I wish I had more interesting news than this, but all I have to report is that setting up a campaign is full of little tasks that need to be done, and we are busy doing them. To give you an idea of what is involved, here is a quick summary of our last couple of weeks.
Our early supply of doorhanger-style leaflets is pretty much depleted. The thought was to have a set of doorhangers printed up, hoping to have a few people distribute them the weekend of the launch. That way we might get some more info on people’s doorknobs the weekend that my face was on the cover of the newspaper (presuming, of course, that my face got in the newspaper). I got a better response than expected from people wanting to help out right off the bat, and we ended up running out before we could get then to all the volunteers! A second round will be returning from the printers very soon, designed more for handing out during door-knocking than hanging on doors.
“Door-knocking” is literally what it says. A volunteer and I select a neighbourhood, and head out for about 2 hours to knock on doors and talk to people. It is actually a lot of fun if you are a “people person”. The goal is to meet people, let them know there is an election coming, and that I am their best candidate! The other goal is to find out what their biggest issues or concerns actually are. Though the vote is only 3 months away, the election is hardly on the front of most people’s minds, so it sometimes takes a bit to draw out their ideas – but it wouldn’t be New Westminster if people didn’t want to bend your ear about all that is going right and all that is going wrong about the City.
Aside from door-knocking and attending any event where people are talking about City issues, there are endless other tasks. One is data-gathering, which means making sure we have names and contact info for the people who have already volunteered to help or have donated, so we can be sure to acknowledge them and make plans. It also means creating a geographic database of helpers and neighbourhoods, so we know what ground we have covered while door-knocking and leafleting, and what we have not. Concurrently, we are trying to line up volunteers with things they might actually like to do, and setting up schedules that work for people. We are designing upgrades to this website to improve the interactivity, and are doing some message and advertizing plans. There is a lot that has to be put in place right now so it is ready for the true campaign period – which should start about mid September.
So if you are like the majority of people whose doorstep I have not hit yet, and if you are coming here looking for updates, recognize that an apparent lack of activity belies furious activity in the background, putting things in place. And if you think you might want to spend part of an evening doorknocking with me, you might want to help organize our upcoming fundraisers, or you would like to help with datagathering, phoning people, website stuff, organizing neighbourhood teams, or any other task, please hit that “volunteer” button over there to the right, and give us your contact. We will get back to you when we are ready to put your skills to work.
Or write me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat about a way you might be able to help.
A campaign is like a community – many hands make light work.