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My Speech to the Chavez Club Board

By: Lillie Brown, Roosevelt Middle School Chavista

"I learned that being part of the Cesar Chavez Clubs is a fantastic way to stay engaged and really be a part of the important things happening in my community." Lillie Brown

Good morning. My name is Lillie Brown. I am an 8th grade student at Roosevelt Middle School. Last year I was president of one of our Cesar Chavez Community Service Clubs at Roosevelt. I think we are shaking things up everywhere. 

In our clubs, we're helping to bring out the best in ourselves, the best in each other, and the very best in everyone we come in contact with.  I've been asked to share with you today some of my experiences related to phone banking for the "Yes on Measure I" campaign and to report our progress. 

Well.... When Lillian Shallow, a friend of mine who attends San Diego High School, told me about the lease between SDHS and Balboa Park and how it was expiring, I knew I wanted to be a part of the campaign.  I’m in 8th grade and I’m looking forward to attending High School. What better thing for me to be active in?

Lillie is on the left shown with her Mom, Dad, sister and Chavez Board President Richard Barrera

The plan was to make phone calls to voters to make them aware of the situation and to educate them on the value of the school. Then, to ask them to vote yes on measure I so San Diego High remains an essential part of Balboa Park.  Immediately, I was in. 

I arranged my schedule to be free for the next three Wednesdays as well as the Monday before the election. All I can say is that it was an AMAZING experience. In the last week alone, we had 25+ students and five adults making phone calls. The energy was so high!

Our results from last Wednesday were:

  • Total calls made: 1200
  • Yes: 199
  • No: 47
  • Undecided: 33
  • Not home: 931

Being part of this phone bank and getting voters engaged has taught me a lot. A few things I've learned are:

  1. That working in a group, aka "organizing", is such an incredible way to get a job done. Think about it, we each made an average of 30 plus calls. Most people were not home, but again, on average, we each reached a yes vote on ten calls. That’s incredible.
  2. I learned that developing friends and work relationships over time are essential. For example, the space we used for our phone bank belonged to a local attorney Ben Bunn; a colleague of Lillian's mom. Kathy has known him since Lillian was small. Mr. Bunn has always been involved in grassroots movements, so needless to say, he was happy to open his office to us. It was the perfect space.
  3. I've learned that relationship building (and keeping) is really important. Even me and Lillian... We've been friends since she and my sister were in 5th grade.  Who knew she and I would be working together on a political campaign?!! And,
  4. I learned that being part of the Cesar Chavez Clubs is a fantastic way to stay engaged and really be a part of the important things happening in my community. I couldn't be more proud to be a Chavista!

Throughout all the hard work the students and adults did, Measure I passed with flying colors!!!

Thanks for having me - I'm glad to answer any questions that you have.... Have a great Saturday!

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