I was recently visited by a campaign volunteer, which turned out to be a very disturbing and upsetting visit.
This volunteer started out by telling me she noticed the campaign sign on my fence.
She began to talk negatively about the candidate.
I asked her if she was there to campaign for someone else.
I told her I would gladly listen to what she had to say.
She very briefly told me the other candidate’s name, who the candidate was related to but not one word on the candidate’s qualifications.
She continued the negative trash on the one whose sign is on my fence.
I let her know I did not like negative campaigning, would not listen to it or participate in it.
She continued anyway, going on to the mayor’s race.
I repeated to her my unwillingness to listen or participate in the conversation.
I turned my back to go into my house. That’s when she started on me.
She told me I did not go to city council meetings, I did not know these people and (are you ready for this?) I should not even be voting.
She told me I had no business voting if I didn’t “know” the candidates.
Excuse me, but I was not aware we had to pass a knowledge test on candidates before we can vote.
Yes, we have an obligation to know their stand on issues and ideas, but who are we to judge.
I refuse to be bullied into voting on any candidate, and a volunteer behaving this way is not doing their choice of candidate any good.
We need to encourage people to run for office, to serve and to give back to our community and to society; not be discouraging for fear of the negative campaigning they may have to face.
I grew up in Bayside, and when I moved back a year and a half ago, I was quite impressed by the progress and community pride I found in Bayside.
This was not through the power of one, but of several collectively.
We may not all get to see all of our preferred candidates win, but we should respect the wishes of the voters, put our differences aside and agree to work together for the betterment of our community.
I will be voting on May 10.