The Real Version of The West Wing’s “Manchester Part 1 & 2
Upon arriving in Manchester, New Hampshire, I suddenly found myself being inspired by my favorite television show: The West Wing. The beginning of the third season, President Bartlett returns to New Hampshire to begin his re-election campaign. Starting out of the Manchester field office for Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, it seems that a lot of the tasks I’ve either been delegated or have taken on are the same as those portrayed on the show. The only difference is that this is the real deal and I love it! Working with the EqualiTeam and working to elect pro-equality candidates to congress (including Carol) has been the highlight of my career, and would be for any political science graduate. I’ve not only made over 1,000 phone calls in a week, but I’ve taken on the role of being the “Healthcare go-to” person as well as the “Social issues go-to”, “Education go-to” and “Foreign Policy go-to”. I really feel passionate about those causes so I consider it an honor to be so knowledgeable in those areas to the point where someone trusts in me to speak about those issues on behalf of a member of Congress.
The campaign of Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is one that has given me so many different learning opportunities. I have learned how to become trained in VAN (Voter Access Network) - and have allowed others to train them in working with the program, help coordinate a canvass operation, have written phone scripts to enhance the Congresswoman’s message to voters, and a myriad of other tasks. Based on my previous political engagements, I have learned how to better successfully run (or assist) in campaign efforts. One of the many learning objectives that I have set for myself is to be more comfortable and become a better person in the Field Organizing realm of politics. I really love the legislative side of campaigns and the overall process of working in Washington; but, I always tend to forget that the Field Organizing and grassroots campaigning would not make the Washington experience become a reality. I am able to reach out to voters through events, phone-banking, and canvassing.
Every voter has a concern and, for me, I always spend as much time –as
needed – with a voter in order to make sure that the Congresswoman does
care about them. I have responded to a few constituents via e-mail. I
received an e-mail back thanking me for addressing their concern. In
addition, I am rapidly learning the political structure of New Hampshire
and the way its politics are played –and why they matter.
The most rewarding experience about working on a re-election campaign is to have interactions with the candidate. Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter is a woman who strongly believes in serving the people of her district. The first time I met her she was happy that I had joined the team and excited for me to be working with her staff. She is tough on issues that matter most to citizens which make a candidate look strong. She is highly approachable with any issue a person may have. It is refreshing to know that there are still members of Congress that care about their constituents.
I am highly honored to be working for the Campaign of Carol Shea-Porter and am proud that the National Stonewall Democrats gave me this opportunity. I know this will be a long road to travel until November second, but Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter needs to be re-elected to continue to fight for the LGBT community and all of her constituents. I firmly believe that in 57 days, she will be re-elected to Congress. That will fulfill a personal goal I have set for myself throughout my political endeavors: Working on a winning campaign to re-elect a member of Congress!