The first time I canvassed in DC, I thought I was going to faint from a heat stroke. I can say that comfortably, not as someone unfamiliar with heat, but as a third-generation Arizona native. I know heat. This was bad. It was 95, with 80 percent humidity. I’ve never felt so uncomfortable with weather in my life. Not to undermine AZ heat. It’s a totally different beast. The two are unrelatable. Different, but equally shitty kinds of shit. By the end of my first night, I had raised a good amount of money, I think largely from sympathy. I had people ask sincerely if I was alright. Offering me water and towels to wipe off. I must have scared the shit out of them, thinking this man is coming to their door, half-dying and wheezing on their porch, asking for money to help the gays. This is Georgetown. I took this picture because I knew that words alone couldn’t describe how horrible I felt. This picture does alright, but still not near the level of misery I was at. The entire top half of that shirt is saturated with sweat.
This is the next night. I heard on the news that it was going to be hotter than the day before and thought, ‘That’s fucking impossible.’ But it was very possible. That day I was more prepared. You can see the hat and towel I brought. They didn’t stand a chance. I had five or six people interrupt my speech about equal rights and ask if I was going to be alright, or if I needed water. They were legitimately concerned. I did poorly too, making only about 100 bucks. Still, saw some gorgeous houses in a neighborhood not far from John Kerry’s DC home.
Finally the weather cooled off a bit. Monday I did city canvassing on Capitol Hill. It was great. Dealing with people working in politics, who obviously had a little bit of money to be living in the city. Canvassing DC is very different from Denver. These people are savvy. They know their interests, and their political beliefs and they know what they want to give to. The speech is less relevant. You walk up and say the equivalent of: “Hey. You know what we’re doing and what we need to do it. Cough it up.” Take check/thank for the time and move on. The real skill here is ‘targetting,’ where you decide how much you’re going to ask for. My first two nights on the hill were profitable. Also notice, since we’re canvassing in the middle of the city and don’t need a commute, we have 1-2 hours where we go to the office director’s apartment and watch Dave Chapelle.