Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving, Same-Sex Marriage Style

Due to family upset over our marriage, my wife and I have begun spending our Thanksgivings at Caesars Indiana. It probably means I'll be eating ribs instead of turkey, but I suspect I'll be getting plenty of that in December anyway.

We'll be back on Friday to prepare for the grandkids' birthday celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are!

Sarah G

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Just my personal $.02...

I think the Democratic Party needs a leader like Howard Dean now. Under the DLC's increasingly conservative guidance, the number of Democrats in office has dwindled. Its natural voter base has been alienated, and very few conservatives have jumped ship from the GOP. It's time for Democrats to be true Democrats again!

Monday, November 15, 2004

Metamucil Time

Still recovering from the elections. My father, always the optimist, says that it took him years to realize when he was depressed. I never had any problem with this: my problem was learning to recognize when I had constipation.

After spending the last couple of weeks reflecting, I realize that I put my life 'on hold' in a similar way during the bustle of campaigning. My writing, the training I'd begun at work to expand my skill sets, the daily bills, the gym, etc. At least I got the house refinanced.

It's time to get things moving again and make plans for the future.

Sarah G

Friday, November 05, 2004

Hard work DOES pay off

I tallied up the number of flyers & signs I circulated, mostly by myself. It adds up to over 4600. I stuck them under windshield wipers, stapled them to telephone poles, and left them at people's doors. I also wrote the newspaper, walked and phoned for NOTA (No On the Amendment), and worked hard to get LBGT-supporters re-elected to the Kentucky legislature.

The Republicans, however, swept the elections. Were my efforts useless?

No. I saw, in very concrete ways, the benefits of my efforts.

Lexington, the epicenter of this 'army of one', had the highest percentage of 'No' votes statewide. This was due to the tireless efforts of Netta, Charlotte, and the rest of the Lexington NOTA folks, but I would like to think that my flyers made some small contribution to that success. The NOTA leadership (based in 'more sophisticated' Louisville) did not believe in literature, had far more volunteers than Lexington, but didn't do nearly as well. Of course, they were dealing with people who DID use printed material.

I am far more certain it made a difference in our precinct. We were the only Democrats that canvassed the area: it was not considered a GOTV precinct due to its low performance rating. But, once Gwen became precinct chair, we started talking to people and circulating info on the Democratic candidates and the amendment. And there was a change!

Bush: 158 – 45%
Kerry: 188 – 54%
Nader: 3 – 1%
Badnarik: 1 – 0%

Our previous Dem performance rating was 50%, and Bush was the winner vs. Gore. Furthermore, we were the only precinct with a chair that actually delivered a Kerry win in the 88th legislative district. The other precincts that did so had higher percentages of registered Democrats than ours did, and the wins there came without precinct staff.

Bunning: 115 – 34%
Mongiardo: 226 – 66%

We did actually circulate Mongiardo's material, even though he was the sponsor of that d---ed amendment. We were representing the party, after all, and, once again... much higher Dem performance.

Chandler: 221 – 66%
Buford: 101 – 30%
Abner: 5 – 1%
Gailey: 4 – 1%

Chandler won by 61% in the special election, so we may have had less impact here. His campaign also provided no literature for distribution. He obviously didn't need it.

Yes: 188 – 56%
No: 147 – 44%

Lexington averaged a 42% vote against the amendment. This precinct in the 'conservative' 88th district beat that average! A little information can be a good thing!

I do believe that the efforts of individuals makes a difference. This is proof.

Sarah G

Monday, November 01, 2004

Above and Beyond: a Summary

This has been the busiest year for me in a looooong time, perhaps the busiest year ever. Since the debacle with the KY General Assembly in April, I have become increasingly involved in the political sphere. I have also discovered depths of strength and willpower I never suspected existed within myself.

Despite my introversion, despite my dislike of outdoor activities, I have spent the last six months going door-to-door, talking with people about the anti-gay amendment. I also volunteered for Kerry, hoping to pull the teeth of the GOP leadership, the real source of the 13 anti-marriage amendments appearing on state ballots this year. Realizing that the problem also had to be attacked at the roots, my wife and I joined Change for Kentucky, a progressive group seeking to change the political landscape of this state. We helped them present their "Not-So-Fancy-Farm" and select their "CFK 12", the dozen candidates they endorsed this year. I also participated in 8 of their 12 action days.

I learned how to phonebank, to canvass, deliver yard signs, and perform lit drops. I taught myself Microsoft Publisher, and began creating my own anti-amendment flyers and signs for distribution. I haven't done the final tally yet, but I estimate that I distributed over 2000 pieces of material by myself, and another thousand with the help of my wife. I also learned how to load a staple gun.

My arches are falling and I have blisters on my feet, but I have the security of not feeling guilty about any votes that don't go my way, because I know I did my best. I also have the satisfaction of looking back on a year of breaking new ground and succeeding at it.

Sarah G