WOW! What an incredible day. Day 2 of the Young Fabians Operation Stop Trump Delegation was nothing short of spectacular. We phone canvassed for Hillary Clinton in the morning, had a lunch meeting with Heather, a Young Democrat and Mental Health Campaigner, visited the United Nations in the afternoon and paid our respects at the 9/11 Memorial then socialised with the Manhattan Young Democrats in the evening!
We began the day back at Hillary Clinton’s field office at the American Federation of Teachers Union HQ in Manhattan. We once again spoke to voters in Pennsylvania to get their feelings on the presidential election and persuade them to vote for Hillary.
As seasoned Labour Party campaigners it was interesting to look at the campaign tools Hillary’s campaign were using and I can say from experience that Votebuild, Hillary’s system was easier to use than the Labour Party’s NationBuilder.
We had a lunch meeting with Heather Swadley, a young Progressive academic who has worked and studied in both the UK and US, specialising in Mental Health campaigning, who had many valuable insights to share with us.
Everyone on the delegation has made a real point of engaging in conversation with everyone we come into contact with to try and get a sense of the views of real people. At the diner, Nathan, one of our delegates, and I did an informal, unbiased survey of voters in a diner in New York asking them for their opinions of Hillary and Trump. One gentleman was a life-long Republican who was voting for Hillary! Another gentleman was a staunch Republican who was dismayed at what he perceived as the Democrats failings at a local level in New York City and felt they were too entrenched in the city.
One thing we have really enjoyed on this trip is chatting to real people about the election and what matters most to them- be it customers in diners, small business owners such as the bagel store owner we spoke to in New Jersey or taxis drivers.
In the afternoon, we had the great honour of visiting the United Nations. It was wonderful to be in the very place where so many historic decisions on world affairs have been made. We were reminded of Eleanor Roosevelt’s famous observation about the UN, ‘The UN is our greatest hope for future peace. Alone we cannot keep the peace of the world, but in cooperation with others we have to achieve this much longed-for security.’
We discussed the future role of the United Nations in International Relations, Security and Conflict Resolution and all hoped for greater cooperation between nations in order to resolve conflicts and tackle our common problems in an increasingly interconnected world.
We visited the 9/11 Memorial in order to reflect and pay our respects which we found very moving and poignant.
In the evening, we were able to renew “the special relationship” between the US and UK by having a social event with the Manhattan Young Democrats. It was wonderful to debate and exchange ideas with fellow young Progressives from both sides of the Atlantic. We gained useful insights from each other.
This was undoubtedly a banner day for the Young Fabians where we were able to campaign for Hillary Clinton as well as strengthen links between US and UK young progressives and visit one of the most important institutions in the world, the United Nations, a symbol of Peace and international co-operation- goals we agree we must keep on working towards.
This was our last day staying in NYC and though we were sad to leave NYC we were all excited for the second part of our delegation in the nation’s capitol, Washington, DC and the swing state, Virginia. I was especially happy to visit Washington, DC having worked and lived there previously.