Rio Hondo professor loves to phone bank
Martha Carreon, a humanities professor at Rio Hondo Cllege, is passionate about the importance of voting and being involved in campaigns. She is also a die-hard “phone banker” and undoubtedly, in October and up to the election, you will find her on the phone, talking to would-be voters about the importance of voting Yes on Prop. 30 and No on Prop. 32. She shares some of her thoughts on voting, phone banks, and making a difference.
What have you done in previous campaigns?
During our board elections, I found it fun to actually talk to the people that would make a difference in the outcome of our board.
I always personalized the conversation, apologized for calling, identified myself and then gave the spiel about the candidate.
I especially liked to do it in Spanish because there are a lot of people out there that feel more comfortable in their native tongue. It’s important to me to tell them that I am not just calling for their vote, but the vote of anyone in the household that could vote – to encourage their whole family to vote. In other words, I emphasize the importance of voting and what difference it would make to them.
Do you have any special techniques you’d like to share?
The technique I used was unique. I told the team that I did not want to dial the phones. So – and this really worked – I had two people dialing while I just talked. It went very fast and we realized that the dialing was taking time. When one phone was ringing, I was already finished with the other, etc. I never dialed and everyone wanted to work with me. We would go through the list quickly and had very good responses. I guess that is why it was fun.
What about this fall?
I will be participating this fall and Lynette (CCA Vice President Lynette Nyaggah, a Rio Hondo faculty) has asked me to work with students on our campus. I am now the advisor to the club “Latinos for Voting,” whose main goal is to get students to register and to educate them about the issues. I have two to three dynamic students that have now taken training on how to register other students and are recruiting other students to help. It should be great to work with them.
The issues will make a difference in our lives and our economy. Our students will be the leaders in our community. We need to nurture their enthusiasm and encourage them to participate. They can then see that their participation made a difference.
Why phone bank?
Phone banking is effective because it reaches those who are not sure how they are going to vote. One has a chance to enlighten them. If we are passionate about our beliefs and issues, the passion will show through as we talk to people. Sincerity is a plus in phone banking and people can sense it. It is not something that is just reading a paper to the person on the other side, connect with them.