Canvass (v) – solicit votes from (electors in a constituency); question (someone) in order to ascertain their opinion on something.
If someone told me years ago that I would be canvassing (going door to door) on behalf of a politician- yet alone enjoying it- I would not believe it for a second.
I have always had an interest in politics. When I was little, my family watched the 6:00PM nightly news every night after dinner, and as I grew up, I bookmarked Politico.com and followed CNN on Twitter. Although I am a Communication major now, I started at the University of Dayton as a Political Science major. Political Science is still a minor for me, and has become a passion of mine.
As I began taking classes in the Political Science department here at UD, I came to understand how knotted, confusing, and incomprehensible government really is. Politics, like many other subjects, cannot just be learned in a classroom; it also needs to be understood through experience.
I began working as a student intern in Senator Rob Portman’s campaign office in January, 2016. To be completely honest, at the time I started working, I knew two things about Rob Portman:
- He was a Republican, and
- He was up for re-election in November.
Bottom line − I knew nothing.
Now, after almost a year of interning with the campaign, I know much more about Senator Portman. I have met him several times, and was even selected to be a part of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
A large part of my internship in Senator Portman’s office is canvassing, which surprisingly, I really enjoy. Canvassing is not about shoving my political views down the throats of innocent people who reluctantly open their front doors. It is not about me. Rather, it is about me collecting information from you. As a ‘canvass-er’ I am recording what you, the People, care about− what your most important issues are, what you want to see change.
Another reason I enjoy canvassing is that Millennials like me face an unfair stigma that we don’t care about politics. Well, that is wrong. I care, and we all should care. Millennials are stuck with the policies and decisions that result from elections and the politicians who represent us. The network of thousands of Millennial student interns around the nation, door-knocking and cold-calling on behalf of candidates up and down the ticket, across both sides of the aisle care, and we want you to care, too.
So, to all of those reading this post, next time a canvasser walks up to your door, I ask that you please give us a minute of your time. Our job is to be a connector between the ‘out-of-touch’ politicians and you, the People, but we can only be that connector if you take the time to converse with us.