Saturday, September 6, 2014

Door Knocking with Jamie

It was hot and humid this morning as we walked around that Norwich neighborhood, but it didn't bother me. You see, I had met a new union brother.
It was a Labor to Labor walk, visiting union households to get out the vote in November.
I was teamed up with Jamie Lamitie, a fellow AFT member.  He's an electrical teacher from Norwich Tech, and a member of SVFT.
Between houses, we shared stories about teaching and nursing, about kids and life.  I told him how we organized Backus and how I have been lucky enough to travel the country on union committees and conventions and such.  He's a building rep at Norwich Tech and I said I had recently become friends with his president and she offered to take me on tours of the schools some day.  He said I must come to Norwich Tech, to see "his" school and because they serve the best lunch, courtesy of the culinary class.

AFT represents Healthcare, Education, and public employees, a fact that Internet radio talk host Niicole Sandler found fascinating when she interviewed me this summer in Los Angeles.

I told her that AFT is healthcare, it's education, it's public service.
But it's all the same, we're all taking care of people in one way or the other. and for all of us, it's not so much a job, me taking care of a patient, or a teacher taking care of a student, it's a vocation.
And our issues, though different, are at the same time, similar.
Staffing levels and HCAHPS scores, class size and common core.

Jamie and I must have knocked on 50 doors.  Some were not home, some didn't want to talk, two took voter registration cards, and a couple wanted to make us coffee, Did we influence any votes?  Maybe a couple.  Were people appreciative that we took the time to visit?  I think so.  Did I get to meet and know another union brother? Definitely!
And when that happens, it's a good day.

No comments: