S.O.C. Canvasses for $15

Following Stand Up KC’s successful presidential debate protest last week in St. Louis, members of the Student Organizing Committee (S.O.C.) and Stand Up KC hit the streets Friday and Saturday to canvass for a $15 minimum wage and workers’ rights.

Organizers gathered Saturday morning to start their canvassing at the Chouteau Apartments in Northeast Kansas City, then ventured to Kansas City, Kan., to continue their mission. Students and other organizers went door-to-door asking community members to pledge their support for a $15 minimum wage and workers’ rights. For some, like UMKC students Michael Chopade and Ekaterina Garmaeva, it was their first time canvassing for Stand UP KC.

“For me, it’s the idea of making people aware,” Chopade said, “you get to inform them that there are organizations that are in their best interest, to get them involved and get them to help their causes.

Laura Gibbons, UMKC student and S.O.C. student organizer, says that canvassing is a way to engage the community and give students and fast food workers a chance to practice their rhetoric when asked questions about supporting a $15 minimum wage.

“Canvassing is one form of organizing for a movement,” Gibbons said. “When you ask people if they support minimum wage, you have to be completely prepared when going into that conversation.”

Eliana Hudson, UMKC student and S.O.C. organizer, says that canvassing is one of the best ways to get people out in the streets talking about the movement and getting people to join Stand Up KC.

From left: Laura Gibbons Ekaterina Garmaeva Michael Chopade and Eliana Hudson.

From left: Laura Gibbons Ekaterina Garmaeva
Michael Chopade and Eliana Hudson.

“This is one of the best way to actively fight against racism and white supremacy,” Hudson said. “You need a massive amount of people to come together. It’s so powerful because it’s so unifying.

At the end of the day, students and organizers had gathered 168 signatures from residents who expressed their gratitude for their movement.

“We had a woman who we just went to,” Garmaeva said, “and as we were talking to her she said she was praying for something to happen and that her prayers were being answered because we came right on time. Just being able to connect to them raises awareness and brings people together.”

To get involved with S.O.C. and future demonstrations like their Facebook page, “Student organizing committee of Kansas City” or email Hudson ehh5ff@mail.umkc.edu or Gibbons at lmgd58@mail.umkc.edu

zlinhares@unews.com

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