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Sunday, October 31, 2004

Arriving from Tokyo stop George Bush

not this time, boys

We're busting our ass tonight. One more story for you before I finally get some more sleep

Expatriates Feeling the Urge to Return and Campaign
Overseas Volunteers Motivated by the Belief That the Election Is the Most Important in Their Lifetime

By Mary Fitzgerald
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page A04

Five months ago, Anthony Glavin decided he had had enough. Not satisfied with observing the election campaign from his adopted home in Ireland, the Massachusetts-born editor and writer felt he had to get involved in some way; he itched to do something that would make a difference. So he took seven weeks off, leaving his family to work as a volunteer coordinator for the Kerry-Edwards campaign in Florida.

Glavin is one of scores of American expatriates who have given up days, weeks and even months of vacation time to return to the United States and help rally voters in battleground states.

What began as a steady trickle of overseas volunteers two months ago has developed into a concentrated final push in the last week before the election. Some expats are returning to their home towns in crucial swing states to take part in door-to-door canvassing; others are running phone banks or driving voters to the polls. A number have arrived in Florida to act as election observers.

Whether they are from as far afield as Japan or Europe or are simply crossing the border from Canada, these expat volunteers, for the most part describing themselves as anti-President Bush, say they are motivated by the belief that this election is the most important in their lifetime.

"This administration and its policies, both domestically and internationally, have been so painful to watch that I realized I was not going to be able to survive watching this election from afar," said Glavin, who has lived in Dublin for the past 20 years.


"Living abroad, you notice that while people don't quite hold it against you personally, there really is a feeling that people think the U.S. has lost its mind," Morgan said. "I think we owe it to ourselves, our kids and to the world to get a change here. I have never experienced a more important moment in our country's history."

Among those coming back to the US for this election are Sunshine and Gators a group of American expats from Japan, including one of my longtime readers Hubris Sonic, who's been around since NetSlaves, I think. It's 5 AM and my memory is a bit hazy at this hour when my mind is usually only on the BBC or sex.

Who we are

SUNSHINE AND ALLIGATORS was founded by progressive US citizens in summer 2004 in Tokyo Japan. We are a volunteer organization traveling to Central Florida in October, devoting our time and skills to the defeat of George Bush in the November 2004 elections. We aim to ensure free and fair elections for all but especially for those who were disenfranchised in 2000

SUNSHINE AND ALLIGATORS will document on video the details of our trip to Florida to illustrate the realities ordinary people face when taking part in US elections. We are an independent grassroots volunteer organization committed to a responsible and effective US Government and we welcome people from all over the world to join us

This is what they did today.

The Ground War.

2 Gator Teams hit Manatee County Precint #63. Blue collar democrat. To give you a little overview most of the gators are here now and we are taking charge of 3 precincts in Manatee county. The ACT people and the and the Acorn people, and the ... etc etc etc. are in the cities, the urban environment provides more bang for your buck because fewer volunteers can knock on more doors in the urban environment. When you look at outer-suburban areas your logistical problems double, not only is there a smaller door to volunteers ratio. You also have transport problems. you have to drive everywhere and thats alot of coordination. So, with all the "professional" focus on Tampa/St. Pete we decided to shift focus to Manatee County. Its only about 45 minutes south of Tampa, it has the value of being not canvassed yet. Literally these are our 3 districts. Nobody else was going to work them.

Today we split into 2 teams, Sarajean, Michael, Jackie, and 2 reporters from a Portuguese Newspaper (dont ask) took the first area and Lauren, Peter and I did the other. Jeffrey drove one vehicle as support. We didnt bother to cover a third area because a drive by made it clear that there were few democrats. A. we didnt have time for all three. B. We are short volunteers. C. 3 precincts are a lot of ground to cover. Because we are using the FCAN database it is a non-partisan list so we make adjustments on the ground. We walk our precincts, this mean that you take the lists of names and addresses and walk down the street and knock on the doors of the houses with registered voters listed and we also talk to people in the street. Unlike McMansion (republican) neighborhoods which are sterile and dont seem to have anyone living in them, working class neighborhoods always have kids running around, asking questions. Am I on that list? Are you coming to my house? Whatcha doing? We found that our area to be at least 85% Kerry. and many people had already voted. Those that didnt said the same thing to us.Dont Worry, I'm gonna vote. or Oh they couldnt keep me from the polls its very invigorating. We finished up at dusk, we only canvass from 4-7. I will send more details, this post is getting too long, and I want some flavor from the other gators too.

I almost forgot. check out this report from some ACT people in the LA Weekly, its long but interesting.

oh and yes, its as exciting here as you would think it is

pps. the kinkos was swamped with dem printing so we bought a $70 printer (thanks to the all the donors!) we really needed it

Guys, if you take digital pictures, I'll post them up so we can see you guys at work.

posted by Steve @ 4:57:00 AM

4:57:00 AM

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