She looked up, stopped what she was doing and said, "Oh, that's today?"
"Yes, I don't care if you are Republican or Democrat, please vote."
I wanted to continue my walk but something drew me back to her. She said her brother always said, if you don't vote you can't bitch. I had to agree.
We stood facing each other, her broom more of a prop, as she read my tee shirt, which says, I can't believe I still have to protest this shit.
She laughed and told me the story of her brother, a middle school teacher in Washington state, long ago. He taught history and social studies. I jumped in and said, "You know, they don't teach that here anymore."
"No, social studies."
She looked me up and down again and asked if I was a teacher. I said, "No, I am working for a campaign to unseat
Wil Schroder." And launched into his voting record. I told her that he voted against teachers and voted for a budget that slashes education funding. I didn't even go into the fact that our basic services are going to be taxed as well.
She then told me about her brother in Washington, who had been an environmentalist, but had an issue when a community of Hispanics down the hill from him, raised a Mexican flag above an American flag. She said nothing of how it changed his vote.
She then told me about hearing Jesse Jackson many years ago on Fountain Square. He talked to the crowd in terms they could understand and then he gathered young African Americans around him and delivered a different message, more militant, less sanguine.
Then, resting her hand atop the handle of her broom, and her cheek atop the hand, she said, "You know, I think Martin Luther King might have been right," and she took up her broom to sweep again.
As I turned to go, she hollered to me, "What was that man's name again?"
I told her, Wil Schroder, and said, "his opponent is Rachel Roberts and she and I believe in an educated Kentucky."
As I moved on up the hill, I realized something. I didn't know if that woman was Democrat of Republican. Outward appearances would say one thing, but some of what she said led to another. It leads me to believe that she was and is a Free Thinker. We could all become more open to the views of our neighbors, no matter the political party. I think we have lost sight of the fact that the political game is one thing, but actually serving ALL of your constituents is quite another.
So today, in Kentucky let's prove the general mindset wrong. While it is expected that only 30% of voters will actually exercise their right and responsibility today, prove them wrong, Kentucky. VOTE!