A Few Hours Left in AZ. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist! It takes a movement.
By Judith Le Blanc
Congressman Raul Grijalva’s Tea Party opponent, Ruth McClung, has a couple of catchy campaign slogans, “It takes a rocket scientist. “(She works for Raytheon.) “Grijalva Kills Jobs” or “Boycott Grijalva, not AZ.” ….catchy and misleading to say the least.
Today as people gathered at 4 AM at the Grijalva Campaign headquarters to go out and put up signs or go to the polls with literature, we are putting the icing on the campaign cake. The main ingredient in this recipe is people talking to people, one on one, at their doors or on the phone.
Since February, Raul’s supporters have been door knocking every weekend. When, hopefully, Raul wins tonight, it will have been done the old fashion way: listening and talking to as many people as possible.
We are in the final few hours of calling people to get to the polls. Some are cranky because they have been called more than once. Most are happy to know that we are out to do some Tea Party butt-kicking…smile.
One of the phone canvassers I am working with is a postal worker. He comes every day to the calling center I coordinate. He told me, ”People want the opportunity to talk . If they think you are open to listening, then they more often then not, respond well to ideas running counter to what they see in the attack ads on TV.”
He is really proud of his work on Raul’s campaign because he has convinced a fair number of folks to vote. He likes telling folks that the Republicans, including Ruth McClung, are controlled by corporate money and that they are who the Republicans will support once they get into office.
This week, in AZ, that was again proven to be absolutely true. Private prison corporations and their pals decided that the next “growth market for big profits” were the thousands who would and could be stopped and detained based on racial profiling under the AZ State Bill 1070 (SB 1070) passed earlier this year. They colluded with their cronies in the state legislature and got it passed.
Twenty-one college students from California came in to work on the campaign because of SB 1070 and the national movement that opposes it. They told me that we need more congress people like Raul, “to stand up for the community.”
Raul told canvassers preparing to door knock on Saturday morning that Ruth is right. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist! It takes passion, integrity, purpose and a set of ideals.” It also takes grassroots, community based movements.
It is critical and strategic, for the peace and justice movements to be involved in electoral struggles. Elections are all about the issues and building grassroots understanding of what we must and can do together to change government policies. When people from grassroots movements run for office, like Raul Grtijalva, it is a winning combination. Hopefully, we will win tonight when Raul is reelected.