These Sneakers Were Made for Filibustering. And Block Walking.

There is only one way that Wendy Davis will beat Greg Abbott. Just one.

She has to get more votes than he does.

That’s the only way Leticia Van de Putte will beat Dan Patrick, too.

More votes. And you only have one. Yesterday was the deadline for registering to vote in Texas, so we know how many possible votes are out there.

What are you going to do?

Sneakers aren’t just for filibustering, my friends. You need to set aside time each week to knock on doors in your neighborhood asking people to vote for Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte.

One-to-one, face-to-face contact with voters is unquestionably the very best way to increase voter turnout, and in a close election like this one, turnout is everything.

Many people don’t vote simply because no one asked them to vote. No one took the time to come to their door and encourage them. You have the power to change that. How often in life is it so easy to understand how to make a difference?

Here’s what you need to do to get involved, especially if you are in a major city:

  1. Go to and click on the EVENTS tab.
  2. Search within a 10-mile radius of your zip code, going into a bigger radius if you don’t find anything close in.
  3. RSVP that you’ll volunteer for a canvass, the sooner, the better.

If the campaign doesn’t have critical mass in your neighborhood, check the Battleground Texas website, or follow up with your county Democratic party.

When you arrive for your shift, you will be trained in what to say, and you’ll get a map, script, and walk list.

Block walking much more strategic than knocking on every door on every street. The list of names you get will be pulled from voting records, so the people you’re visiting are likely Democratic voters. You might only visit one or two houses on a block.

Many people won’t be home, so you will leave a flyer at their house, but NOT in their mailbox, as it is a federal offense for anyone except the US Postal Service to leave things in the mailbox.

Sometimes, although very rarely, you’ll get someone who is decidedly not supporting your candidates. Just say thank you, make a note on the list, and move on. It doesn’t feel as awkward as you might suspect, so trust me, you can take it. The funniest encounters I’ve had have been when I’m using a list that is pulled from past Democratic voters. The husband answers, and assures me the woman of the house does not ever vote for Democrats. Don’t worry, ma’am, your secret is safe with me!

Some tips:

  • Sunscreen and a hat. Hydrate the night before and during the day.
  • Shorts with pockets, or even a small backpack, can be handy.
  • If you have a candidate or issue t-shirt, wear it.
  • The campaign should have stickers or buttons you can wear to ID you.
  • When you knock on a door, step back a bit so that people don’t feel like you are about to rush in if they open it.
  • Be respectful and thank people for their time.
  • Smile like an elementary school kid on picture day.

You might get someone who wants to ask questions about the candidates. You don’t have to have every answer, so don’t skip block walking because you think you don’t know enough. You can simply say that you are supporting Wendy Davis for X reason (you appreciate that she filibustered in 2011 to restore billions in public education funding, for example), give them the flyer from the campaign, and encourage them to check out her website.

You can walk alone or with a partner. I know many people who bring children with them—a family outing for democracy!

The most important thing is to be authentic and ask for the vote.

Tell people it will be a close race and that their vote counts.

That’s how we win.

Don’t forget that we’re building for the long haul. Off the Kuff discusses possible November results that will signal we’ve found the formula to flip this state.

Twenty-nine days until election day, and just two weeks until early voting starts. Be part of this. Get involved. Don’t wait any longer, and don’t wake up on November 5th wishing you had been more involved.

Wendy Davis and Kathleen Turner at 606

This entry was posted in Houston, politics, Texas, Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to These Sneakers Were Made for Filibustering. And Block Walking.

  1. Pingback: Texas blog roundup for the week of October 13 – Off the Kuff

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