Did you know that phone banking is still an essential tool for mobilizing public support and action on issues like stopping the Longview Millennium Bulk Terminals coal export proposal? What it boils down to is a chance for passionate people to connect with those across the state who share their values – and come together to effect change.
As a WEC intern this spring, I was lucky enough to be a part of numerous phone banks here at the office – and even led a couple of them myself.
Volunteer turnout grew with each passing phone bank and often forced us to find extra workstations to accommodate all the help. I witnessed growth and improvement of our results week by week. Our volunteers impressed me with their energy, and the conversations we had on the phone were successful and moved people to agree to submit public comment or attend a public hearing. Our growing numbers of volunteers (many of them repeat!) nearly tripled the number of calls per hour we could make, allowing us to move to different districts more quickly – which later proved to be important in accumulating the record number of comments.
Phone banks built more than just a community of informed citizens, but an army of equipped and effective volunteers who are the key to engaging concerned citizens in our work.
What brought our volunteers back was sincere dedication for our mission, as well as the team building atmosphere that grew with each event. We ate and drank together, discussed the issues, and built relationships. The success of our phone banks directly mirrors the community building that is so critical in the movement to say no to coal and yes to a clean energy future.