I take the phone away from my ear, surprised by both the volume and intensity.
“He did WHAT?” she says again, this time loud enough for the volunteer next to me to hear. She shoots me the evil eye, then moves farther down the couch to continue her own conversation with a voter.
The woman on the other end is Jeanne. She’s 58 and a Maine constituent of Congressman Michael Michaud (pronounced “mish-you”), one of 64 Democratic congress members who voted for the anti-choice Stupak amendment.
Until about 5 minutes ago, Jeanne had no idea he had. She was hopping mad about it.
This is not an uncommon reaction. Over and over at our Santa Monica, CA phone bank we talked to many of Michaud’s constituents who didn’t know he had voted to severely restrict millions of women’s access to safe, legal abortion, even if it meant the health of the mother was in danger. And they didn’t know he was part of a coalition threatening to hold the entire health care reform bill hostage if Obama and Pelosi attempted to strip the amendment from the final bill.
I have to tell you, they weren’t happy about it. At our phone bank alone, hundreds of them agreed to add their name to a list of Michaud’s constituents demanding that he vote for a final health care reform bill that’s free of the Stupak ban.
Folks, this is why we phone bank. And this is why we keep asking you to open up your homes to host your own phone bank or to go to the of home the neighbors in your area who already are hosting to make calls.
We’re making a huge and noticeable difference, just by giving out information to voters that they otherwise had no access to. Not everyone is as plugged in, wired, or glued to cable TV as FDL readers. The women we’re calling lead busy lives and they work hard just to get by. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly voice reaching out across the country to open their eyes to the fact that the politicians they voted for and trusted aren’t acting in their constituent’s best interests, or in the interest of the country.
We have phone banks coming up this week in the DC Metro area, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas and California. Join one of phone bank efforts already going, or if there’s not one in your district, to start one of your own. It’s easy, it’s fun, and best of all, you will make a difference.
[Upcoming opportunities to join in educating your friends and neighbors after the jump.]
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12 Mar Vista, CA 12-3pm Downtown Los Angeles, CA 9am-3pm Austin, Texas 1pm-5pm Rockville, MD 3pm-6pm (Jane Hamsher will be at this one!) SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13 San Francisco, CA 11am-2pm Fresno,CA 1pm-4pm San Diego CA 12-3pm MONDAY, DECEMBER 14 Elizabethtown, PA 6-8pm WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 16 Denver, CO 6pm-9pm