This week, my partner Bob and I scheduled vaccine appointments for people in low-income Alamance County, North Carolina. In Alamance, Coronavirus vaccines have been hard to come by. FEMA had just opened two new vaccination sites, but the word is not getting out.
New state legislator Ricky Hurtado, the only Democrat to flip an NC House seat in 2020, wanted to change that. He knows that being an elected official requires solving real constituent problems, even if North Carolina pays its legislators just $13,951/year. No wonder Hurtado was assisted by his wife, Jasmine, and not a staffer!
On Wednesday night from 5:30 to 8pm, Bob and I participated, along with 20 other phone bankers from a local activist group — we may have been the only outsiders. Phonebanking is often discouraging. In this case, we found it poignant, meaningful and rewarding. Making a meaningful difference in people’s lives is truly the antidote to Republican toxicity – and it’s essential to the future of the Democratic party.
Among the callers we reached were two middle-aged black women, both caretakers – one for a son with kidney disease and the other, a granddaughter who was an essential worker. They both were grateful for the opportunity to make an appointment without making a phone call or getting on the computer. Their relief was palpable when the appointments were confirmed. We hear a lot about the lower rates of vaccination in minority low-income communities. This is sometimes presumed to be due to distrust.
We’re planning to return next week. If you’d like to join us, sign up here: https://www.