Put an “x” on the calendar: Today was my official first day volunteering with Minnesotans United. I’ve been blogging for the past nine months now and have shared resources and volunteer opportunities from MN United, but have really focused my efforts on sharing my personal voice through this blog. Today, I changed that.
The day started off with “Vote No on-a-stick” State Fair fan assembly. Folding, hot-gluing, stapling and boxing. For over three hours. We must have put together at least 2,500 fans! I met some great folks who also were volunteering and, despite a sore back, it was a really great experience.
After Vote No on-a-stick fan assembly, I made my way to the fairgrounds. Donning my Vote No tshirt, I went through training orientation with a dozen or so other volunteers. MN United makes it so easy to volunteer! I had a script for pretty much every possible answer someone might give me, a quick cheat sheet with key information and the team even did several role plays to make sure we were all comfortable.
For the next four hours, I just talked to Minnesotans. Several signed up to volunteer while others purchased yard signs, stickers or buttons. Overall, it gave me a lot of hope to hear all of the positive responses we received as a team. I can’t tell you how many people PERSONALLY THANKED ME for volunteering. They thanked me on behalf of their gay brother, their lesbian mom, their neighbors that have been together for nearly 20 years and many thanked me as straight allies who just simply appreciated the work I was doing to help defeat this mean-spirited amendment.
In all reality, if we were to vote today on this amendment, we would lose. Polling continues to show that we’re down by several points and the only way we will change that is if we rally. We must come together as a united community – gay or straight – and share our voices with fellow Minnesotans.
Today was a very good day. I can’t believe how motivating and rewarding the experience was. But it can’t stop here, and it can’t just be me. Friends, colleagues, blog-followers… each of you must stand up and make your voices heard.
Next weekend is the “Weekend of Action” and MN United is looking for volunteers across the state to sign up for ONE simple three-hour shift. That’s it, one shift. If you don’t see a city near you listed on the MN United page, email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will connect you to opportunities nearest you. We’re having conversations in every corner of the state so there really is no excuse to be on the sidelines anymore.
Today, I jumped out onto the field – and I’m playing to win.
How about you? Will you help create change in Minnesota?