Block Walking: Waste of Time or Important?

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Don’t you just hate it when random strangers knock on your door? I mean, who wants to be bothered in their home? When a stranger comes to your door, most people just want them to go away and fast, myself included.

However, this weekend I was one of those people who knock on your door. I was volunteering for the Wendy Davis campaign by block walking. Blocking walking is when you go door to door, kind of like when Girl Scouts sell cookies, except with block walking you’re encouraging people to vote and reminding them of the Wendy Davis campaign.

While block walking, I was able to tell so much about people just from how they answered the door. There are those that answer the door and ask questions and even get into a conversation with you. No matter if they were voting for Wendy Davis or not, these types of people are sweet and friendly and might even invite you inside (Of course you decline the offer). I call then the “motherly types” mostly because I have only had this experience with women.

 There are also those that just don’t answer. For example, while block walking, I went to a house where the woman was sitting at her table. I rang the doorbell. She looked up and she looked absolutely horrified to see me. She then buried her head back into whatever was on the table as if she never saw me. I call them “hiders.” They simply refuse to answer the door. Rude… but understandable.

Despite the many ‘hiders’ and ‘motherly types’, most of the houses I go up to while block walking simply have no one home… or so I assume. The lights are off, a dog is barking furiously to no avail, and there are no cars in the driveway.

Block walking is tiring and you get a lot of rejection and rudeness propelled at you. At times it doesn’t seem important at all. You start to ask yourself; Why am I doing this? Because you are standing in the hot sun, sweaty, exhausted, and you realize that you have only been at this for 30 minutes. You start to feel like your block walking doesn’t matter at all, at one point I think I even wondered if Wendy Davis herself could come take my place.

Despite this, the more I block walked, the more I realized it is important to volunteer for campaigns because it helps you become more involved, not just in politics but the community in general. It allows you to step outside of your comfort zone and talk to people, get to know them and learn about the issues that bother them. By block walking I also developed the skill of talking to strangers and I got to exchange ideas with others in the community.

Other campaign block walkers have experienced this exact same thing: Kyrie Trapp, a chemistry major at the University of Texas got involved with the Wendy Davis campaign by doing block walls over this past summer. She eventually took on more responsibility by becoming a neighbor volunteer in August. “I have had experience working on a smaller scale campaign. I enjoyed it and when I heard about Wendy’s campaign I wanted to get involved. Working on a campaign has helped me broaden my horizons,” says Trapp.

So the main question I am trying to answer is why do people help out with political campaigns? It could be for a lot of reasons. You could be like Kyrie Trapp and want to broaden your horizons by trying something new. You may volunteer because believe in what a candidate stands for.  I think the reason  that I volunteered on the Davis campaign is because it made me feel like I was doing something. That even though I can’t vote, my voice is still heard.That’s why I walk for hours in the sun and get doors slammed in my face when I decide to block walk. Because I am doing something that at the end of the day matters.

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