Since the beginning of March, Old First has held six phone banks as a part of our voter engagement campaign with POWER.
During the first five, we cold-called the list of unlikely voters in our council district that we’d been assigned and filled in data from the calls manually. We secured 67 commitments to vote in favor of ballot measure #1 that will provide all employees of employers contracted with the city with the 21st Century Minimum Wage.
Our last phone bank was a little different:
This past Monday, May 12, eight Old First volunteers – Clark D., Karen H., Pat M., Yajeh N., Kathy S., Beth W., plus Michael and Hannah – gathered in the social hall with Cecily from POWER and Emma from State Voices. We were getting to access “a predictive dialer phone bank.” We hooked up our laptops and cell phones. The computers called numbers for us, and only connected us to phones when they were answered. After only 2 hours, we had collectively secured almost 100 more vote commitments!
Afterwards, we all reflected excitedly how great it was to reach so many voters so efficiently in one small chunk of time! We also swapped stories of voters who thanked us for sharing information about referendum question #1, funny questions we were asked, and the interesting personalities we encountered over the phone.
To sum it up – reaching out to our neighbors to talk about politics is never a dull endeavor! Of course, we have to wait until Tuesday to see how much of an effect we have had, but we’re hopeful that we made a big difference, especially for the families of some of our city’s lowest paid wage earners! (After the election, we will actually be able to track how well “our turn-out commitments” actually matched with people who showed up at the polls.)
It was a great final event to give us some momentum leading up to the primary next Tuesday, May 20.
This weekend, we’ll be calling all the 200 unlikely voters who committed to vote to ensure that they have a plan for getting to the polls and ensuring they know where their polling place is.
Speaking of which: do you have a plan for getting to the polls on Tuesday amidst your own work and other responsibilities? Do you know where your polling place is?
Together with the voter commitments from Old First members, Old First has reached our goal of securing 200 voter commitments (hooray!) for Tuesday and helping to ensure that the ballot measure gets passed, but we still have to do our part!
What can you do?
1. Make a plan for Tuesday about how you’re going to get yourself to your polling place.
1a. You may need to figure out where said polling place is.
2. Remind your friends to vote! Never underestimate who doesn’t realize that there’s a primary election is coming up.
3. Talk about ballot measure # 1. Even the most loyal voters are guilty of focusing on primary candidates and not paying attention to referendum questions until they’re staring at them in the voter booth.
3a. So tell people about the referendum question – Philly.com ran an editorial this week in favor of the ballot measure, a quick share on Facebook might just get your friends thinking.
Excited about the work we’ve done,
P.S. How could I forget to add a personal thank you to everyone who helped with phone and door to door canvassing. Without all of you, we wouldn’t have been able to accomplish this:
Old First Phone Bank/Canvassing Volunteers:
Mindy,Michael, Hannah, Clark, Kayla, Katrina, Barbara, Karen H., Mimi, Delilah, Yajeh,, Alice, Scott, Mark S., Kathy, Beth W., Linda, Marjorie, Steve W., Mike.