On Friday, March 1st, I decided to meet some of the people of District 12.

One of the first people I ran into, on my first ever canvass was a man named Calvin.

Calvin told me he used to vote all the time, but he didn’t vote in the last election, and he didn’t think he would vote anymore.

“I don’t trust a lot of them. It’s just too easy for them to do the wrong thing.”

He went on to tell me that he volunteers. as. an. election. judge. (Y’ALL!) Imagine how deeply our system needs to fail you to make an ELECTION JUDGE decide he doesn’t want to vote anymore.

I listened to Calvin for a while –– our campaign isn’t about talking just to “super voters” or people who are already super engaged –– it’s about listening to people who are the most impacted by city government.

He asked me what I was going to do to hold our elected leaders accountable.

I told Calvin that this work starts with helping people like him –– people who have given up on voting, or who have never voted before –– to become active in our political process.

“It can’t stop at voting,” I said.

Our campaign is about spending time with real people –– not just wealthy donors –– to listen to and address their very real concerns. Engaging the unengaged and the disinvested. Helping them to feel like they belong at the table when important decisions that will affect them are made.

We’re not going to win because we raise the most money. We’re not going to win because we have some fancy consulting firm teaching us how to send the same repetitive, boilerplate emails that you get from every other candidate.

Dave Heilker speaking to Calvin

“Okay Dave. You got it, you got my vote!”

–– Calvin

We’re going to win because we’re going to listen to more people, and we’re going to get people involved in the process who haven’t been involved before.

#WeBelong in a city where everyone knows that their voices will be heard and that their interests will be defended.

As we hugged and he walked away, Calvin turned back to me and said “Okay Dave. You got it, you got my vote!”

P.S. I hope that you’ll join us on Wednesday, April 10th for a rally to kickoff this campaign with a little more pomp and circumstance.

I’m making a commitment to having affordable events, so you’ll never need to pay more than $12 to attend an event (though larger contributions are, of course, appreciated). The political process can’t be open and inclusive if we shut out people working for minimum wage.

Click the link to RSVP on facebook – Dave Heilker: 410 for Baltimore – or click here to “get tickets.” (They’re free, but contributions are appreciated) If you can’t make it on 410, consider making a $12 contribution to our campaign. We can’t win without the sustaining support of everyday people like you.