All across Indiana, people are paying attention to not just legislative politics, but party politics. Knowing the Rules are the hot new thing! Who knew? And what we have learned is that the most important positions in party politics are those of the Precinct Committee Person and State Convention Delegate. They are the only positions within the party structure that are elected by the voters, and they are tasked with holding local party leadership accountable and carrying the needs of voters back to the party leaders.
Keeping with the goals of 92 County Strategy, spreading knowledge and helping people see that politicians are just every day people that felt the call to serve, we partnered with Women Reshaping Indiana to create a 1-Stop PCP and SD Shop at the Women’s March on Washington Indiana, Saturday, January 20th.
Action and education are the keys to civic engagement and WOW, did we engage! From the time we set up shop until after the festivities of the day were complete, we had people asking questions, getting informed, and getting filed to run for Precinct Committee Person and/or State Delegate.
In fact, we registered close to 90 People! Yes 90! 90 people decided to run for the most grassroots based positions in the major party structures. And now you are going to have the road map! So, how did we do it?
1. Formulate the idea. We decided that we were going to make it as easy as possible. So we reached out to some organizers around the state and created a group chat on Facebook. After adding those that we thought would be interested in making change, we made a post that anyone was free to leave, no hard feelings. And then we got to work.
2. Know your role. We knew we needed to think of ALL the details. We picked a person in the chat to be the “secretary” and take our brainstorm session and put it on paper. This is an important step so none of the good ideas get lost. And so everyone knows what they have committed to in the heat of the moment.
3. Keys to success. We had to make a list of what we needed. The event offered tables but we wanted an extra, just in case. We also had to have signage talking about the positions. We needed forms, pens, folders for organizing the completed forms, a tent in case of rain, clipboards for crowd work, and volunteers. Some for the booth, some for the crowd work, and some that were notaries. This was a key position. Without notaries, the 1-Stop PCP & SD Shop wouldn’t have been possible. And a bullhorn. Don’t forget the bullhorn.
4. Marketing the event. Since we were setting up at a march, we knew we needed something to draw attention. A slogan that inspires curiosity and gives information is also a key component. For our event, #MarchToTheBallot was perfect. And really, it could be used at all 1-Stop Shops that are recruiting candidates. We also spent about 25 dollars on Facebook advertising and sent several press releases to news outlets across the state. If you have a phone list of people that you are targeting, Textedly is an easy way to send bulk texts to them to notify them of your event and give them something to do. (ie. We are going to be here, come see us.)
5. Show up ready and have enough volunteers for the event. It is important to make sure every person involved is educated on the positions and responsibilities of the offices people are filing for. You will need at least 3 people in your booth. A form collector, a notary, and an event leader that people can ask questions at the last minute. You also need at least 2 people in the crowd with clipboards getting the people that are waiting to file started on looking up their voter information on the state website. The forms require the precinct name, township name, and ward number, if applicable, as well as the congressional district. If you have a good public speaker, get them up on a chair with the bullhorn telling the crowd about why you are there and what the positions are about. Draw attention.
6. Clean up. Organize the forms by district and make a clear plan on turning them is. This is a massive responsibility so keep that in mind as you make your turn-in plan. If it is a small event, you may only be traveling to a county or 2 and the turn-in plan is pretty up front. If you are covering a large event, then clearly articulate the next steps to complete the turn-in process. Make a paper list of who is doing what before you leave the event.
7. Follow up. Tell people about how well it went and start all over again!
If you have any questions about getting an event together, contact us. Remember, 92 is here for you. All year long, every year.