This guest post was written by Jason Gorman.
On Saturday, October 12, Porter Kirkwood, Chris Schwertman and I went out canvassing for NCCFT-endorsed candidates. We met in the morning at campaign headquarters in East Meadow, where we had a chance to say a brief hello to Tom Suozzi and Jay Jacobs, Nassau County Democratic Party Chairman, and let them know that the NCCFT was there to show our support.
Our specific task was to canvas in Laura Curran’s district, so we headed out to Baldwin with our map, list of residents and canvassing materials in hand. Prof. Kirkwood took the lead. He introduced himself as a Professor at Nassau Community College, which turned out to be a great way to start talking with people. As soon as I introduced myself as an NCC faculty member, smiles would appear and people seemed more interested in what I had to say. They often invited other family members to come to the door and listen. At one stop, I congratulated a couple that wed very recently, after the Marriage Equality Act was passed, speaking with them about how the NCCFT negotiated domestic partnership recognition in 2009. At another home, a father invited his daughter to talk with us because she wanted to be involved politically and volunteer. People were much friendlier and receptive than I’d expected them to be.
I have heard that politicians sometimes respond to a single letter or decide things during a phone call with a single person, and as Porter, Chris, and I moved from house to house, I couldn’t help but wonder about the effect it might have if one or more of the residents with whom we spoke were to write a letter in support of us to their legislator. I thought about being in that office when Tom Suozzi smiled and thanked us when he heard we were NCCFT members. I believe connections like these can make all the difference. Tom Suozzi frequently reminds people that he lost to Edward Mangano by only 386 votes. I hope more people join us in these next few weeks before Election Day. Not only do the candidates who can make a difference in our lives at the college need our support, but the more we strengthen our ties to the communities we serve as educators, the more likely they will be to offer their support when we need it.