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Political endorsements

Volunteer to walk precincts in Oregon or Nevada

This year's Presidential election will be decided by just a handful of swing states. The Sierra Club is doing its part to make sure people know about the urgency of this election through our Environmental Voter Education Campaign (EVEC). By going door to door talking to people about the environmental voting records of both candidates, we will help people make an educated decision on November 2. The most effective way to make a difference is through direct contact with voters.

Celia Scott of Santa Cruz recently volunteered in Portland, Oregon. Here is her account:

As the airplane descended into the Portland airport on Friday afternoon, it was obvious that the weather predictions had been correct. My weekend of walking with the Sierra Club and the League of Conservations Voters (LCV) would be wet and windy! My commitment to volunteer time in a swing state on the presidential election campaign was waterproof, however. It turned out to be an exciting adventure that far outweighed both damp clothes and fatigue.

By Friday at 5:00 p.m. (after a light rail train ride from the airport into Portland, and another short bus trip), I was being trained for the evening walk at LCV headquarters. Loaded with a clipboard, instructions, literature comparing Kerry and Bush positions on environmental issues, and a walking list, we took off for an eastside Portland neighborhood, walking in rain until 8:30 p.m. (well after dark).

It quickly became clear that Kerry supporters were predominant and that a majority of those contacted considered the Iraq war and the economy as the two most critical issues facing the country. The energy and good spirits of my walking companions, and the chance to interact directly with a variety of people, kept me going through the wind and the rain.

Saturday's walk with the Sierra Club through different neighborhoods in southeast Portland drew nearly 50 volunteers, as well as Bill Arthur, the National Field Director of the Club's EVEC. Once again a group of sturdy people walked through wind and rain, knocking on well over 600 doors, educating people about the environmental records of the two presidential candidates and recruiting a sizeable number of volunteers.

Spirits were high at the barbecue/feast in Mt. Scott Park following the community walk. And everyone was pleased that someone had come all the way from California to help out the tremendous effort that is going on in this swing state!

Both LCV and the Sierra Club will be continuing their outreach efforts right up to the November election. Volunteers are needed for phoning, office work, and direct face-to-face contact with voters on weekdays and weekends. It's a great way to make a difference!

To volunteer:

Sierra Club: 2950 SE Stark, Ste. 100 Portland, OR 97214. 503-243-6656 x 302 or 309 (Erin Cook).

Volunteers are needed in Las Vegas on the weekends of October 16 and October 30. Contact Courtney Watson, 702-732-7750 or courtney.watson@sierraclub.org. Help is provided for locating lodging.

League of Conservation Voters: www.lcv.org, (envirovictory project) in Portland, 503-227-2111 (volunteer coordinator )

Visit www.oregon.sierraclub.org or www.sierraclubvotes.org.