Despite all these folks being stuck inside on a beautiful early spring day, the enthusiasm in the room was thick. Pennsylvania Democrats don’t have an easy path to the majority this cycle, but the path is there, and I was sharing air (don’t worry, everyone rapid-tested upon arrival) with some of the folks who will help flip this chamber.
I joined them to discuss the great potential and myriad pitfalls of social media: how to use it in a legislative campaign, mistakes to avoid, best practices, that sort of thing.
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None of these folks are strangers to social media (who is these days?), but the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. in a campaign doesn’t look a whole lot like personal use. In everyday life, these platforms are fun diversions. But in a campaign, these become tools a candidate can—and should—deploy to amplify their message, connect with voters, and show folks in their district who they are and why they deserve to be elected.
I’ve done these kinds of trainings before, and as the social media landscape changes (I wasn’t talking about TikTok in 2019), so does my talk. The constantly shifting landscape of social media isn’t totally unlike the perpetual motion of the electoral landscape, which is part of what makes being Very Online super fun—but also fraught with potential pitfalls for a well-intentioned legislative candidate.
And of course, the candidates change, too. The previous trainings I’ve participated in were all in Virginia, because, well, I am and have been for a very long time.
Getting to come to Pennsylvania and experience this with not only a whole new crop of candidates, but also a new (to me) chamber, was incredibly exciting. The excitement wasn’t because of the things that were different in this training, but for the things that were super similar to the sessions I’ve done in Virginia.
The state and candidates were different, but the engagement and excitement in the room felt delightfully reminiscent of the vibe in Richmond when a Democratic majority in the House of Delegates became attainable. These candidates are diverse, earnest, and motivated to make their districts and their commonwealth a better place—just like in Virginia. (What can I say? I guess I have a thing for commonwealths.)
Stay tuned in a few months for Daily Kos endorsements in this chamber, and be on the lookout for some of these folks coming to Daily Kos to share their stories and talk about their campaigns.
Pennsylvania Dems absolutely face an uphill battle to the House majority this November, but it is within reach.
And I couldn’t be more thrilled to be part of that journey.