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98 Killahs! - Piano wire. [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
The richest girl in town.

[ website | www.laurenwheeler.com ]
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98 Killahs! [Wednesday, Jun. 4th, 2008|06:36 pm]
The richest girl in town.
[current mental state |ecstatic and exhausted]

I am still exhausted and my thighs are screaming from all the walking, but I wanted to mention a few things about election day, also known as The Day We Kicked 98's Ass:

- I woke up at 4:40 a.m. yesterday to drop No on Prop 98 doorhangers at all the voters we'd identified as voting no to remind them.

- Dustin is a rockstar. Having never done any canvassing work, he was my road dog from 10 in the morning until after the polls closed knocking on doors to remind people to vote and doing poll-checks. Funnily enough, we were assigned two West Oakland precincts in which we each have lived. The polling place in my precinct was McClymonds High School. I used to live in a loft across the street from there, and it was outside that loft that I found Java.

- One of the poll workers came in while I was checking the list of voters and yelled, "Those heathens stole our flag! AND the flag stand!" I tried not to giggle, but it was hard.

- I got hit on by the security guard at McClymonds. It was like being in high school all over again.

- I spent twenty minutes talking to a middle-aged man who had told someone from Just Cause Oakland that he intended to vote no on 98 but now refused to vote. First, he claimed he wanted to be a "lord of the land" someday himself, own 4 or 5 buildings on his block. I said, "Well, unless you plan to buy them by 8:00 p.m., you're still a renter, and it'll be a lot harder to afford 4 or 5 buildings if you're paying triple your current rent." He then admitted he was blowing smoke up my ass and leaned towards socialism. We had an interesting conversation about Karl Marx, but he still refused to vote, saying he's a Jehovah's Witness and they don't get involved in politics. "You'll never find a Witness in any man's army because we could not kill another person who might also be a Witness." I said, "You pay taxes, right? So your money still contributes to killing people. Now, I won't argue with you about your religious beliefs, but I was raised with the notion that God helps those who help themselves. If you won't drive five blocks to help keep housing affordable, that's your choice, but you can never opt out of the system as long as you still live in it."

So irritating.

- The best part of my day was a 68-year-old Jamaican woman I met who wasn't sure if she could vote. She's been in the States for at least 28 years and has lived in her apartment for 12, but only registered after the February primary because she wanted to be able to vote for Barack in November. I asked her if she knew about 98, and she got very animated about wanting to vote against it but said she was waiting for her daughter to get home. I let her know I'd drive her to the polls if she wanted and would call back.

Well, I did, and she did. She'd walked to the wrong polling place and was back home. I drove up, she hopped in the car, and hers was the last ballot cast at McClymonds--at 7:59 p.m. Having never voted before, she needed help with her ballot. The poll workers asked her what party she belonged to--"Yes on 99."

"No, no--are you a Democrat or a Republican?"

"No on 98."

I actually had to leave the room because I started tearing up.

When I drove her home, she started talking about Michelle Obama, and I nearly died.

"She look good now! She gain some weight. She no longer look like a skinny ragamuffin."



"I want to move because this girl move into the apartment next door and smoke the weed all the time! The smoke get in my apartment, and I'm embarrassed to open the door--people think it's me! And you know it's the good weed, too--it's strong. But she always look mean. You think she smoke that much weed she'd be in a better mood. She could at least offer me some if I have to smell it all the time. *cackle*"

I shit you not. That woman made my whole damn day.

- Thanks to the many friends who pitched in over the course of the campaign. Seriously. I think I win an award for recruiting not just over 160 volunteers, but because so many people I know personally showed up at some point in the last few weeks:


If I've forgotten you, I'm sorry--I'm about to fall over. (Today, we broke down the headquarters and moved everything out.)

And thank you to all the folks who were supportive, got the word out, etc. And of course a BIG thank-you to everyone who could vote and did.

[User Picture]From: haddayr
2008-06-05 02:23 am (UTC)

This post made my night.
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[User Picture]From: nihilistic_kid
2008-06-05 02:26 am (UTC)
Good show. Am in town -- 98's defeat was the talk of BART mutterers this morning. kest voted against 98 yesterday as well.
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[User Picture]From: antietam
2008-06-05 02:40 am (UTC)
You're an All-Star - a winner if there ever was one!
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[User Picture]From: sparkle_shortz
2008-06-05 02:59 am (UTC)
Congrats! That's wonderful.
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[User Picture]From: raychoo
2008-06-05 03:17 am (UTC)
Thank you SO MUCH for all the work you did on this.
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[User Picture]From: hyperaesthetika
2008-06-05 03:28 am (UTC)
thanks for sharing your story about the 68-year-old Jamaican woman! that just made my day. :)

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[User Picture]From: vicious_wench
2008-06-05 03:37 am (UTC)
proud to know you, my friend.
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[User Picture]From: black_pearl_10
2008-06-05 03:39 am (UTC)
[stands and gives a standing ovation]
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[User Picture]From: msjen
2008-06-05 03:54 am (UTC)
You rule. :)
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[User Picture]From: flipping_hades
2008-06-05 04:00 am (UTC)
Congratulations, you! A big thank you to yourself, fancy lady.
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[User Picture]From: mysterc
2008-06-05 04:36 am (UTC)
Do the damn thang!
So proud...
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[User Picture]From: i_dreamed_i_was
2008-06-05 04:51 am (UTC)


*happy noises*
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[User Picture]From: olamina
2008-06-05 06:02 am (UTC)
good job. the story about the old woman is great!
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[User Picture]From: whittles
2008-06-05 06:16 am (UTC)
Well done, lady.
and a well deserved rest coming!
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[User Picture]From: httf
2008-06-05 06:26 am (UTC)
Since I've been moving every month I didn't re-register in SF, but I didn't register to vote by mail in time so I had to go back to Oakland to vote. Do you know of any campaigns to help people register to vote by mail? I think that method could help get some of the busy/immobile/indifferent voters back into the process. I'm so floored that Obama finally has the nomination. But we're still a ways away, and Hillary is still being... well yeah. I'm almost afraid to hope. I remember the despair after last election.
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[User Picture]From: slutbunwalla
2008-06-05 06:36 am (UTC)
that icon....oooh. so great and so perfect!!

Good on YA! We heard the call!
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[User Picture]From: sagahar
2008-06-05 08:57 am (UTC)
Congratulations on killing that evil beast. And thank you... without your help, the help of those you work with, and the organized fight against a mass exodus out of California, it might have actually passed. I'm relieved.
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[User Picture]From: shipbuilding
2008-06-05 01:29 pm (UTC)
OMG!!! You did it! Congratulations! This is so amazing!!!
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From: lazip
2008-06-05 02:41 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, Lady! You did GOOD!
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[User Picture]From: whypnk
2008-06-05 02:56 pm (UTC)
tuesday was awesome! i'm sorry i couldn't stay the whole day.

what a beautiful encounter w/the Jamaican woman. i teared up reading the story.

i had a few really great encounters that day too. i was actually on Dustin's old block.

i think my best encounter was while walking home at about 750 a guy comes up to me and says "do you know where the polling place is". he was on foot, i gave him directions. he says "i still have 8 minutes" and took off running. i watched him run all the way there.


Edited at 2008-06-05 02:58 pm (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: gordonzola
2008-06-05 04:01 pm (UTC)
Whoo-hoo! If I lived in Oakland, I would have worked with you JCOers. Good job!
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From: oblomova
2008-06-05 06:54 pm (UTC)
Yay! Good for you!
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