Hello, my DKos friends! I haven't written here about my campaign recently, partly because I'm too busy dealing with work, with the violent situation in Anaheim (within my district!), with various local races and statewide propositions, with becoming a pretty well-read local blogger here in Orange County CA -- and with my own off-line campaigning, of course! If you want to find out more about what I'm running for and why, check out my diairies HERE (announcement), HERE (thanks to contributors), and HERE.
Yes, your contributions, ideally through ActBlue, are still welcome; I have a ballot statement due next week that will cost me almost $6000. I'll have a bleg up soon. Today, I want to ask you about something different: the postcard that may be (unless I'm fooling my opponent by posting it here) my main mailer in this upcoming campaign.
I'd like your critique -- in the comments. Go ahead and be brutal. (Also please be critical of other people's comments with which you disagree -- but please, not brutally.)
My draft postcard is below the fold -- and then I'll reveal my big postcard strategy. Please feel welcome to critique that as well. (Note: a critique can be positive, of course!)
A reminder: the "♦" at the front of the title means that this is a diary for my campaign for State Senate, CA-SD-29, not a personal diary or essay. You can like my Facebook page here. You can donate here through ActBlue (or send a donation to my campaign's mailing address, on the postcard that follows -- but if you do that please include the answers to the questions on the ActBlue mailing page!)
This means that I'm going to talk about ideas -- and one of the most important ideas to convey in California right now is that we DON'T need austerity. We DO need revenue. We have plenty of ways to increase state revenue that WON'T harm the 99% -- such as a millionaire's tax (in Prop 30, one of the two essential ballot propositions this year, the other being defeating Prop 32), an oil depletion tax (like other oil producing states have), and removing the protections of Prop 13, which was marketed as preserving the low property taxes of individuals, for at least large commercial investment property.
That may not be the best way for me to get elected (or for all I know it may), but I know that people listen to ideas more right around election season and this is how I can reach them with these ideas at a time when it will make the most difference. I may or may not be a great candidate this year, but I feel like one hell of an activist!
What I don't know is whether and how this card can be improved. That's what I want to rely on the big, beautiful, throbbing collective mind of DKos to help me think all of this through. Again, don't pull your punches; I still have this in an editable Photoshop file!
My "Postcards for the Edge" campaign strategy
I'm going to share something else with you here today -- and anyone here who wants to use it can steal it for their own use as well. (It's not completely new, but it's a little new.)
I want you (and those like you), Dear Reader, to send out postcards for me, with your own personalized campaign messages. People read handwritten postcards!
As of the primary election, I had about 463,000 voters in my State Senate district (which is a little more than half of the total district population.) About 163,000 are registered to vote absentee. (These are the people who are most likely to vote.) About 57,000 of those are Democratic absentee voters About 34,000 are "No Party Preference" absentee voters. (About 74,000 are Republican absentee voters, but I don't plan to try to reach them.)
If I can reach those 91,000 Democratic and NPP absentee voters, plus as many non-absentee Dem voters as I can, I'll have done well spreading this anti-austerity message both as an activist and as a candidate.
That, as you may have expected, is where you come in.
Over the next eight weeks, would you be willing to write and mail 100 postcards?
You may wonder: how much would 100 postcards cost? There are two possible routes:
♦ (1) Smaller orders: you can print 4x6 photos at Costco: 13-14 cents apiece (depending on tax.So we're talking about a maximum of 50 cents per mailed postcard -- not counting your valuable time -- or $50 per hundred. (Of course, you can do fewer if you want -- and your valuable time is going into activism and messaging as much or more as it's going to electioneering!)
♦ (2) Large orders (ideally 5000, if people in an area can jointly organize): about 5 cents sent to you by UPS.
♦ Stamp for mailing them: 32 cents apiece.
♦ Address label sheets for printing off the addresses that I provide you: 2 cents apiece
♦ Ink for writing your personalized message of why they should vote for me: maybe 2 cents.
♦ Your personal message on the cards to voters in an assigned area -- invaluable!
Of course, for a large order I'll either ship the postcards (from a union printer) to you send the job to a union printer near you. (I'm told that unions don't mind the competition from Costco, which matches local union wages and working conditions, bolstering rather than undermining the bargain position of unions. They do not like competition from Walmart and I won't send any photos there!)
In any event, if you do spend your own money to support my campaign, please notify me of your name, occupation, and the other sort of info you're asked for on the ActBlue website so that my campaign can track it and report it as appropriate.
If you'd like to facilitate other people doing this, just make a donation to me through ActBlue with a $0.50 at the end of the amount and I'll earmark it for this project -- sending a box of stamped and labeled postcards out to people who promise to write out their message and mail them on time. (Note: if I don't already know you or someone who can vouch for you, I may not want to do this. Nothing personal; I just don't want to waste my contributors' money.)
I'm looking forward to seeing how well "Postcards for the Edge" can do -- I think it can be a model for a grassroots movement. What I like most about it is that while it is my printed message they'll see on the front, it is your handwritten message on the back that will really convince them. I trust you all to do it right.
Interested? Let's wait until (with your help) I finalize the message -- and then go! You can write out just a couple of postcards a day, if you want; the mailing date will be in late September or early October.
One other thing: aside from this postcard, consider too that literally hundreds of thousands of voters may read my ballot statement -- which will in part touch on issues relevant to statewide propositions! -- as they figure out how they want to vote. (Do you think I'm going to pass up such a chance to promote my progressive views to the public and smack around my opponent? No way!) So, yes, please do contribute to help pay for it!)P.S. -- YES, my website DOES badly need help from someone more proficient with NationBuilder than I've turned out to be! Any volunteers?
(If you want your contribution to be earmarked for the ballot statement, which is due in about a week, add 60 cents to the contribution to let me know! Excess donations, if any, will be used for other campaign purposes like rent, snacks for volunteers, and signs.)
12:06 PM PT: OK! OK! Uncle! The first paragraph gets cut!
There's a great suggestion in comments that I essentially open it up for people to help create a postcard. (And, I might as well add, my sign as well.) I think that I'll do that tomorrow.
By the way -- I'm still looking for critiques of the overall "postcards for the edge" plan itself, too, as well as of this specific draft postcard! Thanks, Kosters, you're great (as usual.)