Faces of the campaign: Lisa Zucco
Name: Lisa Zucco
Campaign role: Canvass captain, South Butler County team
Hometown: Plum, Pennsylvania
Based in: Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania
What does a day as a volunteer look like to you?
“We just had the weekend of action, so on Friday night, our Neighborhood Team Leader organized a team meeting where I made an impassioned speech about the virtues of door-to-door canvassing, and on Saturday volunteers met at my house to do canvassing shifts. We had two teams doing two shifts in the neighborhood, and I walked both of them.
“Then, we came back to my house and took a look at all of our commit to vote cards and completed our tally sheets. One thing I make sure to do is give every individual canvasser a count of the work they did that day. It’s good to make them feel that sense of accomplishment, and they’ll be able to track their progress online and keep at it. I also make sure to write down the names of anyone we met that day I think will be a strong volunteer. We don’t have a huge canvassing group in our team right now, but I want to build one. I’m always in recruitment mode.”
What’s your favorite part of your role?
“Canvassing is really my passion. I’ve been going door to door since I was a little kid, thanks to my parents' good example of activism and civic engagement. When I walk, I'm always glad to find die-hard supporters, but I really love persuading undecided voters to support the President! Just the other week, I met a woman who wasn’t sure who she’d be voting for in this election. She had lost her job recently, and had to take a significant pay cut, so she’s unhappy with how the economy has affected her. When I’m canvassing, I think about the fact that I’m talking to people who are just like me, and I try to relate to what they’re going through. So after hearing her story, we started talking about why she voted for President Obama in 2008, and eventually I got her to say she’d at least watch the debates and reconsider.
“That person-to-person contact is probably one of the most rewarding things. If I didn’t have to eat and sleep, I’d be out there canvassing.”
What's the most unexpected part of your role?
“Sometimes, when new people join the team, or people pitch in to walk an extra shift, you get the sense that they’re doing it for you, and not just the President. I think that’s probably the most unexpected thing for me: the sense of community within the team, how we go beyond working to support the President and work to support each other."
How did you first come to the campaign?
“I didn’t volunteer during 2008 because I had a new baby then. I had my hands full! But when Barack Obama became the nominee, I was really amazed. I followed President Obama’s accomplishments with a sense of pride. I’m so distraught with the attacks from the other side on women, civil liberties, and health care … I knew I had to get involved. I’m absolutely committed to making sure he stays in office for another four years—so much that I can barely sleep some nights!”
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
“I’ll share one canvassing story. Once, I was canvassing for the President here in Pennsylvania, and I met a neighbor who had a Portuguese Water Dog, just like the dog that the First Family has. I’m a total dog person, so we chatted about that for a little bit, then she signed the President's petition and I made a note about visiting her again. Recently, I contacted her about getting involved, and I followed up by giving her a car magnet—the one with Bo that says ‘Bark for Barack.’ I figured, maybe she won’t sign up, but at least this will make her day. And she went wild. I’ve since seen her driving around town with that car magnet—and in our area, which is very conservative, it’s a pretty brave thing to do. I’m not sure whether she’ll volunteer—but I think I cemented her vote.”
Get to know the neighborhood team near you on Dashboard, the campaign’s online organizing platform.