A fellow congregant and leader at BHC and I are trying to launch a Civic Engagement Campaign. The two of us want to see a better, more equitable society in which everyone's voice is heard. We think others want that, too, and so we thought this would be an opportunity to not only engage in some good old fashioned voter registration, voter education and get-out-the-vote activities, it would also be a chance to create or nurture relationships between individuals and institutions.
In my own mind, I've been calling this effort "Faith in Democracy," because it started through my involvement at my synagogue, and we have been reaching out to other faith-based institutions for our coalition. In reality, we don't have a name, at least not yet. Still, if you're interested in joining our fledgling coalition--whether you represent a church or your atheist club, your neighborhood association, your school, your union, your book club, or just yourself, I'd love to hear from you.
Take a look below at the goals, strategies and tactics outlined at the kick-off meeting. If this looks like something you can get behind, please be in touch with me!
Faith in Democracy: 2018 Civic Engagement Campaign
Civic Engagement — increasing the level of participation, understanding and ownership of the democratic process in greater Baltimore.
Voter registration drives (including new events and piggybacking on existing events like National Night Out or Smaltimore Homes)
Voter education materials
Poll parties on election day
Voter registration campaigns with partners (e.g. Paul’s Place)
Registration and GOTV campaigns within coalition organizations (e.g. Baltimore Hebrew does PR effort to encourage all members to vote and seeks out opportunities to remove barriers to voting, e.g. rides to the polls).
Voter registration/education/GOTV for specific populations (E.g. people in pre-trial detention or people experiencing homelessness)
The coalition will identify at least 2 precincts to focus on.
One precinct will be suggested by members of the Open Church, the second to be decided upon by the Baltimore Hebrew contingent.
In these two precincts, the coalition will look for partners and opportunities to provide a full civic engagement campaign beginning now and spanning into the next General Assembly. The campaign will consist of tactics 1 - 5 above.
Members of the coalition (either organizational teams or teams of disparate members) may also seek to provide one or more tactic (1 - 5) for additional precinct(s) (E.g. a party at Bolton Street Synagogue) or to pursue tactic 7 regardless of precinct affected.
Teams should form around each of the tactics. Teams will plan the events/efforts and coordinate volunteers from coalition organizations. Ideally volunteers should be deployed in diverse groups (e.g. one volunteer from each of 4 groups rather than 4 people from the same group).
Organizations are also encouraged to pursue tactic 6 within their own organizations, using the coalition for ideas and best practices.