When I started as a neighbor team leader for the Obama campaign in January 2012, I took it on faith that the phone banks and canvasses would bring results. I had never worked at the grassroots level before and had no first-hand experience of these campaign tools.
The day after President Obama's re-election, I was in a daze - exhausted from the many months of campaigning and not quite sure that the victory was real, not a mirage projected by my stressed-out brain.
Mid-morning, I left my apartment to get my mail and bumped into Roberto, the junior member of the complex's maintenance team. I had helped Roberto register in Florida after relocating from New York and given him information about the candidates, issues, and voting schedule. Roberto told me that he and his mother had waited in line for 6 hours on election day before casting their votes for President Obama.
In my already emotional state, I teared up and kept repeating "Oh Roberto, thank you. Thank your mother. That is so wonderful!" Roberto looked at me quizzically. Why was this woman getting so worked up? Then it happened. He looked me in the eye and said calmly: "I told you I would vote." Now I'm a believer. When we connect with people one-on-one, we can make a difference.