Working With Political Campaigns
How you can support candidates that support your issues
It is far easier to inform elected officials about the importance of your issue if candidates who share your concerns get elected. Helping your legislative champion get elected or re-elected is an important way to show your appreciation and your support.
Political campaigns are quixotic organizations. They have short lives and are re-created every two or four years. Most of the staff are volunteers like you. Many have never worked on a campaign before. Campaigns are not always perfectly organized. Don’t get frustrated, understand that everyone else is helping out just as you are. Relax, the only goal of a campaign is to get good candidates elected.
You can support candidates and their campaigns in many ways – at least one will fit your resources and your political comfort level.
1. First, VOTE. It is critical that you vote to support candidates that support your issue. Recent elections have made clear the importance of every vote. Voting is particularly important in those low turn-out elections, such as primaries, special elections and municipal elections. If you are not registered or not sure who your candidates are, go to the Secretary of the State’s Website.
2. Talk to candidates about your issue. You can do this passively by waiting for them to contact you – either knock on your door, come to a community meeting, or greet you at the supermarket. Or you can contact them through their campaign website or get their information from your local Registrar of Voters.
3. Spread your message. Talk to your neighbors, friends, family, whoever about the election and the importance of your issue and/or your candidate. Agree to have a candidate’s lawn sign in your yard. Wear their button around town on your errands.
4. Volunteer your time. Campaigns run on volunteers and candidates really appreciate your help. No experience or special skills are needed. There are dozens of jobs from running the whole thing (campaign manager) to picking up the pizza. Typical jobs include making phone calls, dropping literature in doorways, and placing lawn signs.
5. Write a check or provide in-kind support. Candidates need money to run, and most HATE fundraising. Your help in one of their least favorite jobs will be appreciated. Under Connecticut’s public financing system, candidates need lots of donors to qualify but small amounts count, especially from people who live in their district. Any amount is significant.