Laurie Ulrop, Volunteer Extraordinaire!

Calling for democracy is in her blood!

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Laurie Ulrop grew up listening to her father speak about American history, particularly immigration history, at the family’s dining room table. An amateur genealogist, she found relatives dating back to the Mayflower, including one named Elizabeth Warren. Her forbears fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, which is where she says her fighting spirit comes from.

After the election of Donald Trump, that fighting spirit came out, and now she is one of our local party’s most valuable assets. You see, Laurie was a telephone operator for 20 years, and she knows how to talk to people. In upstate New York, Laurie actually operated an old time “cord board” switchboard until AT&T made the switch to digital in the mid-1970’s. She handled emergency calls before 911 was implemented, so she is not easily ruffled. This experience has proven invaluable now, as Laurie works the phone banks for the Charlotte County Dems.

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After the election of Donald Trump, that fighting spirit came out, and now she is one of our local party’s most valuable assets. You see, Laurie was a telephone operator for 20 years, and she knows how to talk to people. In upstate New York, Laurie actually operated an old time “cord board” switchboard until AT&T made the switch to digital in the mid-1970’s. She handled emergency calls before 911 was implemented, so she is not easily ruffled. This experience has proven invaluable now, as Laurie works the phone banks for the Charlotte County Dems.

Since the first of the year, she has made over 25,000 calls to promote our vote by mail agenda! She works from 3:00 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. most days, making 60 to 100 calls a session. If people don’t answer the phone, but she cheerfully leaves a message saying that she will call again, and she does! Of course, she also speaks to people every day. Most are polite, many are receptive, and if they are neither, she learned long ago not to take it personally. “Like water off a duck’s back” she says with a laugh.

 

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While Laurie is making all those calls, she is also cleaning up voter information, making notes, and deleting incorrect numbers and other data. She frets that without good data, the efforts to get Democratic voters to sign up for Vote by Mail ballots are less effective. That’s why she puts in careful notes for other volunteers.

I asked about her email address, which references big dogs. In New York, Laurie raised puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind. She raised 6 or 7 puppies, each one for a 2 year-term, before they advanced to training as guide dogs. Laurie exemplifies a giving spirit, even in these trying times. I asked what motivates her, and the answer was quick – anger with this administration. As she puts it “use your anger” to do something good.

 


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We appreciate you, Laurie!

To show gratitude, please consider supporting the Guiding Eyes for the Blind. Click on the logo or image for more info.

 

WRITTEN BY: Catherine Baxter
May 13, 2020

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Image Credits: Pixabay
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