ED Chair Action Plan
By Melissa Thompson – Brandywine, 5.2011
ED Description: In coordination with Representative District Chairs, Election District Chairs (& Committee persons) are individual and community relationship builders; they are key gatherers and distributors of critical & timely information about issues, elections, candidates, voter guides, & legislative alerts – the liaison between voters and the party organization; they make GOTV phone calls, conduct petition drives, community canvassing & citizen meetings.
ED Goal: To build rapport, inform & engage your district's voters on the issues, on being a part of the process, & clearly articulating what our party stands for. Building a network of committed, engaged individuals through continuous contact with the people in your communities, with the result of increasing volunteerism and republican registration to win elections.
1. Make phone calls to introduce yourself and inquire to each voter. Sample voter questions below. Or send a letter or postcard introducing yourself first, or postcards inviting to an event, so that any follow-up call will be a “warm” call. Consider sending an “opinion survey” on specific issues or incorporating the generic questions below, along with a comments section with your letter, that you can then use as a means to follow-up by phone or email for future discussion or to invite to events that speak to the views they noted. Be sure to always ask for an email address that can be used for a “drip” campaign, dripping on them with periodic info to keep their interest and build a familiarity and comfort level. Begin your contacts with registered Republicans, then Independents, then ancillary parties & finally Democrats, only following up with Dems that lean Independent or Reaganesque (voter info from the DOE Statewide Voter Registration File that will be provided to you). (*Always review all mail and attachments with your RD before sending.*)
2. Introduce yourself to churches, conservative organizations, clubs & businesses in your ED - ask for financial support as appropriate (only in face-to-face meeting); ask if you can post a sign on their property at election time
3. Foster mutual support with local gatherings: Provide regular presentations to "constituency groups": have an event with a special speaker or theme, such as a wine-tasting event -- make it fun (may involve an activity for children); team up with local businesses or service retailers to showcase their service or product; have a "meet & greet" with a party official (or candidate during election season) at a home with appetizers or a coffee shop meeting; have a movie review geared towards political figures, issues or education, etc., to gain interest in attendance and use as relationship building events. As you come up with new & successful event ideas, please share with your RD and other EDs.
4. After initial contact, send thank you note via email or mail. Example below.
5. Follow-up with voters to address any immediate individual & collective issues
6. Send your voters monthly email/mail/Facebook/Twitter updates that may include the following (possibly newsletter format) (*RD approval first*. Possibly one uniform letter for all EDs in the RD): Summary of last Republican region meeting & next meeting date, Summary of last quarterly ED/RD meeting & next meeting date/agenda, highlight Republican values and any relevant updates on republican target issues or activities & happenings relevant to our agendas, promote candidates and measures, list of upcoming republican party & community events, our Community Outreach Committee updates, other committee updates, include positive events & stories about businesses/individuals in your ED or region. Always include ED & RD Chair contact info, GOP/Facebook/Twitter & Votesmart.org websites.
7. Distribute voter guides and other election materials at election time (see “The Effective Committeeperson” document for things to do and consider during election campaigns)
8. Quarterly ED meetings to welcome and assimilate new volunteers, provide updates on the grass roots efforts, plan and discuss events, tracking progress, discussing successes and staying focused on mission and messaging. (Your RD should also have quarterly meetings with his/her EDs to share info.)
9. Target voter registration at apartments, churches, etc. (where we can target republicans by address, organization, etc)
10. Prepare and maintain voter data by segmenting the voters by Party but also into groups via categories such as: their target issues, fiscal-only conservatives, pro-life/family (social) conservatives, volunteer interest, veterans, seniors, youth, stay-at-home Moms, etc. Work with the various voter group Republican subcommittees to form voter alliances (seeking out coalitions for voter blocks) across our Party. Tailor ongoing discussions with voters that focus on their issues & provide or help address the measures that most impact their lives. Invite them to events that speak to their specific "hot buttons". Maintain close contact with potential volunteers, periodically inviting to events. Maintain separate volunteer database. Also, try to establish at least 2 committee people per community & block captains for each community.
11. Get info on your ED Polling place's elected officials and make introduction to them. Work with the Poll Watchers & Checker Challengers Subcommittee to develop and train teams to work and monitor your polling place.
12. Monitor property transfers for potential new voters to contact (Saturday News Journal transfer notices, www.delawareonline.com or via local realtor). Provide new residents with a Welcome Pack that includes items such as: Registration form, Absentee Ballot form, their Republican officials contact info & websites, our party platform & contact info, utility info, DE & community historical info, local shops, churches & bank info, maps, bike trails, libraries, local organizations of interest, candidate issues/info, etc.
Hello, my name is (first and last name to develop trust). I'm your/a Republican Election District Chair/committee person. We wanted to reach out to the voters in our community in an effort to gain broad input and understanding of your issues and ideas. With that, I'd like to ask you a few questions for your input if you have a few minutes?
If NO, "I understand. Can i have your email address so we can provide you with periodic updates and it will also have our contact information? " If no, you may want to provide your number or party office# for them to follow-up.
If YES, proceed with questions:
Q1: What are the top 2 or 3 national issues you would like the political leaders to focus on & address?
Q2: If they are or have been addressing it, is the means or expected result to your satisfaction? If not, why not & what are your suggestions for changes on those issues? (DO NOT DISCUSS or DEBATE ISSUES – you are just inquiring to gather info)
Q3: What are 2 or 3 changes you would like to see locally; community, county or statewide (it can be political, legislative, media or social (moral/family) related), and what type of activities would you like to see happen to address it?
Q3.1 (for Republicans only): What changes would you like to see within the DE republican party, or suggestions you have for it?
Q3.1 (for Independents/other minority party only): Do you more closely associate yourself with Democrat or Republican views, and which party do you find yourself voting with more than 50% of the time?
Q4: We cannot promise all issues will be addressed, or addressed in the manner as you may propose, but we want you to know we are listening and working on positive, constructive changes. Can we provide you with periodic updates via email? (get email address) Also, “friend” them for facebook/twitter. (if no email, print and mail newsletter–confirm their address)
Q5: (For Republicans): Would you be interested in getting involved in the party or in some of the activities & events? (If yes, let them know next meeting/activity date/time & that the periodic emails will provide info on other upcoming events for them to attend as they are able)
Q6: (For Republicans or Reaganesque other party affiliation): Is there anyone over the age of 18 in your home who is not registered to vote? (send link to register online or mail form. Use the following national form to avoid State solicitation restrictions: www.eac.gov/voter_resources/register_to_vote.aspx (if manually typing web address, use the “underline” key where it appears to be spaces in the web link) (see middle of page-“Download the Forms”, click on link titled “National Mail Voter Registration Form” (English)(other language links directly below it).
DE registration deadline is the 4th Saturday before a primary or general election, and 10 days before a special election.
Follow-up Thank You note or email:
Thank you for taking the time to discuss your concerns and ideas to help improve our party and our country. Progress can be sometimes slow and patience is needed, however, we are committed. We will provide you with periodic updates. And we hope our contact has engaged you in a shared commitment to make a difference and know that your voice does count. Feel free to contact us with further questions, concerns or ideas, and please feel free to become involved in party meetings (remove party meetings for indep./other party voter note), events or community services as you are able.
Best Regards, ED & RD Chair names/numbers/email/websites & BRRC address (personally sign first name)
(Each ED Chair should set up a separate email box and provide RD with the login & password for access)