Tip of the Week: Emphasize high voter turnout
When folks talk about increasing voter turnout, there’s a common mistake in the way we talk about it. Specifically, there’s often a tendency to highlight the low number of voters who are actually voting, with statements like, “Turnout is low this year, so we really need your vote!” But behavioral science shows us that this approach is actually less effective than emphasizing the...
Meet Irene. Irene’s running for Bell County Commissioner in Texas, and this is what she had to say about why she’s running for office: “I told myself that there comes a time when ordinary people, we of the 99%, must either step up or shut up. So I decided to run for office. I found out that unless I stepped up to run against the incumbent who’d been in office for 18 years, he’d win by...
[Tip] Listen to your volunteers
Volunteering on campaigns usually goes one of two ways. Volunteers can feel valued and supported, and eagerly return to help again. Or, they may feel like cogs in a wheel or not appreciated, in which case they’re probably not coming back. One easy way to make sure volunteers want to keep helping is simple: listen to them. Here are a few suggestions: Ask questions. When someone first comes in, ask...
[Tip] Sandwich voter contact
You might be wondering what a sandwich has to do with voter contact. No, I’m not talking about the kind of sandwich that you provide for volunteers during those long days of canvassing and phone banking. In the field, sandwich is a term used for maximizing the effectiveness of your voter contact strategy. The idea is that you sandwich your most important contact in between two others....
[Tip] Use values to create your message
I hear a lot of questions from organizers and candidates who are fighting for progressive change in rural areas. The most common of those questions goes something like this: “How do I create a message that resonates with rural voters?” Whether you’re working in the bluest of blue cities, a deep purple suburb, or a flame-red ranching community, my answer is the same: create a message that’s built...
[Tip] Take a sip of water
There are a lot of specific direct asks that candidates need to make in the course of a successful campaign: “Would you support my campaign with a $100 contribution?” “Will you knock doors for me this Saturday from noon until four?” “Can I count on your vote next Tuesday?” Mustering up the courage to make these direct asks can be difficult, but the hard...
[Tip] Use 27-9-3
Have you ever heard of an elevator pitch? It’s basically the idea that if you ran into someone on an elevator who had the potential to hire you, and you had 3 minutes to sell yourself, you could. It’s a pretty great way to boil down your resume and talking points to three minutes. Sounds effective, right? Well, you can apply the same principle to organizing and campaigns. One of the most...
Youngest Woman Elected to North Carolina Office
Persistent political action from political science major Jenna Wadsworth led her to be elected a position on the Soil and Water board of Wake County, North Carolina last November. 21-year-old Wadsworth, a current senior at North Carolina State University, is presently the youngest elected official serving in North Carolina, as well as the youngest woman in North Carolina to ever be elected to...