If you think volunteering on a political campaign is glamorous, think again. It isn’t. It’s good old-fashioned hard work. It means picking up the phone and making calls to people you do not know. It requires listening to ideas and questions you would have never imagined. It takes knocking on doors through wind and rain and heat and snow. Many, many doors. It necessitates plenty of grace and patience as you find your place in a team of passionate, strong-minded and sometimes charmingly quirky people. But you know what? It could turn out to be the best experience of your life. And it’s the lifeblood of democracy.
There may be a few people who get elected without the hard work of building a team and doing the heavy lifting. But that’s not the norm. Some people imagine that campaigns are like what you see on Netflix where well-dressed people sit around fancy offices talking strategy and debating the latest polls. In my experience, a real campaign is ordinary people, working their hearts out, not looking for glory, but wanting more than anything to see their country made stronger, healthier and fairer. They’re willing to walk for hours, for weeks on end to knock on doors even if it means sweating on a hot Saturday in July or freezing on a windy Sunday in February. They summon up the courage to ask for help – on the phone or at the door – asking for votes, for donations, and for sign locations.
The people who do the hard work of campaigns are the heroes of democracy. I watch the people who are volunteering for me now and their actions warm my heart. I’m stunned by their generosity, by the way they give of themselves, not looking for credit, but simply wanting to help, wanting to contribute to the team. They don’t take peace and justice for granted. They’re willing to be the boots on the ground in the democratic effort to preserve our freedoms and improve our country.
I have a strong contingent of volunteers in this grassroots movement. But guess what? I need more help. We’ve got a serious race on our hands here in Markham-Stouffville. I’m asking for more people to be part of our work, our effort to make politics better in Canada. While we have the most amazing team, there are structural disadvantages in running as an independent. Our electoral rules give advantages to the mainstream political parties and the status-quo. The parties fundraise with less restrictions and deploy resources across the country. Party machines are built to win elections.
That’s why I’m issuing a call to action, for anyone in Markham-Stouffville and across this country who wants to be part of a movement for a new kind of politics. Here are five of the best ways you can help.
There are many ways you can help. You can take photos at events, greet commuters at the GO station or help in the campaign office. We’d love to train you to make phone calls. It's a fantastic way to learn from and connect with our community. Volunteer needs are listed here.
Please join us for door knocking in the community, whether you can do it once or twice or every day. The people of Markham-Stouffville are wonderful and receptive to our positive message, but I need much more help to reach at least 40,000 doors! Sign up for a canvass now!
When the election writ is issued in September, we want to be ready to get out our signs. If you live in Markham-Stouffville, please sign up now for a lawn sign that will be installed once the election period starts.
4. Social Media
You can follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Sign up for e-mail updates from the campaign. It’s very helpful if you like, share, comment and retweet to amplify our positive messages. Please add encouraging messages to the comment threads.
I hope you will consider making a donation to my campaign. Running a campaign takes imagination, organization and determination. But we also need financial resources for signs and many other needs.
Despite the barriers we face, our growing campaign for positive political change will be successful with your support. Thanks for being part of the movement. Please share this message among your networks.