Celebrating Volunteers

As the journey continues I want to talk about volunteers. When I won the nomination I assumed that our riding would have a dedicated team ready to support me in the process of running a campaign. I soon discovered that this was not necessarily the case. There was a dedicated group who had been keeping the Green Dream alive in Ottawa West Nepean for the last two or three elections but they were more a loose confederation of believers but not a structured team with roles and responsibilities. In this I really have to thank our riding president Carolyn, and the riding Treasurer Jeff who have kept this riding association together. Thus after I had done the basic work of creating product and presence for my candidacy I started to reach out to find volunteers that could take on roles in this campaign. In this search I was specifically looking for individuals who wanted to stay with me over at least two campaigns, and also were independent and would literally take on a job and run with it. I began by asking a teaching colleague of mine John to become my financial agent. He was the perfect man for the job, detail oriented, a former business owner who understands finances, and someone who could have a frank discussion with me if needed. The second person I looked for was a campaign manager. Patrick Freel our former provincial candidate stepped up and was of tremendous help in getting me started, however he truly had his heart in supporting the candidate in his own riding so we had an open and honest discussion that it would be best if he focussed his energies on her campaign. However I continue to lean on him for support. Then an old friend from Mountain Equipment Coop reached out - Linda and I used to work at the Member Service desk in our past lives and I was very excited to have her join my team. She is practical, positive, organized and was someone who just gets it. In fact her role as Volunteer Coordinator is slowly morphing into Campaign Manager. She is also great at reenergizing me when I start to get a little frazzled. The most recent addition to our team was David. He simply reached out through the Green Party website and offered to help with signs. Aside from cheering him on and helping him find some posts for the big signs, he has been the sign tracker, mapper, delivery, and installation force. This is the role that is often unrecognized but of such large importance. Recently as we have begun to be better at rallying volunteers the campaign has picked up steam. We divided the riding into neighborhood districts and we have neighborhood captains working the neighborhoods to distribute brochures and keep me informed of local issues. At this point we added another strong group - Cathy, Devon, Judy, Xavier and two of my students Jonah and Aislynn. Then in the last couple of weeks boom we grew gain and we are now 30 strong and growing every week. To finish I just want to thank each and every volunteer your support is so important and meaningful to me. As part of this celebration of volunteers I organized a Green Wave Rafting trip with @OttawaCityRafting down the Ottawa River in the City of Ottawa. This will hopefully be an annual trip, though next time we will do this in August. I honestly believe the first step in winning an election is in building the community who are going to support the dream.

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