You Know You're Making A Difference; Phonebank for COPAL-MN & GOTV


The last time I did any phone banking was in 1989 and I was a paid telemarketer for Rudy Boschwitz. I hated every minute of calling people during dinner and asking them to fund a campaign during a non-election year. Times change!

Fast forward to the 2018 election and feeling like we need to ensure change at the state and federal level. COPAL MN is a Latinx-run organization, committed to building an active grassroots communal democracy. One way they do this is through voter engagement. Their goal is to get 10,000 Latinx voters to the polls this November. I volunteered to help get pledged voter information into the database and the next step was to call pledged voters to remind them of the upcoming election.

The goal of phone banking at COPAL MN is to encourage people to the polls. There is no asking for money or convincing people of one way of thinking. It is simply a friendly call to see if the voter has any barriers to voting. For example, some of the people I connected with had moved and didn’t know where to find their polling place. COPAL MN shows you how to look it up for the voter and provide that information. Some might need a ride or help with translation. You simply send that call to staff members in the same room who can take over the call and get that voter connected.

I have volunteered 3x to make calls. Many calls are not answered (I don’t answer unknown numbers either!). Some are wrong numbers. And some are answered by grateful people who are happy that people are working to make change.  This type of volunteering is rewarding because you know you might be making a difference. Just last week, I talked to a voter who was very discouraged. He did not like that the popular vote was not recognized during the last election. He felt like his vote was useless. I could relate but then we talked about NOT GIVING UP and making sure our votes are recognized. He pledged to vote!

Making calls can feel intimidating. People worry that they won’t be articulate enough or be able to speak the language needed. Don’t worry. There are bilingual staff ready to jump in and this is not a job with someone listening in and tracking how many calls you made in an hour. This is a chance to chat with people about voting and using our right to make change.

Join other WMM volunteers in this or other phone banking opportunities. We have 40 days to get us ALL to the polls!

Next dates to phonebank for COPAL MN: