Schlepping For Democracy

Terry Baum
3 min readNov 7, 2022

So, Gordon Mar is a good liberal supervisor who represents the Sunset, the southwest area of San Francisco. It’s all single family homes and is the most politically conservative area of the city. Mar took a stand against all the recalls for the D.A. and School Board that we just had. That took guts because the recalls were popular in his district. I also was against the recalls.

And now he is suffering for his integrity. Gordon Mar’s challenger and has no attributes other than having supported the recalls. He’s only lived in the district for seven months. He’s done nothing and he might win. And Mar has created affordable housing, is working on climate changes issues. He’s been a hardworking progressive supervisor.

So it seemed a good thing to support Gordon Mar’s re-election.

So Saturday, it was raining very lightly. I put on my raincoat and sturdy leather boots, walked down to the underground Muni stop in the Castro. And I mean down. I could have rolled down to the Muni stop.

But still, I did walk eight blocks.

Took Muni underground to the West Portal station, then got the 48 Quintara bus to 21st Avenue. Walked four loooong blocks to the Gordon Mar campaign headquarters.

My job was to ring the bell of every voter who had already been identified as a Mar supporter and find out if they had already voted, if not, did they have a plan to vote, and basically urge them to vote. And record all this information.

I was assigned a very large precinct that was very far away. That’s because I got there kinda late. All the close precincts were already taken.

I walked from 21st Avenue to 36th Avenue, so that’s fifteen blocks.

Then I walked from Noriega to Ortega to Pacheco to Rivera to Quintara. It is so very cool that the streets in the Sunset are in alphabetical order. Okay, that was four long blocks.

I had arrived at my precinct! I could start ringing doorbells!

I’d taken two forms of public transportation and walked thirty blocks in a light rain. I was wet. I was cold. My heavy boots made every step more work. I was exhausted.

So I called Mar headquarters and told them I would finish the precinct the next day. I didn’t mention that I hadn’t even started canvassing.

And then I called a Lyft and went home.

That was my political activism for the day. Oh, my home felt so cosy and warm. I was so happy to be there. I took a nice nap. And when I woke up, I realized it was the last Daylight savings day, and I could still take the pups for a walk in the late afternoon. Somehow, I got my mojo back and walked up hill and down dale with the pups.

And the next day, Sunday, the sun was shining and I put on my good walking shoes and took a Lyft to my precinct. Of course mostly people weren’t home. But some were and I recorded their responses. Many were very enthusiastic about Gordon Mar, which made me feel good. And I walked the twenty blocks back to headquarters, and turned in all my data. And then I took a Lyft home.

I sure hope you win, Gordon. But I can’t do any more for you. You’re too damn far away. And your blocks are too long. Good luck!

Today and tomorrow, I’m sticking closer to home. I’m going to phone bank in the Castro at the Democratic Party headquarters. I’ll probably be calling Georgia or Pennsylvania. But I’ll be closer to home myself. And doing these little things, like canvassing that precinct, holds back my fear a little bit.

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Terry Baum

Terry Baum is an actress, director, teacher, filmmaker, political activist, and award-winning lesbian playwright. Her blog BAUMBLOG is a “Top 100 LGBTQ Blog.”