A few minutes ago I rode up to the bike crossing at the Rose Quarter heading north. A man was standing quite close to the bike signal space so that when I rode up, the first one in line, I was barely two feet away from him.
“Do you mind taking one my cards about my campaign for Metro?” he asked.
“Yeah I do mind,” I said. “I don’t like paper.”
He then proceeded to launch into all the reasons why I should vote for him.
I was caught off guard. I have no problem shutting down signature hunters (if I’m not in the mood or don’t agree with the cause), or proselytizers (BIGGEST. PET PEEVE. EVER.) but Brad was well into his speech and I was too tired from a long day of work and being sick and not enough sleep to muster up a defense. It was easier to just pretend interest, while trying not to look too eager for the light to change.
Last week, when I rode up Williams, Amanda Fritz (City Council) was out on the sidewalk, waving a sign. She was across the street from the light so I said hi as I rode by and went on my way. She put herself in my mind while not being rude and annoying.
Here’s the thing. The fact that you have a message doesn’t mean you get to accost people with your agenda. Running for office doesn’t exempt you from basic courtesy. If someone comes to your meet and greet, then there’s a high chance they want to hear your message. That chance drops precipitously when the person you’re talking at is just trying to get home from work after a long day.
I think I had the same encounter as you a week ago. He offered me paper, I turned it down and told him I didn’t want to take paper. He started in on his spiel and I listened with nothing better to do at a red light, but then I took off mid-sentence as it turned green. Kind of intrusive, and I don’t even remember what his name was or what exactly he’s running for.