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Election Advocacy: Why is it important? What is NVHR doing? How can you help? Ryan Clary Director of Programs, NVHR

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Presentation on theme: "Election Advocacy: Why is it important? What is NVHR doing? How can you help? Ryan Clary Director of Programs, NVHR"— Presentation transcript:

1 Election Advocacy: Why is it important? What is NVHR doing? How can you help? Ryan Clary Director of Programs, NVHR

2 2012 Congressional Elections All 435 seats in House of Representatives on the ballot. 40 incumbents are retiring. 13 incumbents lost in the primary. Some races have incumbents vs. incumbents 33 Senate seats on the ballot. 10 Senators are retiring. 1 Senator lost in the primary.

3 Why is this important? At least 64 new Members of Congress to educate. Many candidates are more accessible than ever. Opportunity to get commitments. First step in establishing a relationship. Many of those who won’t win will still be in decision making role (state legislature, etc).

4 How Can You Communicate With Candidates? Identify them:, enter you zip code in upper right Town meetings/other campaign events. Email/phone/written letter to campaign office. Drop by the campaign office. Post on candidates’ Facebook page. Write letter to the editor urging candidates’ to fight for viral hepatitis funding/legislation.

5 NVHR’s Candidate Survey Sent to House/Senate candidates on Nov. 6 ballot. Over 1,000 surveys sent; 35 returned so far. Questions: viral hepatitis funding, Affordable Care Act, syringe exchange ban, HHS strategic plan, Viral Hepatitis Testing Act. Purpose: (1) educate all candidates on key issues, (2) provide unbiased info to community, (3) have starting point for new Congress. Available on NVHR’s website starting October 15 th.

6 How Can You Help? Follow-up needed to get more returned surveys. Candidates are more likely to respond to local voters. Volunteer to take a district, several districts, or a state. NVHR will send you contact information, sample email message. Great practice for developing a relationship with elected officials and telling your story. Email: for more

7 Grassroots Advocacy Works! Dear Peter: Thanks for your email. It has long been my policy not to participate in pledges, oaths and questionnaires. The only oath I take is my oath of office. And as I have an extensive public record, including a voting record, that the public can examine think that is a more reliable indicator of my positions than anything else. When I read your email I went to the survey and read the questions. I realize that you and I agree on this (for example, I voted for the Affordable Care Act...). However, I was not aware of Hank Johnson's bill. Thanks for bringing it to my attention. I will ask my staff to see that I get added as a cosponsor of this good bill. I don't know if you were aware of it, but Congressman Johnson also had a serious hepatitis episode while he was in Congress. I am grateful to you for sharing your very difficult experiences with me. I am glad that you are getting back on your feet. We need to do all we can to save others from similar experiences, with efforts that include prevention, research and affordable health care. You can count on me to do my part in Congress to stand up for you and others in your situation. Best wishes, Zoe (Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, co-sponsored Viral Hepatitis Testing Act on September 21, 2012)

8 Non-Profits and Election Activity: What You CAN Do Voter registration (nonpartisan) Voter education (nonpartisan) Get Out The Vote (nonpartisan) Candidate surveys (nonpartisan, not biased, need a range of questions Invite candidates to meetings/public forums (nonpartisan – must invite ALL major candidates) More info: started.html started.html

9 Non-Profits and Election Activity: What You CAN’T Do Endorse a candidate (you can endorse a ballot measure) Make a campaign contribution as an organization Let a candidate use your office, resources, etc. Rank candidates based on their positions Let staff work for a candidate on work time More info: started.html started.html

10 The “Elevator Speech” Perfect for speaking to candidates at events. Delivering your message in 30 seconds or less. Who are you and how are you connected to the candidate (“the hook”)? What is your story (“the line”)? What do you want (“the sinker)? The elevator speech is only the first step. Follow-up and develop the relationship!

11 Resources Candidate/election info: Voter registration/info: Competitive House/Senate races:

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