Get Out the Aggravation...Constructively

Knocking on doors for Kerry with the League of Conservation Voters

| August 2004

For one week I have joined the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) in the largest national grassroots effort ever launched by an environmental group during a presidential campaign. I have joined with a mission: do whatever I can to get that dummy out the White House and make sure John Kerry is the next president.

Together with a dozen students, acquaintances and friends, I started out from New Haven, Connecticut, drove a thousand miles, and started knocking on doors in a swing state: Wisconsin, decided for Gore by 5,708 votes in the 2000 election.

'Normally people don't get this engaged so long before an election,' said Mike Palamuso, the Wisconsin LCV campaign director. 'But this time there's so much at stake.'

LCV got involved in this election because George W. Bush is the worst environmental president in American history. He recently became the first president in LCV history to receive an 'F' on LCV's yearly report card. It is a stunning contrast to John Kerry's lifetime LCV rating of 92 percent -- higher than any other democratic presidential candidate this year.

Palamuso said that Bush's 'F' made LCV understand they had to reach beyond the typical activities of an environmental group this election and go back to the grassroots with a strategic door-to-door campaign aimed at convincing swing voters.

In practice, this campaign comes in the form of doorstep conversations with Americans from all walks of life -- parents holding babies in their arms, veterans with dogs barking at their feet, elderly women, recent college grads -- and surprisingly, I have felt a real joy listening to people talk about their needs and telling them how I think John Kerry will help.