The legislative session came to an end in Ohio after a dramatic budget debate that dominated political discussion in the state. The Generation Atomic team continued on and had two of it's most efficient weeks ever, setting the stage for a summer of grassroots organizing to pass a zero emissions credit in the fall. These three weeks marked an important start towards the final push to save jobs, clean air, and schools in Northern Ohio.
Stories from the Field
“Joining Gen A comes with a learning curve. I've absorbed facts about nuclear energy, the deep canvassing model, the importance of the work we're doing, and it can be overwhelming. An older woman sitting on her porch with her children in tow helped out putting things in perspective for me. ‘These things have to start somewhere,’ she remarked about us canvassing one door at a time, ‘otherwise they don't ever get started at all.’ Day by day, door by door, and person by person; I'm excited to be making a difference.”
- Shane Cram, Canvasser
“It's sometimes difficult to pinpoint one specific door that had an effect on me. So many of the people I've met have been kind and hospitable - I can't count the number of water bottles I've been offered on the consistently hot and humid days. I talked to one man in Akron last week in his early 20s, not much older than me, and he treated me as a friend from the moment we started talking. He was shocked at the clean energy and job loss that the plants shutting down would cause. The man didn't have any money on him, but he said to call him back in a couple days when he received his paycheck, because he felt so strongly about this issue. "I work for a living, I paint houses, so when I hear about all those people losing their jobs, I really feel for them. I want to do everything I can to make sure that doesn't happen.'"
- Dan Szetela
“I met a guy in Willoughby who teaches at Lake Erie College. I knocked on his door, told him about the nuclear power plants in Ohio being at risk, and then he asks me some questions. He asks ‘Why do we need them? We have tons of natural gas, coal, and oil.’ And I tried my best to answer him without relying on the environmental positives, because many people don't seem to know or care about environmental issues. I told him about the jobs, the local economy, and the need for a diverse grid. Well, he said ‘Sure. But what else? Why do we need nuclear in general? Why is it good?’ And I started to answer, but he quickly said ‘Because it makes America strong. Many people don't care about the Perry plant. They only care about their electric bill. So how do you convince them? You tell them that it makes our country strong.’ And he went on to explain. After talking to this man for a while (he signed down as a supporter), I thought ‘Yeah, America is great because we continually push the envelope. We care about longevity. We care about setting an example for the world. We care about the land we live on and the air we breathe. We care about future Americans and the future of America. Nuclear power represents all of these things. To let nuclear power die is to let America die.’”
- Kevin McQuate, Rapid Response Team Canvasser
Events at the West Akron Campus and Blu Jazz+ netted 700 postcards. An additional 500 have come in from Perry and nearly 100 from Davis-Besse.
The Think & Drink in Perry cemented relationships that put Gen A in a position to facilitate continued action and events in Lake County hosted and promoted by local organizations and individuals.
Conversations at the doors continue to show strong support for nuclear power and ZEN legislation across diverse communities.
Light canvassing operations bookended the Fourth of July festivities, and the team is rested and ready for the rest of the summer.
By the Numbers
Due to shifting schedules for the canvassers, we were able to achieve a much better contact rate; attempts therefore are down with no noticeable change in total contacts from our weekly norm. Action rates continue to reflect a large number of successful persuasions to double-act (send two postcards) at the doors. Conversion rates remain high; total doors attempted is over 20,000 and the campaign has garnered over 2,500 supporters and actions. Week 11 was shortened by the holiday, as well as some personnel shuffling, the canvassing team pulled in modest numbers compared to past weeks. Canvassing hours are down according to plan, but action conversion and supporter conversion remain steadily impressive.
In The Press