Visibility and Invisibility 2022 #36

Support for my campaign is eeking its way into my visibility this week. When you are on the trail, you spend a lot of time on your own, in the car travelling between appointments and community gatherings, at home signing the backs of cards to drop off saying ‘sorry I missed you’ for the empty houses when door knocking and moments in between. There is a lot of pushing forward, taking a breath to step into a conversation or space. So, when you start to see the threads come together it is very rewarding.

This week I talked with a men’s group who have been meeting together for more than a decade. They were interested in why they should vote for me of course, and I did talk about that, but then we did a round where they all talked about what was important to them. In the buzz over the tea and biscuits it was really delighted to hear the conversations deepen and continue. What gave me heart was one of the participants bragging he had already got a visit from me, but he hadn’t been home, so I’d left a note in his letter box. My appearance at his men’s group confirmed I was real and genuinely interested in listening to him. I was no longer invisible to him, but more importantly, he was no longer invisible to me.

The second revelation came at cancer research fund raiser. I have been encouraged to go by a friend and campaign supporter. I knew no one going. The entertainment was pre-schoolers singing some rhymes. One of my all-time favourites – I’m a little teapot – was the crowd pleaser. Two versions of the song were delivered to an enthusiastic audience of parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. The first time through we were treated to the original version with all the actions. The second time, it was a mix of rap and Queen – everyone loved it especially the songsters. I had flash backs to my own childhood and my children’s Kindy concerts. The unity of the room was a full and energised as any rock concert. Afterwards I met with the leader of the community who knew I was coming and embraced with a deep and warm greeting. There is something universal about children. We met because someone could see the thread between us and a common desire to bring children’s voices to the fore. That hug was an act of solidarity, arriving through the endorsement of another. A beautiful gift of love made visible.

While out at a community auction last weekend, I missed by a few minutes another candidate pressing the flesh and getting to know different parts of the community. However, I had left behind at the event a few of my supporters wearing my Moira for Mayor badges. The candidate dropped me a note saying she had been wandering around the community auction and several people were wearing my badges. This warmed by heart so much. The work of a small group who I endearingly call the Pinking Shears Collective, was no longer visible. The badges were now circulating, doing their work in the world, providing provocation for conversation, making my campaign visible through the walking billboards of friendly faces and proud chests. This is very heart-warming for me.

Making visible what we believe, who we support, using prompts like badges, introductions and calling cards are the invitations we all need to open up conversations.  This is grass roots campaigning, and I am gratefully, seeing green shoots starting to appear.

Liz Sanders from The Food Embassy giving a speech at my campaign launch.

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