Why I said yes to volunteering for Jessica Van der Veen’s political campaign

It’s pretty easy to get me to say yes – if the right person, asks me the right thing, at the right time (the golden rule of fund raising, sales and generally getting what you want in this world).

To illustrate this, I’m going to gush about some campaign work I said “yes” to this spring.

For 4 weeks, I had the privilege of writing for a candidate who ran in BC’s provincial election. I produced an email campaign designed to support her live campaign and we enjoyed solid results:

  • online donation spikes
  • strong event attendance
  • people thanking the candidate for reaching out and making them part of her campaign.

Now, most of what I did, I did from home. Like usual, I had a couple of in person meetings in Victoria, emailed or phoned her staff daily, and wove narratives and arguments to engage her Oak Bay-Gordon Head community from the comfort and calmness of my Gabriola home.

But the last days of her campaign were different. I went to Victoria and camped out with her team for the final push.

With the newsletters written and cued, I was able to say, “Just point me where you need me.” And they did.

I got to help prep Jess for a call-in radio show, to co-write speeches, I went door to door to get out the vote, and on election night, I stood magic-marker-in-hand in the campaign office, capturing poll results as they were phoned in. I loved all of it.

Being a member of Jessica’s campaign team made me feel like I was contributing – not to a party, but to a system that makes it possible for a friend – a woman I admire – to run for office, and to a system that makes it possible for me to help. That’s why I joined her campaign, because I could.

That, and because Jess asked me.

Which reminds me of a classic campaign rule – it is so simple that we sometimes forget it – don’t forget to ask.

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