Louisville Magazine

NOV 2016

Louisville Magazine is Louisville's city magazine, covering Louisville people, lifestyles, politics, sports, restaurants, entertainment and homes. Includes a monthly calendar of events.

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22 LOUISVILLE MAGAZINE 11.16 SHIFT Sylvia Burns swipes her silver-blond hair from her face and peers down from horn-rimmed eyeglasses onto a list of registered Democrats she's charged with calling. The 60-year-old is a familiar presence in Hillary Clinton's Kentucky headquarters in the Highlands. A countdown on the wall shows there's 34 days until Election Day. Using a campaign office flip phone, she dials. No answer. "If they don't pick up in four rings, you hang up," she explains. "In my greener days, I'd only total 40 or 45 calls. Others would have 100-plus." Then, she learned. Four rings without a pick up? They're not answering. Next number. A live one! "Hi! This is Sylvia from Hillary for America," she begins, closing her eyes, straining to hear. In the cramped room lined with Hillary banners and volunteer sign-up sheets, a dozen voices intersect and overlap across four card tables. Who are you supporting? Oh, you're just waking from a nap? Can I call you back? Would you like to volunteer? Burns smiles and nods as she writes a name down on a legal pad. The man wants to drive voters to the polls. "Well, we can't lose you and we can't lose this election," Burns says. Despite moving to Louisville from Washing- ton, D.C., in 2010, Burns has never been much of a political junkie. Until this election. But she does describe herself as a longtime fan of Hillary Clinton. Burns knows that Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, got her name from the Joni Mitchell song "Chelsea Morning." She's read all of Hillary Clinton's books and once got tapped to warm the crowd for a Bill Clinton appearance in Owensboro. As this election nears, Burns is phone-bank- ing several days a week. (No surprise here: Many in eastern Kentucky don't take too kindly to the calls.) She and other volunteers may also help canvas neighborhoods up in Ohio, a state that's far more of a tossup than deeply red Kentucky. As for all the criticism leveled at Clinton, Burns just shakes her head. A "strong-minded woman in charge" makes people nervous, she says, adding, "Every time she's knocked down, she gets tougher. That's one of the things I admire. (She) may not be someone you want to have coffee with every morning or chitchat with about the kids. She's cut and dry. She's a lawyer." Election Affection By Anne Marshall Photos by Mickie Winters Clinton and Trump volunteers in Louisville.

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