Why I Spent my Weekend Canvassing for Local Elections

This election year has been scandalous and stressful. The national presidential election has been in the news every single day for over a year, and the messaging continues to escalate negatively, even today on election day!

I’m sure you noticed that on the California ballot, Clinton and Trump are not the only ones listed. There are third parties on the ballot for president, and there are many propositions, city council races and more importantly, local school board elections. This election determines who will govern our schools, and I decided to spend my weekend making sure my voice was a part of this year’s political process.

I woke up on Saturday to a cold and cloudy morning. My covers were comfortable, and my room was nice and warm. Then I remember what is at stake for this year’s school board election: real children, real families, real decisions that affect real futures.

I walked into the field office and was warmly greeted by teachers, students, parents and even one of the candidate’s young daughters. All of them were doing their part to ensure that we have honest, kids-first candidates serving on our board.

I picked up my ipad and began dialing voters. When I got to speak to the first voter, I felt a rush of excitement when I remembered the impact my next conversation could have on this election. I opted to phone bank to Spanish speaking voters in my area because of the power in making the political process accessible to everyone participating. I was greeted by an older Latina, who quickly began expressing her concerns about our school district. She mentioned having 15 grandchildren in this district, I congratulated her on this and began speaking to her about the candidates I am supporting. After talking to her for a couple of minutes, I helped her find her local polling place, and she ended up pledging to support both candidates who I am supporting this election day. As I was about to thank her for her time, she thanked me for providing her the information “en su idioma.” She went on to call me an “orgullo hispano,” and said that she hoped more people would answer their phone and receive the information I had for them. This first call was the highlight of my canvassing shift for the entire weekend because it demonstrates the power and impact of making the political process accessible to all voters.

School board elections in the past years have come down to a few hundred votes, and we expect this year’s to be no different. This is why it’s important to make this final stretch count and speak to as many families and walk to as many doors as possible. While the national presidential election is making headlines nationwide, there are important elections taking place in our local communities that will affect the futures of our families and students for years to come. We need to turn out on TODAY and exercise our right to vote!

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Daniela Felix

Daniela Felix

Daniela is a first generation college student who is heavily involved in education in her home district, West Contra Costa Unified. After becoming a mother at a young age, Daniela’s passion for education justice only intensified and she began to fight for an equitable education for all children, regardless of background or zip code. Daniela played a key role in organizing parents with the California Charter Schools Association and is a firm believer in school choice for all families. She is currently a Lead Organizer with Students for Education Reform, organizing college students around education justice issues in her home district. She was recently accepted into Teach for America and plans to continue impacting the lives of children in her hometown of Richmond, CA as a high school social studies teacher. Daniela is a UC Berkeley senior pursuing her B.A. in Legal Studies and Education along with her 4 year old daughter and husband. Daniela is a firm believer in that every single child is capable of meeting high expectations if given the correct support. Daniela hopes to be a provider of that support.

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