WHAT CANVASSERS AND OFFICE-RUNNERS SHOULD KNOW and 3 ELEMENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN
Opportunity lies tacked on your dorms’ bulletin board, are they the 3 ELEMENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL CAMPAIGN? Not yet! You’ve seen these posting in your local coffee shop and on Craigslist.org, and as you skim the contents, a person passes by and boasts about their new job—them too? Is everyone really joining the progressive campaign movement? What does canvassing mean? Are these political campaigns ethical? Is it really for you?
Canvas (an alternative spelling) in the 1500s to the 1520s was said to have meant, “to toss or sift in a canvas sheet,” hence “to shake out, examine carefully”; in the 1550s the meaning extended further “to solicit votes”. The double –s-spelling came in the 1600s. Thus, when individuals go about among the community, they are in theory, examining neighborhoods and “soliciting” votes.
“Canvassers” or “campaigners” are the spinal cord of the operation. The spinal cord is the main pathway in our body that connects information to the brain and peripheral nervous system. If a group of scientist conducted a study on why campaigns are successful, there is no doubt the discovery and indissoluble bond of success would be the canvassers. Canvassers knock on doors to identify supporters, persuade the undecided; add potential voters to the voter registration and record data, thus becoming the “conduit” (I love that word) that connects pertinent information to an organization or candidate.
But some have unanswered questions and “unthinkable thoughts” when it comes to political campaigns in their city, some question grassroots at its core; some believe they are a dirt road to deceit. Others are concerned about the pledge to join the fray for contributions, signatures, and votes. If you’re concerned about committing yourself because you question the ethics and values of a political campaign, you’ve came to the right place.
The word “campaign”, “front-runner”, “politician”, “leader”, “non-profit” and “organization” will be used interchangeably, collectively I will refer to them as campaign.
GIVE THEM LOYALTY
You should feel a sense of loyalty from any campaign and its mission. Loyalty should originate in the authority around you, in its operations, and in your own senses.
A campaign’s interest lies in securing elections, collecting donations, gathering signatures, and votes; however, what about securing the interest of the community? Is there sufficient interest and loyalty leftover? You (and the community) are the spinal cord of the operation—you are worthy of the campaign’s loyalty—unfortunately, there are campaigns that will not be loyal to you; they are loyal to their need of you; once their need changes, you’ll see their loyalty change.
Have you heard the saying, “They will ignore you until they need you”? I interviewed a campaigner here in Austin that complained about the inaccessibility of his campaign organizer. “When I would call, it would go straight to voicemail,” he said. He went on to say that, his text messages also went “unnoticed.” When he finally made contact with his organizer, it was as if no communication had been broken, as if they had spoken the entire week.
Politicians and Campaign Managers are obliged to associate with certain demographics and particular groups of people they wouldn’t customarily associate with in their personal life. Consequently, the mission or race compels them to adopt or assume an unnatural and exaggerated attitude. Disloyal political figures attitudinize or “have an affected pose” and are widely criticized for using (infamous phrase) ‘political correctness.’ At times, campaigners can often mistake these behaviors for authenticity.
A good way to test authenticity is to test their commitment to service. For instance, if a campaign manager claims to support the operation’s mission at a level of 100%, it would be beneficial to know the process by which the manager has contributed when you have to collect contributions because they are intricate to the success of the mission.
All campaign contributions are public information. A good way for campaign staff to demonstrate their loyalty is to support the cause in kind to voters, canvassers, donors, etc. If an organization has “all the answers” about what makes a good canvasser, how you should get donations, and the techniques you should use to get the community to vote; but never step foot in the field, donated, or voted on those very issues, I’d be cautious about working on that campaign.
If a politician claims that they want to increase affordability, ask to see that very blueprint that increases affordability. Ask about initiatives taken to secure their proposals, and don’t be afraid to ask to see vlogs, tweets, or Facebook posting where they reached out to the community with their ideas.
Part of being an effective advocate and canvasser is having access to accurate information about your candidate and organization. Working on a campaign that educates, informs, and shares its strengths and weaknesses with its canvassers is of considerable importance. The public will appreciate how you deliver the information and the self-confidence exhibited.
— Rhetta Bowers (@RhettaForHD113) April 29, 2016