Saturday, June 4, 2016

Hillary Volunteering Roundup 6/4/16: California Dreamin' Pt. II and Phone Banking Tips

Guest post by violining247

This weekend’s volunteer roundup is divided into 3 parts, though it’s a little different from last week. Again, parts 1 and 2 are all about volunteering for the remaining primaries and the general, respectively, but this week, part 3 is some phone banking advice for novices based on my own experience with it over the past few for newbies, from a fellow newbie!

The Primary

THIS IS THE WEEK!!! On Tuesday, barring an asteroid strike or something equally cataclysmic, Hillary will be our nominee, and one glass ceiling that currently “has about 18 million cracks in it” is going to shatter, leaving just one more to go! Witnessing our country’s first female nominee on a major-party ticket, a progressive woman whom I deeply respect, is a moment that will make me incredibly proud on so many levels, as an American, and as a volunteer who helped make it happen. I’d like to encourage anyone who hasn’t already, and who is able, to do a little something for GOTV this weekend, so you too can put your fingerprints on this historic moment.

The big states for Hillary are New Jersey and California. New Jersey will in all likelihood put her over the top with superdelegates counted, and California will then give her the pledged delegates needed to claim a majority. Polls are all over the place in California, but we can win this thing and go out with a bang IF everyone steps up and lends a hand.

If you live in New Jersey or California, go to the campaign website and type in your zip code to find canvassing, phone banking, and other GOTV operations near you over the next few days. For Californians, that page will also let you know if Hillary or Bill will be stopping in your area, so keep an eye out for those appearances as well.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) for Hillary also has a substantial operation throughout California. They are looking for speakers of Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean or Vietnamese for targeted phone banking. If that describes you, definitely consider getting in touch with them and helping out in this way!

Besides the official events page on the Hillary website, there are a number of Facebook resources for California. ​Similarly, for New Jersey, there is New Jersey for Hillary. Keep an eye on these pages for grassroots volunteer opportunities.

There isn’t much media buzz surrounding North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and New Mexico, which also vote on Tuesday, but if you live in those states, you can still volunteer for Hillary! The campaign events page is your best bet for finding opportunities near you. Type in your city and/or zipcode, you can take your pick of canvassing/phone banking events. If you can register ahead of time, great, but for most of these sorts of things, if you just show up, they’ll find a way to put you to work.

For the rest of us who are scattered across the country and can’t help out in person, please take some time to make calls from home. I am committing to 200 before Tuesday, split between California and New Jersey (which are the two states you can call through the website). I know not everyone has the time to make that many calls, but even if you can only make 15 calls, that’s 15 more that the campaign has in the bank. Every little bit helps!

The General

Sign ups are underway to volunteer in the following states. Help register voters and help Team Blue win up and down ballot:

**Volunteer Tip of the Week: Getting over the phone banking jitters**

Before this election, as I mentioned in my very first diary here, I had never phone banked or knocked doors for anybody. I am very much an introvert, so talking to strangers is not normally my idea of a good time, and talking on the phone? Forget it. I was the person who would mentally rehearse a pizza order before calling it in, so the idea of making political calls where people might yell at you? Augh...the idea completely freaked me out.

Then the 2016 race rolled around, and long story short, in my drive to do just about anything in my power to get Hillary elected, I started making GOTV calls. I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous for the first few, and I still get a little nervous before I start a session! That said, though, I’ve gotten a lot better at dealing with the jitters, so here’s my advice, based on my short experience so far:

1. Smile while you’re talking. It helps keep you calm, and the caller can hear it in your voice, making for a more pleasant experience all around.

2. Read through the script before you start to get an idea of the information they want you to get, but then put the script in your own words to get said information. IMO the script takes too long to get to the point of the call, so I would recommend that after you establish you’ve got the right person on the phone and you’ve introduced yourself, get right to the point by saying something like, “We’re calling today to remind voters about the primary on June 7. Can we count on your support for Hillary Clinton?”

3. Accept that people will be curt and sometimes outright rude, they will often hang up, and yes, sometimes they will get aggressive with you (though in my experience this has been very rare, certainly much rarer than the former two scenarios by an order of magnitude). Do not take any of these things personally—they are in no way a reflection on you or your “abilities” as a phone banker.

4. If you get an aggressive one, end the conversation as quickly and as pleasantly as possible. Do not retaliate with aggression in kind.

5. That said, know that you will have some genuinely lovely conversations with voters. Some will be absolutely delighted that you called, and they will tell you their life stories and just how excited they are to vote for Hillary. These are the ones that will keep you going!
6. For the undecideds, I honestly would ignore the script for the most part. First ask if there are any particular issues they’d like to know more about or questions they’d like to ask about Hillary’s positions. If you can answer their questions, great, but it works just as well to refer them to outside sources. The official website is a good one to start with (you’d be shocked how many people haven’t already checked it out), and newspaper endorsements can also be helpful as references. Don’t feel like you need to get into the weeds with them...your job is to plant the seed, not necessarily drag them across the finish line (though it is perhaps the best feeling when they commit right then and there!).

7. A lot of people you’ll be calling are older voters. Be mindful of the fact that a good number of the over-80 (or so) crowd might be dealing with some level of hearing loss. If the person on the other end says they can’t hear you very well, don’t panic! Start over, and this time, be sure to enunciate well, speak louder than you think you have to (without outright yelling), and hold the phone microphone directly in front of your mouth.

8. Breathe!

9. Be you, don’t try to impersonate what you *think* a phone banker should sound like. You are perfectly fine as you are!

10. Know that it really does get easier the more you do it. You’ll get in a groove after the first few, and as time goes on, your confidence will build. For me, this sense of confidence on the phone has even carried over to my pizza-ordering abilities...I no longer feel the need to rehearse my order ahead of time:-)

I hope these tips help if you haven’t yet decided to jump in the fray! If you’re already out there canvassing and phone banking, though, thanks for your work! Let us know how it’s going below.

Now, let’s go win California and New Jersey and shatter a glass ceiling on Tuesday!

(originally posted at Daily Kos)

1 comment:

  1. thanks violin, lovely post and thanks the links.

    I am seriously thrilled, shivery, wow, at last at last

    I am sorry that Muhammad Ali passed before America elected a woman to be president. I am glad he was alive for Barack Obama. We need more like him, not fewer.