This is the post I almost wrote a few months back but didn’t. At the time I thought, “Lelo, yes you’re pissed off but give it a break.” Turns out the experience at my front door with an idiot petition gatherer was a good indicator for what has happened, as the signature gathering has turned into quite the ruckus and news story. I should have followed my instincts and blogged about it then, but better late than never.
The doorbell rang one night and the woman at the door said she was gathering signatures for a petition "to keep taxpayer money from going into politicians pockets and to support schools instead."
It smelled funny to me.
I asked her whom she was with and she said the City of Portland. Now I know that the City does not go door-to-door collecting signatures. Duh. I looked at her really weird and repeated, “You’re saying you are from the City of Portland?” and she flubbered some, and I asked who is behind the signature gathering. She couldn’t answer but continued to press me to sign the petition. At that point, there’s no way in hell I’m going to sign this petition, but let’s see what this is really about…. I pressed her for who is supporting the petition, she didn’t have any paperwork to show me nor could she tell me anything more, and when I explained there’s no way I’m going to sign something when I don’t know who’s behind it, what it’s about, or what group she’s representing, she looked at me and overly-clearly and loudly asked (as if I couldn’t possibly understand her), “Do you have access to a com-pew-tor? Maybe you could look it up on a comp-pew-tor.” She didn’t have a website for the First Things First committee, whose name we found together hidden somewhere in her paperwork, but thanks to her great incite I could look it up after she left.
You bet I did. This visit to my front door stunk, and it was topped off with an insult. I probably had googled that committee name before she stepped onto the sidewalk leaving my house. What was that about? Here is someone going to door to door, gathering signatures—and I had seen there were signatures of my neighbors—for something she could not explain one bit about, and, she assumed I didn’t have nor know anything about com-pew-tors.
So I’m not surprised ONE BIT to read:
“…the repeal appeared to have fallen short thanks in large part to unregistered voters and duplicate signatures.” And, upon reading what the First Things First Committee was about and who was a part of it—big businesses like Qwest and PGE—I’m really glad I didn’t sign it. In no way does it represent me nor my beliefs (which, BTW, I do support campaign finance reform), but the way the signature gatherer was presenting it, shoving the petition in front of me and decrying use of my taxes by politicians, I can see how it could easily go the other way for other people. Which got me thinking…I live in a historically depressed, working class, and diverse neighborhood. I’m part of some of the gentrification of it, but what was she doing in my neighborhood? And why was she assuming I didn’t know what a com-pew-tor was?
I’m glad I didn’t sign that, but I do wish I had told her off. If you’re going to gather signatures for a bullshit initiative, at least know what you’re talking about and who you’re representing. And don’t talk to me like I’m an idiot.