For the last two weeks I’ve spent 3 hours on Thursdays phone banking in support of Referendum 74. Washington United for Marriage has been running a pretty organized campaign to make sure marriage equality passes. They are doing phone banks at least 4 days a week. They’ve run some demographics to identify likely undecided voters. And then we call them. Find out what their concerns are about letting gay and lesbian people get married. Try to allay those concerns. Talk to them about how much marriage might mean to gay and lesbian families. It’s all persuasion rather than arguing.
My phone bank equipment has dialed almost 400 people in those 6 hours, and I’ve had about 35 actual conversations with people. We get a lot of people who don’t want to talk, and a lot of answering machines and wrong numbers and calls that just don’t connect. And out of those 35 conversations I maybe have nudged 2 people a bit more toward supporting Referendum 74. Just having the conversation that isn’t an argument gets most of them thinking about it in a way they haven’t previously. In the end, if we get only 1,000 people to support it who otherwise would have voted against it, that might be all the difference we need.
I kinda sorta think Referendum 74 will pass pretty easily, but that may just be optimism. I strongly support it, and live in an area where most everyone else also strongly supports it. I’m in a bubble that likely is inducing wishful thinking. But I kinda know that, so I’m working to get this thing passed anyway, just in case I am wrong.
Which reminds me, do you want to help out? Even if you only do one phone bank, that’s 20 people who have a conversation about marriage that won’t otherwise have that conversation. I’ll make you a pie or buy you a beer if you help out.