Below are just a few ways you can volunteer to help Dan Dillman with his Campaign for San Leandro Mayor 2014
1. Block Walk
I encourage you to try this even if you think you can’t talk to people. You can go with a partner and see how it is done. You aren’t knocking on just any door; you are given a list of addresses in a neighborhood for people who are likely voters. Primarily, you knock, no one answers, and you leave a door hanger. You get exercise, soak up a little Vitamin D, and help get the candidate’s name in front of voters. A win for everyone.
2. Phone Bank
If I can do it, you can do it. Smile when you talk, because it really does help. For every 10 numbers you dial, you might reach one person, so get busy and don’t fret over making that first call. Find out if you are supposed to leave voice messages or not before you start. Sometimes, those are the most fun of all. Campaigns will provide scripts, but don’t be afraid to modify them (for style, not substance) to make them sound more like you. If you start off sounding friendly and identifying yourself as a volunteer, only one in a million people will be nasty to you. Just think of that as payback for the times you’ve hung up rudely on a phone solicitor. Most will be either friendly OR honest about wanting to get off the phone. Once in a while, you have a great chat with an older person (because that’s who has land lines) who will reinforce your faith in humanity and democracy with their passion for your candidate or issue.
Campaigns host phone banks because they work. Try it before you say it isn’t for you.
3. Deliver Yard Signs
Campaigns get calls and emails from supporters who want signs. They also seek out supporters with prime property for big 4′ x 8′ signs: residential or retail corners, fences on key roads, etc. If you can deliver yard signs, great. Go ahead & put them up in the yard, but not in the right-of-way. If you’ve got a truck, you can help with the big signs.
A few key rules to live by:
Do not put signs up without permission, especially in the public right-of-way.
Do not take down, deface, or otherwise mess with other candidates’ signs.
It is nice to offer to help pick up signs after a campaign has ended. Some candidates recycle the signs from election to election. If you can recruit a team of people to do this, what a gift to the candidate.
4. Data Entry
When volunteers return from phone-banking, and when donations come in, someone has to log them into the computer. If you think data entry is your thing, please make a commitment for the long haul. Campaign staff can train you, but to make the most of the time they spend training you, you need to show up on a regular basis. And, accuracy is very, very important. Take your time and get it right. The campaign uses this information to plan future block-walks and phone banks, and relies upon it for mandatory financial reports.
5. Host a meet & greet
Early in the campaign, candidates, especially first-timers or those running for local offices, need name recognition among voters almost as much as they need donations. You can invite your neighbors over for coffee on a Saturday morning or wine on a weeknight to meet the candidate. Ask the campaign how long your event should be, what time works for them, and how many people they would consider a successful event to be. They might look at their records and ask you to include nearby neighbors you don’t know in the invitation. This is a great way to meet new people.
If you can’t host an event, ask if the campaign is having any in your area, and attend, and bring a friend or two. Hosts are always grateful for a good turn-out.
This doesn’t have to be a fundraiser, but note that as campaigns get closer and closer to election day, their focus will be on fundraising events, not meet & greets. So, get on the calendar early if this is how you want to participate.