote Democrat; yes, I guess I’ll vote for him.” Wonderful. We’ll see you at the polling station.

Good afternoon, my name is … a volunteer… We hope you will be casting your vote on Tuesday for…  “What‘s his position on veterans?”

Good afternoon, my name is … We hope you’ll…   

“I usually vote Democrat. But once they are in, whatever party, they don’t care about us. I don’t feel like voting. I don’t know.”

Good afternoon, my name is … volunteering with… .   

“I received your flyers. I’m a Democrat but I don’t know him. I haven’t decided.”

Good afternoon, my name is … volunteering with… .   

….“Yes, I have three daughters and I care most about women’s rights; he can count on my vote.” 

 …. “Yes. This is the 3rd call today. Sorry, I’m making dinner; I can’t talk. Yes, yes, I’ll vote.”

…. “I’m in Florida now ; I already voted by absentee ballot.”

….“I haven’t made up my mind yet. No I can’t tell you what my husband’s position is.”

Other volunteers are at neighborhoods across our district, moving house to house, knock on doors, leaving flyers, fielding questions about our candidate. Three arrive at our phone center feeling exhausted; it was worthwhile, they say. They like meeting voters face to face. We have to believe we can be effective.

Traditionally the US electorate is uninspired by mid-term races, most especially Democrats. Media tell us we’re letting the side down.

With less than 40% voter turnout, incumbents tend to be re-elected without a fight. (In NY’s state legislature our senator and assemblyman, both Republicans, are on the ballot; both are unopposed.)

Just get our people to the polls; that can turn the results, we’re told. We continue punching in the numbers.

After three hours I hand over my half completed list to another volunteer. See you Monday. Yes. I grab four lawn signs to post along the roadside on my way home.

See All Blogs in Our Archive »

comments powered by Disqus


Find Us on Facebook
Find Us on Facebook

Don't forget that only imagination is clear-sighted

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Tahrir Diwan

a poem.. a song..
poem Poem "Daddy's Been Gone"
Theater artist Andrea Assaf performs from the "Robin Monologues"

See poems and songs list

Flash
poems
poem Qur'an Surat Al-Laila
from 'Approaching the Qur'an' CD, male reciter

See audio list

Book review
LailaLalami's
The Moor's Account
reviewed by BN Aziz.

See review list

Tahrir Team

Aisha AlAdawiya and Hassen Abdellah
Read about Aisha AlAdawiya and Hassen Abdellah in the team page.

See Tahrir Team

WBAI Online

Select Links



Fatal error: Call to undefined method stdClass::Close() in /home/content/45/4130645/html/blog2.php on line 140