Note: the content below is the opinion of the creator or signed authors.
By Sarah Simons, RN
Why in the world would I spend time phone banking? This is an honest question and one that I will try to answer from my perspective.
First, as a Union nurse, I am paid pretty well at my job, so I no longer have to work two or three jobs or find other ways to pinch pennies that are time-consuming. So, I actually have a little more discretionary time to do the things that I could literally not afford to do before. The adage, to whom much is given, much is required may hold true here. For folks who feel deeply about this election who are in low-wage jobs, spending three hours to phone bank may not be feasible. This is not intended to be a guilt trip: there are a lot of ways we can spend time that benefits others; even spending time in self-care indirectly benefits others. But what I have found is that phone banking in COVID-19 circumstances is doing something for others and something for yourself.
For instance, with the Activate system that plays a little jazz tune between calls, you can turn off the camera and do some physical therapy exercises to strengthen your back or yoga stances, if that’s your thing. This system is ingenious; it makes it very easy to spend a couple of hours talking to people. It allows you to take a few moments to record the highlights of a call and then moves on only when the volunteer is ready.
It is the talking with people, fellow MNA members, that is really the best part. While it is true that some people list their spouse’s number, or have a strong reluctance to talk about politics, by and large, nurses enjoy talking with other nurses. Phone banking allows me to do one of the things that nurses do best: connect with people. We talk about what is important to them, what is happening at their workplace, and our opportunity as Union nurses in the 2020 election. We talk about our nurse-driven endorsement process, the candidates unique to their districts, and the value of voting.
The most important reason for me to phone bank is that THIS ELECTION MATTERS! Talking to people about their voting plans and encouraging them to exercise their right to know and their right to vote is Advocacy 101 for our communities and our nation. Sign up today!
Sign up for a virtual phone bank here: https://mnnurses.org/events/?eventCategory=4