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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 04:28 PM
Original message
My Community Service essay, read it if you like
Community Service

I did community service for the Kerry-Edwards campaign. One instance of my work is not on here because it was before I was assigned this assignment. I started working for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in September up until the election on November 2nd. It was an interesting experience and I enjoyed my time doing it. It took me to places such as West Chester, Pennsylvania, parts of Herndon Ive never seen before, and I finished my job for the campaign, working on election day passing out literature at the high school.
The Kerry-Edwards campaign was set up in the first place to make John Kerry the forty fourth president of the United States. The work that the campaign does is stuff like canvassing which is when you go around knocking on doors asking people some questions like who are you going to vote for, would you like a campaign sticker, etc. There were also things done like phone banking that I did not participate in, phone banking is like phone canvassing. What I did on election day was pass out vote guides made by the Kerry-Edwards campaign which would tell people how to vote on certain candidates or ballot initiatives.
I decided to work for the Kerry-Edwards campaign because I wanted to see John Kerry be our next president. I personally admire Senators Kerry and Edwards very much, I was not of the Anyone But Bush crowd who supported Kerry only because he wasnt Bush. I was a genuine fan of the Senator. In the democratic primaries, Kerry was my pick partially because of his association with Senator Ted Kennedy who is a big political hero of mine and what I learned about Kerrys accomplishments in the senate. Kerry was the one who investigated Iran-Contra and BCCI and he also had a quite solid record on issues that mattered to me. I watched his DNC speech and it was one of the better speeches Ive heard. I thought that Kerry was the best candidate the democrats had of my life which includes Michael Dukakis, Bill Clinton, and Al Gore.
I did my first work for the campaign in September in West Chester, Pennsylvania. West Chester is near Philadelphia and it was a beautiful town with nice houses and quite scenic scenery. I woke up early one Saturday morning and got a ride from my dad to McPherson Square in Washington DC. I got on the bus and I was on my way. In a way, going to Pennsylvania was like a pilgrimage for me. My family comes from Pennsylvania and I still have many relatives there. It seemed to me that it was only fitting that I would go there. It was raining that day heavily and we arrived in West Chester around 12:00. I did not know anyone so I got paired up with a woman from Maryland and two college kids. We were driven to a neighborhood which almost reminded me of my own. It was pouring down rain and it was windy but I was willing to knock on the doors and ask the questions we had to ask. Many people were not home but many of the ones we did talk to said they supported Kerry, and the only Bush supporter we ran in to was friendly to us. We then returned to the local democratic party headquarters where they thanked us for our work.
In October, I did some work for the local Democratic party. I met a group of local democrats at the Reston Library one day upon the recommendation of someone from young democrats which I am a member of. I was paired up with a government employee who was a very nice guy and we were given an area of Herndon Ive never been to before. It was apartment buildings. It was again a wet day and my fellow canvasser had a cold. It was very similar to West Chester only we asked the people who they would vote for in the congressional election between Frank Wolf and James Socas. Most people again were very friendly and nice to us. We talked to one man who was in the military and he was quite critical of the media talking points and it seemed to me like he supported Kerry. We also talked to one man who could not vote because he was not a citizen yet but he was happy to support Kerry. One time when we got lost, a kid who was around 10 helped us out, and we talked to him, and it turns out he is a big Kerry fan. We explained to him some issues which I forget right now but it was really a neat experience. The one on one talks we had really showed how diverse our town really is.
The last bit of work I did for the Kerry-Edwards campaign was on election day, November 2nd. I had been waiting for this day for so long, I was of course disappointed being only 17 that I could not cast my first vote but I was of course willing to work hard on election day. This was the only time I would be working with people that I knew directly. I got to the school around 9:00 by walking to the school like I always do. I replaced someone who had been passing out campaign literature in front of the school. I basically would ask people if they would want a voters guide and many said yes. At 12:00, I headed on home but not for long. At 5:00, I headed back up even though I was having a hard time breathing and I felt terrible but I felt like I had to do this because this to me was something that had to be done. I eventually got better and kept on doing what I was doing earlier, only this time I worked with people I knew directly. I went home that night proud of the work I did and expecting a Kerry victory.
It hit me hard election night when Bush was announced the winner. I did not regret my work for Senator Kerry at all though. I was however very disappointed at what happened. I got over the loss quickly and realized that the fight must go on. So despite this set back, I am still gonna be involved in politics, I protested Bushs inauguration January 20th and it was a great experience that I do not regret doing despite the cold. I also will be protesting the war on March 19th. I got involved politically because I felt it was the right thing to do. I have no regrets doing what I did and I would have done this even if it was not assigned to me, I of course have one regret and that is that Senator Kerry is not President Kerry now. Community Service allowed me to have one of my first real government experiences which I will expand on next semester as an intern, I do not know who I will be working for yet but I will incorporate what I learned and experienced this fall in to that job.
Sorry if it may be a little hard to understand, its written for someone who knows my town.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:26 PM
Response to Original message
1. That's great!
I think it's great that you are so concerned about the country and your community. You certainly go above and beyond, but it looks like you discovered the rewards out-weigh the sacrifices. And that the rewards are in the work, connecting to people and knowing you did what you could, regardless of the outcome. I'll be looking forward to hearing all about your internship too.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. I still havent been placed yet, I'll tell who I am working for when I find
out. This was my big project for government this semester. Sure, I might give the link privately to the school site that has it.
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JI7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:35 PM
Response to Original message
2. sounds like a good experience
it's great to know people can contribute in campaigns even if they can't vote. and it's great to have people who care about doing something for those who can't vote either such as Kerry with his children's health care bill.

kerry did a lot of campaigning in grade schools and i bet a lot of the kids were able to help get votes for him by getting their parents and other older family members to vote.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 07:44 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. It was
I wanted to go to West Pennsylvania like Johnstown but we ended up going to West Chester, Pennsylvania is sort of my true home, my family only came down south to work.
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TayTay Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:05 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I know a guy who travelled to PA for Kerry
At one point the Kerry campaign put out a request for elected officials and MA Dems to go out to other states and tell other folks about Kerry. You know, we know him, this is what he's like, etc. The Kerry campaign wanted door-to-door folks. So the Mayor of the small city I used to live in (young guy, only 33, on his second term as mayor) was sent to PA, around Pittsburgh in the 'burbs, I think. He said he had a really good time. (He actually loves the door-to-door stuff. Much better than phone banking. That job is awful.)
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Interesting
I wanted to be near the Burgh or Johnstown because thast where my family is from.
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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-29-05 11:04 PM
Response to Original message
7. God bless you, Kleeb.
Thank you for all the hard work you did. The Democratic Party and JK are very proud of you, I'm sure.
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 05:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Thanks
I would have done this even if it wasn't an assignment honestly, I can't say that about some of my classmates sad to say but I feel really good since I helped an Afghani friend of mine find a place to work.
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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 10:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. "I helped an Afghani friend..."
Oh you go Kleeb, you are a great guy!
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 10:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. He's a nice guy
Only been in this country for a few years, I like to think Ive helped understand the way government works here better. If I have done that, then I am happy, the other day me and a friend of mine help a Flippino kid out too who was new here.
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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 10:49 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Y'all Rule! Blessings!
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JohnKleeb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Thanks
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elshiva Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-30-05 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. You are welcome.
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