“Somewhere in La Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing” Miguel Cervantes, Don Quixote 1605
Everything has changed. We are, indeed, living in a whole new world. It may feel at times that we, as individuals, are tilting at windmills during this strange new period of uncertainty. But the mantra that “we are all in this together” can truly bring us comfort, and be our salvation. On March 4 we initiated the first phase emergency procedures at PCDP headquarters, with top-to-bottom sanitation protocols. During the week of March 9, we began a second phase: training our volunteers for full shutdown. We executed phase three, with a full work-at-home order on March 16. Our front-desk volunteers were trained and equipped with Mobile Office binders tabbed with pretty much every bit of reference material and information they would need to monitor our phone lines from home.
In the midst of this pandemic crisis, our volunteers and interns have calmly and compassionately returned dozens of phone calls from people who are scared, concerned, angry, and upset about, well, pretty much everything. I have eavesdropped over the past year on many of these conversations and am always proud of the way our volunteers handle them. They are gentle yet firm, empathetic yet professional, sympathetic yet neutral, and they never answer with a simple, “I don’t know.” If they don’t know the answer, they know where to find it. The number of hostile and angry callers looking for a battle number in the hundreds. And yet, our volunteers patiently listen and most of the time will ease them into civility if not retreat and apology.
During any crisis, the most important service we can provide is clear and consistent communications. We have an unbelievably talented and dedicated team who have constantly provided us with social media posting, an up-to-date website and calendar, and this newsletter. We applaud: Shelly Goode, Marion Chubon, Jenni Pagano, Ellie Brecher, and Lori Cinnamond. These volunteers spend an inordinate amount of time and attention to detail – simply because they care. And further, during times of crisis, the world looks to leadership for both direction and comfort. We are clearly lacking both from our current White House an governor. It is times like this when true leaders surface. We know who they are. They are our health-care professionals, first responders, grocery store clerks, delivery carriers, caregivers, utility workers, waste collectors, warehouse workers, sanitation crews, generous neighbors, kind strangers, volunteers, and many more.
There is no time for rhetoric and politics. You don’t hear them pontificating and lecturing. They are too busy acting. THESE ARE OUR MODERN-DAY CHIVALROUS KNIGHTS.
I am not sure how long this virtual world will last, but rest assured we are working behind the scenes to support our voters and our amazing LD Chairs and their energized members. They’re still out there methodically registering people to vote and preparing them for this crucial election – and being creative and safe while doing so. They scoured the county looking for strong, motivated new Precinct Committeepersons to join us for this year’s election. We hope to have a record number of PCs this year.
We look forward to the day when we can give one another genuine long, hard hugs. We are truly all in this together. And so, love to you all as we remember one of Tucson’s own legendary chivalrous knights, Supervisor Richard Elias. He never ceased tilting his proverbial lance loudly and proudly at every cause that impacted our most vulnerable and most precious populations. Rest in POWER Dear Richard.
Stay home. Stay safe.
Cat and the PCDP HQ Team