- Voting & Elections
Effectively Engaging Election Candidates
As the November 2020 election approaches, political candidates are hosting town halls, talking to voters, and listening more closely to constituents.
This is an opportunity to lift our concerns for peace and justice with candidates for Congress and state offices, and with the public. Here are some ways you can engage candidates during the 2020 elections.
Ask a Question at a Campaign Event
Check candidate websites or contact campaign offices to find out about their public appearances. We recommend deciding in advance what question you want to ask and practicing speaking it out loud. You will likely only have a minute or two to ask your question. Listen carefully to the candidate’s answer and thank them for their response.
Consider going to an event with other people who are ready to ask the same question. This strategy increases the chances that one of you will be called on to speak. Remember, you can influence not just the candidate, but also others in your community and potentially the media. If you attend an event, take a photo and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org! We will share it on social media to inspire others.
Organize a Campaign Event
When you work with your meeting, church, or community group to put on your own event, you can focus on the issues most important to your community and help candidates get to know your group. Several years ago, Durham Friends Meeting invited congressional candidates to such a forum and asked them questions based on FCNL’s suggestions. You can do the same!
Organize a Joint Letter to Candidates
Letters can come from a few people or from your meeting or church, asking all the candidates their perspectives on your priority issues. Joint letters can help show candidates that there’s an organized group of people who are paying attention to an issue.
Write a Letter to the Editor
Any of the questions in this newsletter can become the basis for a letter to the editor. Respond to a news article if possible, and keep your letter short (150 words or less). Be sure to include the names of your candidates so campaigns will see the letter.
Contact Campaigns Directly
Send campaigns a letter or an email. Or ask friends who are involved with campaigns where their candidates stand on issues of concern to FCNL.
Engage with Candidates on Social Media
Follow candidates on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms and comment to raise issues you want to see them address. Campaigns monitor these sites closely! Candidates are also likely to share information about public events on these platforms.