I had a conversation over lunch with 2 women today who are what I would call the best type of engaged citizens : they volunteer to serve on our community’s committees to get things done that need to get done, serving on the types of committees that most people do not even realize are necessary for a town to function as well as how I think my hometown, – Hingham – does function.
They are active, and informed: at the local, state, and national level on issues that impact their fellow citizens’ lives.
When the subject came up about the upcoming Special Senate race, they were all of what I described above and more: they are furious at the taunting tone that Gabriel Gomez has taken in this campaign.
The commercial with the ‘Dirty Ed Markey’ soundbite was particularly noted for the nasty attitude it engendered and how offensive they found the phrasing. They called Gomez out on his ‘taunting’, as well as his ‘bullying tone’ on how Gomez tried to equate Ed Markey’s long public service record as ‘disparaging’ .They even saw it as an insult with what they themselves have done because, as written above,they have served on a number of committees in our community, many more as they have reached retirement age. They see experience in serving in government as a positive, not a negative.
They even called out the Gomez attack on Markey for having a home outside of Washington and said that when Congressmen and women did have homes or apartments in the DC area our government seemed to operate better – the ‘atmosphere’ seemed more collegial. This constant ’running back to ‘the district’, or the state, by most members in Congress every weekend in their eyes is done lately for one thing:campaign cash.
They questioned Gomez’ policy positions, saying that his ads just want voters to hear that ‘one thing’( I refuse to name it) on his resume. They questioned the value of having that ‘one thing’ be the standard by which we should judge him: because to them, in that capacity, he followed orders and they realize that legislating, and governing, takes a lot more than that to be truly effective. His ‘business’ background was not even remarked upon – because these women know government is not a business. For those that need a comparison in that ‘field’ to be comfortable – they understand government is more like a ‘non-profit’ organization. Both of these successful women, who I am very fortunate to call my friends, were affiliated with non-profits during their working lives – very well known non-profits – one a hospital, and one a world renown museum in Boston.
The next step was easy for me, a political activist: I said, “If either one of you are willing to drive while I canvas, I will do the actual door knocking and speaking to the voter in our community- would you canvas with me?” It was amazing how fast they agreed to help , as they repeated : ‘You will be the one to go up to the door?” “Yes” I replied. ‘You just drive’.
They couldn’t say yes fast enough…..except,….. they want lawn signs. ‘Why aren’t there any signs?’ I replied that I had seen a recent photo of some Markey lawn signs on a Facebook group that I get updates from; I took out my phone and scrolled through Facebook and showed them the picture of the Markey lawn signs, one being proudly held by our new Field Director for our area, Kate, and I said that I hope that means that they will soon be distributed to us and that we may have to put some in the trunk of the car while we canvas.
They happily agreed.
When they brought me home I invited them inside and showed them my dining room table, filled with remnants of the Special Primary and of a canvas packet I have yet to complete due to my family’s schedule with a recent Commencement as well as an inability to get the rides I need to complete the packet. I wanted to show them what they would be working with as regards to paperwork.One of the women glanced through the packet and was able to say a few people on the list were deceased as well more than a few had moved. That’s a canvas buddy in the making already.
The significant thing about this luncheon for me was that these women have moved past the stage of conversation, of being angry at the Gomez Campaign for all the reasons they listed, to now actively being willing to help in this grassroots effort to elect Ed Markey- because they know how vitally important it is that we send Ed Markey to the Senate. The passing of Senator Lautenberg was remarked upon as well as they realized the implications of his death to the workings of the Senate.
The negativity of Gabriel Gomez has just gotten 2 very motivated people to agree to canvas for Ed Markey.
Good job Gabe. LOL