Candidates and their teams have been walking the neighborhoods of Culver City for months, ringing our doorbells, introducing themselves, telling us about their qualifications and describing what they intend to do once they are elected. This year we are getting to know the candidates for School Board. In the years to come, the fact that we spoke to our school board members one on one, right on our own doorsteps will make us less inhibited when speaking before them in public meetings, sending them questions and opinions by email or even buttonholing them in the supermarket.
For the candidates, knocking on doors all across this city brings them in touch with the diversity that abounds in this town. It gives them a chance to listen to our concerns and look us squarely in the eye. Candidates often make these walks with the help of a team of volunteers. These volunteers are people who think so highly of their chosen candidate that they willingly give up countless hours of free time in order to help her get elected. It is a wonderful tradition that strengthens our sense of community in all kinds of ways.
Recently Laura Chardiet’s team was knocking on doors in Lindberg Park when Madeline Ehrlich, a Chardiet volunteer and former school board member, heard someone calling, “Help! Help!”
Looking around to find the source of the cry, Madeline and her walking partners, Mohi and Tiger Chand, found an elderly woman who had gone out into her backyard without her house keys when the backdoor of her house closed unexpectedly behind her. Unable to get back into her home or to open the six foot gate across her driveway, she had been trapped in her backyard for two hours without anyone hearing her cries.
Chardiet’s team promised to get the woman out of her yard and back into her house. Mohi Chand scaled the wall to the backyard, and, with a boost from Madeline, his school age son, Tiger, was able to follow. Together they pried open a window screen and managed to open the window a few inches so that Tiger could slip into the house and open the door from the inside. The elderly woman was rescued from her predicament by their effort.
For Laura Chardiet and her team, it is all about listening, working together and taking action for the benefit of our community. No challenge too daunting, no job too small.