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Question of the day

Friday, Jan 14, 2022

* From Rep. Theresa Mah’s Facebook page

Petition-gathering at the doors went pretty well today—I filled two 20-line sheets. Only thing was I suffered a mishap. Tripped up a step (who does that?) and landed all sprawled on the ground. I’m ok except for a possibly sprained wrist and took quite a jolt to my bag of bones.

Be careful out there.

* The Question: What’s your best story about going door-to-door?

…Adding… Rep. Nick Smith (D-Chicago) was on Rep. Mike Zalewski’s podcast this week and had this to say about the obstacles to knocking on doors today

Smith: Because of all those challenges, I’m asking people ‘Just do your block.’ It’s a thousand signatures. If I get 50 people to do a sheet, there you go. Because people are more hesitant, even before the pandemic and not in the bitter cold. We’ve been doing this a long time. We’ve been knocking doors for decades now. And it’s not the same as it was 20 years ago. People do not answer their doors. ‘Ring’ doorbells, you know, cameras, … I don’t answer my door, typically, if I’m not expecting anybody. Now, I was thinking, maybe I should ride around in a FedEx truck. And people will answer their doors because they think they have a package coming. And that’s the only reason people are answering their doors right now. They’re looking for a package.

Zalewski: It’s the ultimate organization election cycle and there’s no more organizations. That’s the thing I keep saying to myself. Twenty years ago, I had the 23rd Ward, the 13th Ward, the 10th, the 8th Ward Organization and we don’t have that.

Smith: It’s a very small number of ward organizations that still exist. And then you know, you have suburbs, I have suburbs. Township organizations are nothing like it used to be. I mean, Thornton Township was one of the strongest in the state, top vote getter in the state in terms of townships. And now with the leader [Frank Zuccarelli] gone, I don’t know what to expect. So, I have to take things in my own hands and talk to the folks that we have relationships with individually, and hope that they can help us out. But it’s an interesting time, Mike, and I just, you know, I just want to get it over with. [Laughs]

- Posted by Rich Miller        

23 Comments »
  1. - ozziesmithforprez - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    Old man pointed gun at me; old man ripped his screen door off and ran after me; old man gave me a tour of his home filled with huge remote control planes and no furniture. A lot of strange interactions with old men, it seems.


  2. - KBS - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    Guy came to the door wearing a bathrobe (and probably nothing else), eating an ice cream cone. Told me I (a woman running for school board) needed to be a man to run for office. Okay then.


  3. - Rayne of Terror - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:08 pm:

    We were following the list going address to address when candidate decided to just knock on every door on that street. I was 22, first campaign. Knocked on a door where the man threatened to cut my throat because child support enforcement would be coming for him if he signed the petition.


  4. - Just Me 2 - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:09 pm:

    Not my favorite but one that I’ll never forget: the owner’s dog bolted out and stood at my feet growling and barking. I honestly thought the dog was going to bite me so I put my foot out in front of me as sort of a shield. The dog kept running into my foot to try and get closer to me and then the owner pushed me off his property and accuses me of kicking his dog. I love dogs and the accusation was upsetting.


  5. - Nameless - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    With the advent or Ring doorbells, maybe she could put out an ad with the video of her wiping out. She could say she gives her district her blood, sweat and tears.


  6. - Miso - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:12 pm:

    I lacked any considerable foresight and had the audacity to knock on doors during a Bears game.

    Do not knock on doors during a Bears game. This is obviously advice for the 2026 cycle.


  7. - Groucho - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:13 pm:

    The little sign above the doorbell read “Press Hard”. Man answers door and the person I am canvassing says hello Mr. Hard. Both I and “Mr. Hard” had a very good laugh.


  8. - klhehehehe - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:15 pm:

    Any strange interactions you can always get away from by playing a fool or just ignoring the obvious. I really enjoy the door to do outside of my local pct because you can work on new skills and see new people. Naked bathrobe guy was funny. Gun pointed at no, but open carry is normal.


  9. - Actual Red - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    A guy told me he wouldn’t sign my petition because he was “in favor” of police brutality.


  10. - Fav Human - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:21 pm:

    The people were hosting a party when I came by with a petition. The lady who answered it brought me in, and promptly took away the munchies, and said no food until everyone signed the petition.

    It was in the early 90s, and the petition was for a vote opposing a local casino.

    I filled a 1.5 pages at that place!!


  11. - klhehehehe - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    If I have a sidekick I like overly complimenting cool stuff on poaches with ring door bells. It keeps it positive even when its cold and you naturally smile.


  12. - PMS - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    at the ripe old age of 18 - went to the incumbents house to get a signature for his opponent. He listened with a grin and said “you don’t know who am, do you?, I let you finish so you can practice what to day and good for you getting involved so young” Sweetest man, I’ll never forget him.


  13. - Alton Belle - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:52 pm:

    The Democratic candidate walk sheet included a house with seemingly every Republican campaign sign planted in the yard.

    This is a terrible mistake, I thought as I walked up to the door, knocked and presented the candidate’s literature to the homeowner.

    “Bill Haine. We love Bill Haine. Thanks for stopping by.”


  14. - Anonymous - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 1:56 pm:

    I walked up to a house and there was a car parked in the driveway with a couple guys in it. The window rolls down and a huge puff of smoke came out. They were smoking marijuana. I handed them the literature threw the cracked opened window and went on my way.


  15. - Been There - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 2:02 pm:

    ==== I lacked any considerable foresight and had the audacity to knock on doors during a Bears game.====
    I will agree 100% with this. The Bears were having one of their terrible seasons again and it was a unusually nice day so I said the heck with it. Well something else must have been in the air/water or a full moon. At least 4 people answering the door within a block or two had almost no clothes on, just sheets, towels or robe wrapped around them and you could see someone else on the couch wrapped in the same. Maybe it was around half time. And most of them took the clipboard and signed.


  16. - Not that funny - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 2:13 pm:

    Woman dressed in a bikini who invited me in. That was weird. I declined. Ha!


  17. - TNR - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 2:25 pm:

    Zalewski and Smith’s conversation is on target. Illinois’ onerous signature requirements were designed for a time when precinct organizations dominated. They no longer exist. One of these days a major candidate isn’t going to make it on the ballot because of that.


  18. - Club J - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 2:29 pm:

    I had went to the older gentleman’s house and he opened the door and his big dog was barking. I explained who I was and why I was there. He was interested but that do kept barking. Every once in awhile I’d look around him and the dog was showing his teeth. The old guy says don’t worry about her she’s had her shots. I’m thinks that dog is looking at my leg for lunch.

    I just get off his porch and I here this noise and that old guy yelling run kid. A lady from the neighborhood was driving by and I jumped in her car. She said I about caused her to have a heart attack and I pointed at that dog as the guy was grabbing her by the collar.

    We put a big sign in that yard.


  19. - Correcting - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 3:09 pm:

    Got stuck listening to some guy talk about basement construction and repair for 40 minutes. We were on an assignment. Two of us. I wouldn’t have been there for 40 minutes if it were just me, but the guy I was working with was considered “superior” and he thought it was a good idea to listen to the man talk about how to properly caulk. Needless to say, we did not get many signatures that day. I then decided to never work with that guy again.

    Another time, I got stuck living in a house full of Libertarians for a campaign. The people I lived with were stranger than any of the people who answered the doors. Boss man was known as “Dirty Dan.” He was not a pleasant guy to work with let alone live with.


  20. - City remap - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 3:27 pm:

    This happened in one of the Chicago wards, somewhere in the early 1990s. Was out doing registration and came to a home where the mother lived next door to her son, Daughter-inlaw. After the form was complete I asked the homeowner if they would be interested in a Mayor Daley, which the homeowner declined. Finding out later it was Victor Reyes’s house, and he couldn’t be any nicer in future meetings.


  21. - Keyrock - Friday, Jan 14, 22 @ 3:57 pm:

    Reverse story for you. I was at a friend’s house, when I was maybe 16. The son of a local pol came to the door—it was the son’s first (and last) race. We didn’t like the pol and knew who the son was. My friend’s older brother grabbed a pillow and threw it at the new candidate. We each grabbed couch pillows and chased the candidate away.
    Can’t say I’m proud of that.


  22. - walker - Saturday, Jan 15, 22 @ 7:20 am:

    Guy thought I’d be interested in seeing his “WW2 stuff “ which turned out to be a shrine to Hitler.


  23. - Oldtimer - Tuesday, Jan 18, 22 @ 8:38 pm:

    Can’t verify this happened but I hope it did. An incumbent legislator was sent an elite door knocker from the political organization for a training session. Said door knocker was very good at his job but also extremely annoying. The afternoon they were supposed to walk together, the legislator begged off and sent the door walker out with his literature to a precinct outside of the district.


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