Democratic volunteers canvass in Steamboat

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If you're interested in the Democratic platform, look for the people wearing red shirts outside Bamboo Market.

If you're interested in the Democratic platform, look for the people wearing red shirts outside Bamboo Market.

DNC volunteers are in Steamboat Springs until Saturday answering questions and collecting campaign donations.

The grass-roots volunteers usually canvass the suburbs of Denver and Boulder, but the DNC recently added Steamboat to its list of stops.

"We decided to branch out to other parts of Colorado and the mountain towns," volunteer Samantha Miller said. "We're trying to reach out to as many people as possible, especially since Colorado's going to be a key state in the next election."

Since Monday, Miller and three other volunteers have been speaking to people from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. outside 116 Ninth St.

"We weren't sure of the reaction we'd get because we haven't sent crews up here before, but it's been pretty positive so far," Miller said.

The positive response has come from more than just Democrats, volunteer Stacey Giese said.

"We've had people who don't support our cause but who support us being here," she said. "People here seem a little more open-minded. We haven't had anyone be really aggressive."

The canvassing in Steamboat represents just one brush stroke of the DNC's largest grassroots campaign in 50 years, Miller said.

"We're going door to door and talking to people, trying to get them interested in the elections. We meet a lot of people who say they don't really care, but this election is important for all our futures," Giese said.

She mentioned health care, education and the Iraq war as some of the pivotal issues in the election.

In addition to raising awareness, the volunteers also are trying to raise funds.

"The Bush administration has raised a quarter of a billion dollars already. We're trying to combat that by raising lots of small donations," Miller said.

So far, they've been happy with the donations they've received in Steamboat, she said. DNC volunteers also will travel to Aspen, Telluride and other Western towns to rally support.

"We want everyone to get to know the candidates and make an educated decision," Miller said.

--To reach Kristin Bjornsen, call 879-1502.

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