Canvassing on Day 2

We're not asking for anything in our initial round of canvassing; just letting people know that we're walking their neighborhood, passing out a 1-page intro flyer (http://freedomsummer.us/sites/default/files/CmtyFlyer-v3.pdf) and letting them know we will be around again and are planning a neighborhood party within the next two weeks. I continue to be surprised by how receptive people are to what we are "selling." I'm sure it's out there, but I haven't felt any of negative reactions I've had when canvassing for political candidates -- even very popular ones! If I had to guess, I'd say 70-80% of people seem to appreciate our efforts and the remainder seem neutral or, understandably, a bit suspicous -- "I'll read it when I get a chance."

Last night, I focused on a single block near Howard. The modest two-story townhouses ranged from decrepid and vacant to thoroughly rehabbed with fancy frontdoors and, I was told later, price tags of $500,000. A few had planted wonderful gardens in their 15' x 15' front yards; others had grass a foot high; and most just looked "lived on." At first as I looked down from the top of the street, I was a bit nervous seeing lots of people hanging out on the street. I wondered if it was some sort of open air drug market. Turns out that, according to a middle-aged man sitting on a car, it's just a very friendly block where everybody gets along with everybody else.

Who lives on the block? A few senior citizens who were reluctant to open their doors; someone in a city job training program; a young man sitting on his porch who, I'd guess, was high on something, had grass a foot high (his neighbors weren't happy) but thought that "everything in this block is cool"; an artist painting a canvass on her porch; at least a dozen elementary school-age kids; a 30-something guy who had owned a couple of houses but bought one on this block where he was raised because it remained the best place he'd lived; two women sharing a porch who thought people needed to fix up their front yards; a student from Howard; a few families who spoke little english. And more. All in all, much more diverse and interesting than I had imagined.

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