I was sitting in the living room yesterday evening, enjoying the sights, sounds, and smells of a really pounding rain, the kind of rain Gordon Jennings (an old Imperial Valley desert rat) used to call a “toad strangler.” My early-warning system, Cooper the Dachshund and Lily the Boston Terrier, let me know that someone was coming to the door.
My visitors were a young man and an older woman — I can say that because I’ve been around since dirt was new — canvassing for Working America, the community affiliate of the AFL-CIO. We chatted about the rain briefly and then they asked what I thought was the most important issue for the upcoming election season: the economy, healthcare, the war, or something else. I told them that I thought continuing the positive efforts toward fairness and equality for the LGBT community was pretty high on my list, but the big one really has to be jobs. I said that I think if we can get Americans working in good-paying, stable jobs — the kind that provide solid benefits, opportunities for career advancement, and pride in the work itself — we’d relieve a lot of the stresses that are first fracturing and then paralyzing the country. They beamed, I took their flyer, and off they went down the street.
This afternoon I went to the Organize for America, AKA Obama, headquarters to perform my data entry duties. Another old geezer and I were pecking around on our keyboards while a group of kids painted a mural, set up chairs for a video screening, kept up a stream of about a dozen separate conversations, and generally multi-tasked to beat the band. I’m so glad that we have energetic, engaged, enlightened young people supporting our president.
When I got home, I had a sweet note (with a family photo) from Michelle Obama asking me to keep up my good work. Enclosed was a foldable, laminated wallet card providing answers to the question “What has President Obama accomplished in the last three years?” The five main points, each with a few sub-bullets, are 1) commitment to women and families, 2) health care, 3) rebuilding the middle class, 4) creating an economy that is built to last, and 5) ending the war in Iraq. Oh, there was a donation form, too.
Also in the mail was a pledge card from Working America — no grass growing under their feet!
So, on payday I’m going to put a couple of checks in the mail. Tonight I’m going to fold up the First Lady’s answer card and put it in my wallet. The photo of Barack, Michelle, Malia, and Sasha is already on my fridge.