The ProLife Team Podcast 157 | Jeremiah Wikerson

Hear Jeremiah Wikerson talk about door knocking to measure and promote life minded ideas.


The transcript was automatically generated and may contain errors.

All right, welcome Jeremiah. I’m excited to have you on the Pro-Life Team podcast. Would you introduce yourself as if you were talking to a small group of pregnancy clinic executive directors? Yeah, my name is Jeremiah Wilkerson. I am with Susan B. Anthony, Pro-Life America. We are a voter contact and political pro-life organization.

We’re out to change elections to further the pro-life movement. We want to protect those awesome results we have from DoBs. So I’m the field director for Tucson, Arizona, where we have some wonderful pregnancy resource centers, including Hands of Hope Tucson, where I used to work. So I’m just here to talk about what we do over at Susan B. Anthony. Wow, very cool. So what are you currently working on or how are you getting geared up for the next election cycle?

Well, currently, I’m a new hire. I’m a new start. Currently, I am out recruiting. I’m looking for other canvassers like me, other door knockers, people who are passionate, people who are willing to work hard so that we can just get out and spread the word door to door. Door to door is most effective voter contact method. It gets the most done. It talks to people right where they are.

They can’t, you know, swipe up and ignore you and go to the next video about cats, right? It’s real. It’s personal.

It’s right there. We do data gathering, too, as we’re in the field. We do it with a survey. So I’m just out looking for and training new recruits. I have interviews later, trainings later this week, just trying to get all of the passionate pro-life people in one place so we can effectively work to preserve jobs here in Arizona. Wow. What’s an example of a door to door interaction?

Like what are some example things you might say and how might it go? Well, I have to keep the script like somewhat of a trade secret, which I know it’s funny because I’m planning to say it to like a thousand people.

But for me, I can be vague. I can tell you that a liberal pro-choicer who thinks that abortion is great and it’s women’s health and it’s access and will go through and I’ll talk to them about maybe late term abortion or things that are going on inside of abortion clinics and help them understand that not all abortion is what they’ve been told it is. How late abortion really When I go into details with them, share with them facts, quote sources, their polling results tend to change. So I can talk to people like that and kind of figure out like this person says I’m super pro-choice and then they realize for themselves they’re totally fine with a 15 week ban. They’re totally fine with maybe even limiting abortion at a heartbeat. So there’s those interactions. And then I have interactions with conservatives where they’re super pro-life or I’ll even talk to a conservative mom who says, I don’t want abortion for myself, but I am not going to tell another woman what to do.

So I talked to all kinds of different people all across the spectrum. No, no assumptions can be made. And so I just ask them questions to see how they feel. I love this particular canvassing because I’m not trying to change hearts and minds too much. That’s a big part of what I like to do, but I can just ask them questions and see where they stand. I can be thought provoking and then I can move on to the next person. So I do love to just open the door and see who I’m going to talk to next.

What is the objective or goal of this work? Is it to measure where people are or is it to just, yeah, how would you measure the goal or objective of this effort? It’s definitely to measure where people are, but the goal or objective is to talk to as many people as possible about abortion as we get close to the election, to see where people are, to measure where the electorate is, because it supports our efforts down the road to be able to say, we talked face to face with people and this is what so much percent of them said. But it’s also about being there and standing in the gap, letting people know this is what abortion really is. This is where we stand on it, where you stand on it. Wow. So how often do people, or what’s been your experience working, talking with someone who is pro-choice, but then has a hard time answering questions and then really considers that helpful to have those questions asked?

I can tell you, let me try to think of a specific story, because there’s a lot of similar stories where I can make a profile of a person, this happens almost every time I go out, where I’ll have someone open the door and I’ll ask them, just how do you feel about late term abortion? Because here in Arizona, we have this amendment coming up, you know about that, you’re here in allow abortion up to all nine months as a constitutional right. And I’ll just be like, do you like this? Like, is this something you want? And they’ll say yes, off the bat, because that’s what they’ve been told is the answer. And I’ll say, do you realize this takes away the parental rights that you have? And people go one of two ways.

Either they say, wait, what do you mean? And I’ll say, you don’t have the right under this new law to consent to your minor child’s abortion, your 14, 15 year old’s abortion. And they’ll say, either they’ll say that’s her right, which is very shocking, but I do experience that I see women who are like, that’s her right, she can make that choice about their own children. Or they’ll say, that scares me, because I want to have the heart and mind of my child. I want to know what they’re going through. And I want to be there for them. Because I didn’t make good decisions when I was 14 and 15.

So when I ask them questions, and I dig deep, people tend to realize this law is extreme, they can be completely pro-choice and be like, this is a terribly written law, because it’s not safe. So it’s just about asking questions to see where they stand. And oftentimes, asking them questions, and then putting forth an effort to answer it, they realize they don’t know. And they wonder what they actually believe. Because we are about blacks and whites, right? And we as Christians, we work in pregnancy centers, it is, you know, right thing to help women in a pregnancy crisis situation, it’s the wrong thing for them to choose an abortion. And we know that.

But then we also know it’s nuanced, because women don’t respond to that, do the right thing mentality, because they’re in survival mode. So then asking these questions at the door helps the person at the door realize, you know, this isn’t black and white abortion is, like, even in their mind, maybe abortion is 100% the right decision for some people. But I can’t just blanket legalize with no protections. It’s not a, it’s not a yes, no question. And when they when they see that we can make converts who will not vote for this amendment, who would otherwise vote blue and abortion all the way down the line. How has this work been different from the work you’re doing for for Hands of Hope, a pregnancy clinic? And now you’re doing it with a national organization that definitely has more of like a political layer to it.

The work has been different, because when you’re when you’re with a pregnancy clinic, you have to be really, really scrappy, you have to always be grabbing opportunities to to reach out to everyone, let everyone know that you’re there, you have to fight for this awareness. And when you’re with a national organization, it’s, it’s like, it’s like working for a company, right? Because I’ve worked for companies to you’re able to just very, very easily set goals, and then work to meet the goals. And then you talk about if you did or didn’t. And it’s, it makes it so that you can put all your energy toward achieving whatever, whatever the goal is, whether it’s doors knocked, or doors per hour, or whatever, whatever the goal is, you can focus on that. And you can get results. And then you can turn around and honor God with those results.

And then you can continue to improve. Sometimes with a smaller organization, I’ve learned it can be hard to, to know what the results are you’re looking for and get those results. So so there’s that. Wow. When it comes to pro-life friends, who enter the door, what’s that experience like? I love, I love my Catholics. I love knocking on the door. And a homeschooled kid, pretty much my age opens the door and he’s like, What’s up?

And, you know, they’re all, they’re all in their pajamas, or they’re, they’re just they’re just chilling barefoot. And they open the door and they’re like, Mom, you want to talk to this guy? And the mom will come to the door and start talking to me. And then she’ll, she’ll text her husband or call in the house. And the dad will come in from from working, he’ll put his headset down, he’ll be like, I put my call on hold to hear this. And the whole family will hear my spiel. They’ll they probably already know.

But if they don’t, they’ll they’ll learn from from what I have to present, they’ll take the material, they’ll be like, I’ll go tell all my friends how to vote and to use this information. So that is a huge blessing. And then sometimes I’ll get someone who is like, you’re grouchy, older conservative, and they’ll be and there’s a lot of get off my lawn vibes. And then you just smile. And you let them know I’m pro life. I’m here to talk to you about and they’ll open right up. Because a lot of conservatives, especially people who grew up pre internet, are trapped in the new cycle.

They don’t know what’s going on, especially now in we’re upholding the 1864 law, no, we’re not. It’ll go into effect in two weeks, it’ll go into effect in May, we don’t we don’t actually know what’s going on with the new cycle. It’s really hard to nail down what the facts are. So for me to go to their door and tell them the facts means the world and then some to them. They it’s amazing. And so their response flipping from someone else trying to sell me something to the information I needed to make a difference right now is awesome. It’s wonderful.

Where have you seen God’s fingerprints? I know you haven’t had a lot of time under this new umbrella. But where have you seen God’s fingerprints and leading up to this job and in the work so far? This is so this is still definitely a question I can answer because I do national deployments with them. There’s the field team, the deployments team, now I get to be on the field team and be out in the field every day. But with the deployments team, we will do these these speedy, scrappy trips in a state, a battleground state doing these surveys, trying to figure out where people stand. And I’ve been in North Carolina, I’ve been in Ohio.

And the thing I see across the board when I open doors is I’ll have someone say, I work for a or my son or my family member, my sister, my cousin, my niece was in this crisis pregnancy situation. And one of two things happens, either they say, I didn’t know the truth, and they got an abortion, or I helped them get an abortion, or I couldn’t stop them from getting an abortion. Or they’ll say, the local pregnancy center came in clutch for me. And I’ve been a warrior for the pro-life issue ever since. Either way, I run into pro-life warriors who have an abortion story, whether whether they were able to get in contact with the pregnancy centers and the pregnancy centers saved their child, their niece, their, their, their granddaughter, whatever, or whether the the abortion industry got to them first. And then they realized just the depth and depravity of abortion, and then became a crusader for life. Either way, I run into so many of those stories, I see God work.

I have friends who’ve opened the door, and a woman comes out and says, you guys are exactly who I needed to talk to today. I know what to do now. I’ve been confused and stressed because I didn’t know where to turn on this issue. And then they go into this story of I was going to have an abortion. And then I heard about pregnancy resources, or I saw the people on the street. And I was like, I’ve been a pro-life warrior for 30 years now.

And now my son has a PhD. And he works here at the local college, or he works for for this corporation. And I have all this whole family now. And my life is so blessed. And it came out of this time of heartache. And this time of I didn’t know what to do when I felt abandoned. And then the pregnancy help organizations came in clutch.

And we get to capture those stories and preserve them. And it’s it’s more than anything else. It’s those stories that keep us going when we’re out on the road and we’re out on deployments, because it is exhausting. We pull these 10 hour days, door knocking, trying to reach as many people as we can to be scrappy and win against the abortion industry. And we get to meet these amazing people, right? Because the other side has these stories of I got an abortion. Yay. I needed an abortion.

And we know we’re filled with grief because we’re like, no, you didn’t. You needed support. You needed help. And now you’ve lost something. And now you have to you have to lie to yourself to go through this. So I see that so often myself and all my fellow door knockers, we get to see just the hearts and minds changed and the lives that are that are touched. Wow. Well, that’s really good.

So tell us about the opportunity for people to find, you know, to to do this kind of work, how you might be looking for people in Tucson or people maybe in other areas, how they might be able to join in this kind of effort or share it with those who are looking for door knocking styled work. Yeah. So here in Tucson, I’m hiring on a rolling basis all the way up to election to the election. I am looking for anyone who is pro-life and is willing to walk long distances. Everything else can be taught.

It seems daunting. It seems like this would be scary.

Oh, my gosh, a stranger. This is somebody else’s house. But like Amazon and FedEx do this every day. Like we got this. You know, this is easy work. Once you learn how to do it, I will walk with you. I will train you.

I will teach you everything you need to know. It can all be taught in just a day or two days. You get to meet so many amazing people at the doors. You get to it gives you hope because you think when you the Internet focuses the lens on like social media focuses the lens on the darkness. You get to see the light at house after house after house of just normal everyday people who serve God. And then you get to help them do that even better by showing them where to where to take their vote and educating them. So I pay $15 an hour and I reimburse gas 30 cents to the mile.

And that’s the base starting. The more hours you do, the more I can pay you. Full time pays the most. And that’s in Tucson. And it’s, I think, pretty much the same across the board. There are different field teams hiring in different battleground states. So you would just have to go to the website.

Can I give you the link to put in the description? Sure. Yeah, there’ll be different. There are different states, not all 50. But a lot of them are doing this. I know Florida, I’m pretty sure Ohio, but don’t quote me on that. I was in Ohio when they had their valid amendment.

Different states are working to keep our majority in Congress to try to get a presidency to preserve jobs. So there are a lot of states that are important to that, even if on the state level, it seems like they’ve lost the fight. It seems like they’re like Ohio. One of the reddest of the red states is it seems like there’s a loss there, but we can still eke Republican majorities out or not Republican, excuse me, I didn’t say that pro-life majorities out of the electorate there. And so we have different places that are open. So even if you’re not in Tucson, you’re not in Arizona with me, we’re hiring in Phoenix, we’re hiring in all kinds of big cities doing this. Wow, very cool.

When it comes to what’s about this work that may not have, you know, maybe relatively new or some new tactic, some new idea, something that’s not commonly done. How would you describe this work through that lens of like what might be unique or new compared to what hasn’t been done in the past? Well, what’s unique and new about our work right now here in Tucson is, and in the pro-life movement at large, is that increasingly people are at home, increasingly people are online. And I mean, I have a marketing degree from my time in school, and I’ve often run into just like, how do you get to people online? How do you talk to people? How do you find people? And how do you break through the noise?

Going door to door breaks through the noise in a way that nothing else can, because you’ve got all of the, they have to put everything down and come to the door to talk to you. And then you give them a physical piece of media, we have little cards, we give them and you give it straight to them. It’s awesome. And they can take that, they can act on it, and it doesn’t get lost in the flood of what they’re doing. Well, Jeremiah, thank you so much for being on the Pro-Life Team podcast. I hope that you find more students and people to work on connecting with people at their homes, at their doors, and to find out where we’re at, and also to guide people towards God’s truth. Thank you so much for being on the podcast.