By Kim Savage, Chair
I heard it again this weekend from a new acquaintance! “My neighbors are all Republican.”
Even in the most conservative parts of our township, that is not true. We need to stop that myth right here and right now!
Once upon a time, I bought into that myth and resisted becoming more involved as a Democrat because I was convinced my neighbors were too. When I started talking to them, at the suggestion of the township chair, I found out that it was simply not true! The changing demographics of our township increase the odds that you are living among Democrats. Even in the most conservative parts of Hinsdale and Burr Ridge, there are Democratic voters. So, how do we change the ingrained belief about our neighbors’ voting behavior and more importantly how do we persuade those on the fence that voting for Democratic candidates is in their best interest?
The April 10 New York Times Magazine carried a story that describes the work of a Los Angeles activist group that is focused on making deep connection with voters to change their minds on critical issues. It is a grassroots movement powered by well trained volunteers who reach out into the community. Their methods may take doorstep conversations to the extreme, but success will be around the corner if we can just probe a little more deeply to find common ground and connect it with our candidates
The good news is that we can explore the ideological terrain one person and one question at a time. Find a way that is comfortable for you to talk to people in the grocery line, warm chatter at the coffee shop, the bleachers at the ball field, the pool deck, or your local block party.
Remember the words of House Speaker Tip O’Neill, “All politics is local!” Whether it is knocking on doors or having individual conversations with our neighbors over coffee, we can move more people to our side. We need to do this right here in our communities and we need to do it right now.