Today I have an unusual proposition for you. I’m spending a bunch of time to try to get Beto elected to Texas Senate, so I’ve not been able to write as much technical content. Rather than slow down on my door knocking, I’m looking to pick up the pace, and I want you to do it with me. Starting today, I’m offering anyone who phone banks or “block walks” (knocks on doors) the opportunity to win some of my technical time. Here’s how it’s going to work.

Each door you knock on, or every four phone calls you make will enter you into a drawing. At the end of November 6th, a winner will be chosen, and they’ll get an hour of my time. If you’re in Austin, we can meet up in person, and I’ll grab you a coffee if you’re not then we can jump on a hangout. You can ask me questions on contributing to open source, or performance, or what being in this industry for 10+ years looks like. Whatever you want really, the time is yours. But you have to participate to be eligible.

How to Enter

Each day you door knock, or phone bank, go to this form and fill it out:

Competition entry form

You’re somewhat on the honor system, but I will verify the winner has actually been doing what they enter. You can submit as many times as you like as long as they’re different sessions. I.e., so if you go block walking on Monday and knock on 20 doors, and then on Tuesday and knock on 30 doors, then you could either submit once with a count of 50 or two times with numbers of 20 and 30.

There’s a minimum, to be eligible you must knock on at least 20 doors, or make 80 phone calls (or some combination of the two). The more you knock, the more likely it is you’ll win. If you’re the only person that enters, and you knocked on 20 doors, then you would win by default.

How to Block Walk and Phone Bank

If you’re in Texas go to:

Beto Plan to win

Find an event on the map near you, click on it, and sign up for it, they’ll train you and send you on your way. You can also bypass signing up for the event and show up. Feel free to take a friend or a spouse with you, the main thing that matters is the number of voters we reach before election day.

If you’re not in Texas it’s a bit trickier, your only option is phone banking (unless you want to fly to Texas, which would be awesome, but likely not worth it). All the phone banking training shifts I’ve found are in person, however the call guide is online. You can also get help at the slack channel. I’ve not done this, but I would start with the call guide and work my way through that and get on slack if I had any questions.

Why Block walk and Call

The goal of block walking and calling is not to convince people to “switch sides” it’s to find people who support Beto’s causes, but might have never had anyone personally ask them to vote. The name of the game is turnout. This year Texas registered over a million new voters, now we have to make sure they get out to the polls, and the only way to do that is by talking to each and every one of them.

It might sound scary, but

1) It does work.

2) It’s a lot of fun once you get over your initial fear.

Here’s a video of me talking about my experiences if you want a raw glimpse into the background.

The best time to be getting people politically active and to the polls was a decade ago. The second best time is today.

Start this weekend

The best time to blockwalk is on the weekend when people are home (but that shouldn’t stop you from going during the week). The easiest way to get started is to commit to go with a friend and make a goal (like knock on 50 doors) and then go out and do it. If you can’t find an interested friend, then you can fly solo. It’s honestly a faster way to learn, and you’ll be more effective faster. Once you’re done for the day, don’t forget to put your numbers into the:

Competition Entry form

Good luck and happy door knocking!