Written By: Pastor Dr. Geoffrey V. Guns
One of the biggest reasons why local elected positions remain in the hands
of a few well-financed, well-connected individuals has to do with our not understanding how elections are won and lost. Political campaigns hire political strategists who understand the fine points of winning an election. As I research this topic I am coming to the conclusion that we have to change our attitudes, tactics, and determination about how to change the landscape of our communities. It does matter who is elected to City Council. It does matter if the same people are elected over and over. It does matter what political party to which they belong. It does matter because City Council determines how the resources and tax dollars that flow into the city get divided up and who gets the lion’s share of the city’s money.
The council determines how contracts are awarded and how schools are funded and what schools get built. The council determines the laws the impact how policing is done in our cities. It matters who sits on City Council. You cannot sit back and assume that the people elected will reflect your values, interests, concerns, or community ambitions. They will not do it. Elections matter! Below is an excerpt from a political strategy web page. The author points out how to win an election. Is your neighborhood in the target group or are you simply dismissed as someone whose neighbors are not going to vote? Read this section, reflect over it, digest it, ask the Holy Spirit for guidance. ,
The modern (or “new-style”) campaign relies on targeting – choosing, in advance, which voters to contact and devoting time and money to increase the quality and quantity of that contact. This targeted approach applies to every facet of the campaign’s voter contact plan. Targeting relies on research and strategy, as well as resisting the urge to spend time shaking hands at every supermarket and factory gate.
Before starting the campaign, the staff should research past elections, voter demographics, turnout and precinct information to determine several key numbers. First, determine how many votes are needed to win this election. Second, determine how many of the votes are needed to come from each of the precincts in
The goal is to determine not only how many votes you need to win, but what types of voters you are looking for (what coalitions will you build? what groups will you go after? what organizations or demographics will you get to support you?) and what precincts those voters reside in.
Paulo Freire pointed out that when the oppressed are educated, liberation comes.