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Faces of the campaign: Ronald Lear

Name: Ronald Lear
Campaign role: Neighborhood Team Leader
Hometown: Seaside, Oregon
Organizing in: Tomah, Wisconsin

Q1. What do you do for the campaign?

I’m going to be doing a lot of phonebanking, teaching other people how to make calls, canvassing the street, and teaching other people how to canvass. I have multiple sclerosis, so I go out canvassing in my wheelchair with my son—he knocks on the doors, and I do the talking. My son has really been my best friend since my diagnosis. I love campaigning with him, because I don’t get out much! It’s warmed up here, it’s been 75, 78 degrees outside and I don’t want to sit inside anymore. I’m getting my wheelchair ready!

I’m going to finish up this week training for my new role as a neighborhood team leader, and then we’re going to start organizing out of our home. I’ve got five computers set up so folks can log on here—my wife is going to be learning data entry. She doesn’t handle rejection well—she phonebanked for four hours once and she said “I can’t do that again,” so she’ll be in charge of the numbers!

Q2. How did you first come to the campaign?

I used to be a Republican, but then I saw Barack Obama and I just knew: He gets this. And he spoke from the heart. I decided this was the guy for me. So last campaign, I was out there with my walker talking to people about health care.

He’s kept more campaign promises than any President in history, and the promises he was making, he had to fight to get them done. I knew that one man couldn’t fix all of our problems, but he helped unite people in their communities to get things done.

Q3. What’s your favorite part of your role?

I taught in the military, so speaking in front of people is not a problem for me. I love getting out there and talking to my neighbors—we’ve got some great people in this town, and door-knocking is one of my favorite things to do.

Q4. What’s the most unexpected part of your role?

Our local campaign staffers are amazing. I’m working with people who genuinely care about people. It’s not about an agenda. We don’t care if you make half a million dollars a year or 30k—we want to make sure we’re doing right by you. When you go to that phone bank and you’re nervous, everybody loves you there. The whole place lights up. And there’s nothing fake about it.

Q5. Tell us a fun fact about yourself:

One thing that keeps me going is my sense of humor: I like to make people laugh. My wife fell in love with me because I made her laugh. Here’s one example: We had some guests over at our house once and my son fell asleep while we were talking—so I convinced them to help pick up his chair and move it into the kitchen while he was sleeping.

We’ve got a full plate in this house, and if you don’t bring a sense of humor into it, then it’s just too much. If I can laugh another day, then I’m doing ok.

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