Some sound advice from my local Wamu branch:
This is how we roll in NYC when we phone bank…
© Hee Jin Kang 2008
“During the Second World War, Winston Churchill’s finance minister said Britain should cut arts funding to support the war effort. Churchill’s response: “Then what are we fighting for?”
This is a must listen for all artists – today’s Brian Lehrer Show (part of the “30 Issues in 30 Days” series) explores the candidates’ positions on the arts in America. As if I needed another reason to vote for Obama.
To listen to the candidates’ own words (and if you’re short on time), skip ahead to around 12:30:
Fascinating how Barack Obama links the arts to democracy working better (“it makes us better citizens”) and to cultural diplomacy, while John McCain associates the arts with art collections in his friends’ apartments. Obama sees the arts as a national priority; McCain sees it as a local and private investment opportunity.
Campaigns has published policy proposals on the arts and/or arts education: Obama yes (download it here), McCain no.
National party platform includes a statement on arts and/or arts education: Democrats yes, Republicans no.
Candidate has a pro-arts congressional record: Obama yes, McCain no.
Senator Obama supports increase funding for the National Endowment for the Arts; Senator McCain voted twice on cutting or terminating funding for it.
Can the choice be any more clear?
What are you doing Sunday?
Come be my friend and make some calls to undecided voters in PA. I’m helping to lead a phone bank this Sunday at the (fancy) Bowery Hotel.
Spend an hour or four hours, up to you. You don’t have to be super knowledgeable about the issues (although I’m sure you are!). We give you a call list and a simple script. That’s all you need. It’s easy and surprisingly fun. Not scary I promise.
Don’t forget to bring your cellphone and your charger. And a sweater – it’s a little chilly on the 2nd floor bar of the hotel. But there will be a roaring fire. And I’ll bring apples!
THE BOWERY HOTEL
355 Bowery (btwn E.3rd & Bond St)
THIS SUNDAY Oct 26th, 12-8 PM
Directions: 6 to Astor Place or R/W to 8th Street
Senator Obama said it himself: this is not the time to be complacent. We all need to pitch in. To inspire you, here is Obama phone banking in Missouri:
I dropped in on the Photo.Book.Now meet-up at the New Museum last night. Certainly nice to see familiar faces and make new acquaintances. But there was something not right with me; I just wasn’t feeling it. Sometimes those kinds of industry events put me off. Do you ever feel like that? Why have I been so jazzed up to grip and grin at Obama events but not so much at photo ones? Is that some kind of (bad) sign? This election has so completely taken over my mind that it’s hard for me to put anything else in perspective. Suddenly everything seems do or die. Black or white. Right or wrong. Even cocktail parties.
I must try harder next time.
I just wanted to share my story from the Obama rally two weekends ago.
About an hour before Senator Obama was scheduled to speak, we volunteers found ourselves surrounded by members of the local unions. Lots of them. Carrying signs, wearing Obama t-shirts, and generally being boisterous and understandably wanting to get into the rally (made difficult by the high level of Secret Service detail).
I started helping one couple remove their Obama sign from its metal pole (no poles or sticks were allowed into the rally for security reasons).
Me: You look really familiar (to the older union guy).
He: Yeah, you too…
Me: Hey I canvassed your house a couple weeks ago!
He: (to his wife) Hey honey, this is that young lady who came by from the Obama campaign!
After we shook hands, he introduced me to his wife, and laughing about the coincidence, I remind him that we may have had a heated discussion that afternoon.
He: Well the union wants us here today… And you know… sometimes we can change our minds.
I’m excited to have been chosen for this experiment! From The Exposure Project’s blog:
In the spirit of artistic collaboration, The Exposure Project is pleased to announce the unveiling of a new, somewhat experimental photographic endeavor. Graphic Intersections, loosely inspired by the old Surrealist and Dadaist game Exquisite Corpse, is a project that will attempt to unite disparate artists in an interconnected, photographic relay of images inspired by one another. For those unfamiliar with Exquisite Corpse, it is succinctly described here:
“Among Surrealist techniques exploiting the mystique of accident was a kind of collective collage of words or images called the cadavre exquis (exquisite corpse). Based on an old parlor game, it was played by several people, each of whom would write a phrase on a sheet of paper, fold the paper to conceal part of it, and pass it on to the next player for his contribution.”
Hey Everyone! So, after spending the better part of the last week going through all of the submissions we received for Graphic Intersections, we are excited to be able to announce the selected photographers. First, I would just like to genuinely thank everybody that submitted to the project and extended encouragement and support for this venture. We had an incredibly difficult time curating Graphic Intersections due to the overwhelming diversity of great work that we received. We hope that this project continues to gain momentum and that there will be the opportunity to curate an entirely new group of artists to carry out this photographic Exquisite Corpse at some point in the future. For now, however, you’ll find the inaugural participants below:
Hee Jin Kang
We are extremely excited about Graphic Intersections and truly can’t wait to see what unfolds. In an effort to facilitate a completely uninhibited result, however, we will not be posting the images from the project as we receive them. There will be updates when appropriate regarding the final manifestation of this endeavor. Thanks again to everyone who showed enthusiasm. We couldn’t have done it without you.
Sounds like a fascinating project, huh? Can’t wait!
Phone banking – specifically, calling undecided voters in a swing state and trying to engage them in conversation – is an exercise in l’esprit de l’escalier. You know, devising the perfect comeback AFTER you hang up the phone. Or the next day in the shower. So, to the unkindly man on the phone who barked at me that all politicians are the same, I give you Colin Powell and his eloquent and unequivocal endorsement of Senator Obama:
So when I look at all of this and I think back to my army career, we’ve got two individuals. Either on of them could be a good president. But which is the president that we need now? Which is the individual that serves the needs of the nation for the next period of time? And I’ve come to the conclusion that because of his ability to inspire, because of the inclusive nature of his campaign, because he is reaching out all across America, because of who he is and his rhetorical abilities, as well as his substance, he has both style and substance, he has met the standard of being a successful president being an exceptional president, I think he is a transformational figure, he is a new generation, coming onto the world stage, the American stage,
And for that reason, I will be voting for Barack Obama.
General Powell, would you like to come phone banking with us? I suspect you would be very persuasive.
Do you know how easy it is to get involved? From the Obama website:
Neighbor to Neighbor:
Reach Out to Voters in your Community
This campaign is built on the belief that everyday Americans, when organized and focused, can change their country.
Now you can have an even greater impact on your community. Start today by logging in to our new voter contact tool to find voters near you, or in a critical battleground state, to reach out to. You can go door to door or make calls at any time that’s convenient for you. Ordinary Americans reaching out to ordinary Americans is going to make the real impact in this election, and we’re counting on you to help.
When you log in you’ll see that we’ve prepared all the resources that you need, including:
- A list of voters in your neighborhood, or in a key battleground state, who we need to reach out to
- A script you can use in your conversations
- A customized flyer you can distribute if you’re going door to door
- Easy interfaces to report back the results of your efforts to the campaign
- Support and training to answer any questions along the way
Logging into my.barackobama.com is so easy – all you need is your name, email, password and zipcode. That’s it, no more personal info than that.
Look, there are only two weeks left before the elections. You CAN do something to help make change. It doesn’t take very much time and I guarantee you will find the experience at the least interesting, but probably more than that, rewarding. The campaign has it set up so you can make calls from your home in your pajamas eating ramen!