by Colleen Flaherty/Photo: Canvassers Susannah Green and Nate Sender
As Virginia is getting down to the wire on this year’s gubernatorial race between Ken Cuccinelli, the state attorney general, and Terry McAuliffe, the former Democratic National Committee chairman, activists are hitting the pavements to get people to the polls and educate voters about the radical difference, especially in education policy, between the two candidates.
Take Action ›
Keep up to date on all the latest education and political news with our weekly Education Votes email. Click here ›
So far, members of the Virginia Education Association have made tremendous effort to remind Virginians to get out and vote. More than 282 members have handwritten over 6,797 post cards to remind people to get to the polls November 2. They’ve made phone calls, put up posters and distributed information on voter registration and absentee voting throughout the state.
Most recently, on Saturday, dozens of canvassers turned out across the state, including Susannah Green and Nate Sender, both recent college graduates and activists.
“I had a great time canvassing this weekend,” said Green, a current NEA intern. “The people that I talked to were mostly very friendly and often enthusiastic about our canvassing efforts.”
Green, who has volunteered with Head Start and tutored at local elementary schools, feels getting involved is essential for people who care about public education.
“Getting involved is an important part of both giving back and feeling connected to your community, and getting involved with education is arguably the most effective way to do that,” said Green.
“Every child needs access to an excellent education in order to become a successful, happy member of their community, and every child should be guaranteed that access. It’s also personally fulfilling to know that your individual actions are making a difference in someone’s life.”
Sender, a Wisconsin native and long-time activist, also enjoyed his time canvassing.
“It was great, I enjoyed having the opportunity to chat with voters and learn about what issues were most important to them and their community,” said Sender. “I believe being involved with your community and voting are social responsibilities.”
Sender remembers speaking with a Virginia resident (pictured right) who one of the homes that was receptive to his message.
“He was frustrated about politicians not listening to the people and doing their job. He agreed that it is more important than ever to turn out and vote and put candidates into office who will address the needs of the people.”
As for those who might be on the fence about getting active in their local races, Sender had this to say:
“Just go for it, and give it a try. It is more fun than you might think. It can be really rewarding and informative talking to people about issues that are important to them and their community.”