Project Wonderful

Sunday, August 13, 2017

It Should Go Without Saying...

One of the joys of having a campaign-themed blog is that people feel encouraged to share ridiculous/inappropriate stories (keep 'em coming) about things that happen in their office. We spend plenty of time making fun of candidates and things they should know better about but there is plenty to say about campaign staff. All of the following are REAL EXAMPLES I have either witnessed or had relayed to me of things that should go without saying, but apparently don't.

It should go without saying...

Don't smoke pot in the office. Even if it's legal in your district. Even after hours. ESPECIALLY if you have a shared office space, but definitely at all.

Don't smoke cigarettes inside the office. Are you kidding me? Ew.

Don't drink alcohol in the office in front of volunteers, donors, or anyone who it might make uncomfortable. A little bottle of wine during some late night data entry is a different story.

Don't drink alcohol at formal or informal campaign events if you are under 21.

Don't serve alcohol to staff or interns who are under 21.

Don't get drunk at an official campaign event no matter how old you are. And if you are drunk (at a campaign event or not) do not drive home under any circumstances.

Do not engage in romantic relationships with staff whom you supervise. Sorry but this is non-negotiable.

You are collectively responsible for the cleanliness of the common areas in your office. If you have to be asked to do your part you are already being irresponsible. Check yourself proactively, especially if you are a man working in an office with women. (Don't @ me; It's how we're socialized.)

Do not put any campaign expense on your personal credit card that you cannot afford to float for an indefinite period of time. Similarly, do not ask staff to shell out for expenses for which they will not be reimbursed immediately.

Do not agree to any meeting, interview, expenditure, or hire on behalf of the campaign unless you are authorized to do so.

Don't promise anything you can't deliver, even to get out of an uncomfortable conversation.

Don't post anything negative--even if satirical--on social media about the campaign, your opponent or people involved with either. (This includes submissions to CampaignSick Tumblr).

Don't talk to the press without explicit permission from the Comms Director or Campaign Manager.

Don't talk about campaign secrets or make disparaging or inappropriate comments in front of volunteers. (There are spies everywhere.)

Do not put anything in electronic communication that would be embarrassing to you or the campaign if it were to find its way into a newspaper.

Don't run a paid and volunteer canvass from the same staging location.

Always provide healthcare or a healthcare stipend for long-term employees. (Practice what we preach you guys!)

Don't try to pay employees who are really employees as contractors.

Always follow up with people who have helped you find talent, connected you to a potential employer etc. Nothing annoys me more than sending someone a resume or recommending someone from a job and then never hearing what happened.

On the flip side anyone who got to a second round interview with you deserves a heads up that the position has been filled.

Let your references know that you are using them as references. It's considerate plus it allows them to prepare and give more thoughtful recommendations.

More than one person should have an office key. You don't want everyone locked out because one person is stuck in traffic.

Don't steal your opponents' lit or yard signs. Especially don't do this and throw them out behind your office. People I know have been arrested for this.

Buy the .org, .net and every version of your candidate's name and website. You don't want YourName2018.com to turn out to be a landing page for the opposition.

Make sure your opponent and his/her spouse are removed from your contact universe. Awkward and embarrassing.

Don't re-solicit someone before thanking them. Duh.

You/your candidate don't need to interview 8 consultants for the same service. Don't waste everyone's times. Stick with 2-3 max. Committees and other consultants can help make recs if you don't know where to start.

Don't have your candidate show up at another candidate's event (in candidate capacity) without permission. It's rude and tacky. The exception is if your candidate is really attending as a supporter OR if your candidate is for example a state senator attending a large annual event like the (no longer existent) Harkin Steak Fry.

What am I missing? Happy to do a round two!


Campaign Love and Mine,


Nancy








Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Ten More Votes! A Firm Of One's Own with Eric Hogensen


One of the things I love the most about our community is that you have people wherever you go. To wit, I am in Los Angeles looking for my next adventure and the consultants and operatives of the West Coast (and yes, the GC culture is a huge thing here, another post on that later) have been nothing but generous with their time. I sat down with Eric Hogensen of HSG campaigns to learn more about his business AND his exciting new project, Ten More Votes!


Who are you? Tell us a little about yourself and your career trajectory.

I was born in Chicago and raised around Madison, Wisconsin. My mother is Mexican and father is Jewish. I was raised in a fairly political household by left-wing radical artists and got a Poli Sci degree but I didn’t work on my first campaign until after college. I started as a Field Organizer in WA-03 (Olympia) in the summer of 2000, literally fell in love with campaigns on that race and I've been doing it ever since. I came up through field, did a Kentucky Governor’s race, a Presidential cycle for Clark in South Carolina and a Congressional race in Vegas. Along the way I did a little bit of everything from press to finance to managing.

What do you love about campaigns?

I think of campaigns like a mosquito zapper. One pops up and all these people from all over suddenly flock to it. I’m definitely a people person so I love that feeling of camaraderie and teamwork. There’s nothing like that pace and that energy. I especially love managing because you are in the middle of everything, you move things forward, you influence the candidate, there’s no part of the race you don’t touch. But it takes so much out of you.

When did you start your own firm and why?

I believe you only have two or three races in you to manage and really do it well. I won my congressional race in ‘06 started my firm in ’07. I got some good staff that I trusted and rented a couple rooms above a soccer bar in Milwaukee, focused on mail and digital. Once it got going, I moved things out to CA because I love it here. The weather is great and my wife is from SC and so she missed warm weather. 

What surprised you about starting your own firm?

The thing I was least prepared for is that once you're a consultant all your relationships with other consultants change. As a manager, they’re helping you get jobs and you are helping them by staffing their races. As a fellow it’s just different. Even if you’re not in direct competition maybe they’re on a race with someone with whom you are. Also the reality of constantly selling/finding clients. The impact and the beast of that is intense.

Tell us about Ten More Votes.

Ten More Votes is a mobile voter contact campaign app for Democratic campaigns that volunteers and supporters can use to easily call, text and canvass for the campaign. No other platform allows you to do all three and its ease of use, in my opinion, is second to none. 

How did this come about?

My friend Kelly (who is a tech person) and I were talking. He was building apps and doing some freelance projects and we decided to do a project together.  It did come out of what I perceive to be a gap in campaign technology. There are solutions out there but I don't think they are as simple as they can be and for me this filled that gap.

How have you seen this kind of technology change over the course of your career?

I've by seen it go from nothing in 2000 -basically we were just chatting with each other on AIM-- to now where smart campaigns spend a significant part of their budget and devote staff to digital. So literally from 0 to like 50% when you consider how much tech is a part of everything. The key becomes how do you integrate everything; how do you curate what’s out there? You don't want to get distracted by shiny objects. At the same time there are fundamentals that don't have anything to do with digital: management, messaging, good candidates that won't ever change. 

If people want to learn more about how 10 more votes works how can they find out?

You can use this link to sign up for a demo. CampaignSick readers get 10% off their first two months of using the app!

What else do you want people to know about Ten More Votes?

We used to talk about this like a FUBU product, for us by us. Lot's of people come from the tech world and want to tell us how to improve things, knowing nothing about the process. I built this with us in mind. I'm a campaign person; I'm not an angel investor or a tech bro. Basically I love your readers and and I want their feedback because that's who we build this for.

What do you wish you had known earlier in your career?

Be more mindful of how you treat people. When you are young and passionate you get caught up in the moment and you lose sight of how the things you say affect people. I never lacked confidence, I can tell you that, but there's a way to be confident without being cocky. People will remember how you treat them long after you've forgotten what you said.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Firm of One's Own: Madalene Mielke

Editor's Note: Especially in today's political climate, where jobs are difficult to come by it seems like every Regional Field Director dreams of starting their own firm. I've always suspected this is a lot harder than it sounds but I get questions about doing so frequently. Since I've never done it I decided to ask some people I know who have! And so I bring you the first installment of "A Firm of One's Own." Thanks very much to Madalene Mielke, our first participant.


1)Who are you? Tell us a little about your professional background.
I help people get elected to public office.

2)When and why did you decide to start your own firm?
I started my firm in 2002. I didn’t want one boss. What I wanted was the flexibility to work with a variety of people and organizations. After I finished working on the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) in 1997, I made the decision that I wouldn’t go into the Clinton Administration, although I had worked at the DNC and on the coordinated campaign for the general election chair and on VP Gore’s team. I knew that policy wasn’t my speed and that politics would be the way that I would make a career. That decision was the basis for the other decisions that I made for professional advancement. The culmination of those decisions resulted in me going out on my own.

3)Tell us a little bit about your firm and what you do.
My original focus is based on the tenants of political fundraising and training. In its 15 years of existence, my firm’s focus as well as my individual focus has evolved to include more political strategy and leadership development. Technically, people see me as a fundraiser because that’s what I do as a job. What I find more interesting is my ability to help individuals who are inclined to run for elected office, counsel them on the strategy to succeed as well as what leadership skills they need to develop to get them to a place where they’re seen as political leaders.

4)What the biggest challenges to owning your own firm?
It’s easier to do the work vs spend the time to hustle for new business. Time management is an absolute must!

5)What are you most proud of?
Being able to work with people who are making a difference in the world.

6)What do you wish you had done differently?
Nothing because I wouldn’t be where I am now as a person, as an operative, as an entrepreneur without making the choices I made. No regrets and no looking backwards other than to reflect on lessons learned.

7)What should someone know before starting their own firm?
In my line of work, finding business is a cyclical nature and having people who will advocate for you whether it’s for a job or as a potential client is important to have in any kind of business. Being a small business owner also means doing things out of your wheelhouse that may not involve any of the skills you may have acquired along the way. Need a business license? Opening a business account? Filing property taxes? Hiring an accountant, payroll specialist? Office space? Hiring staff? Now scale it all!!! All the details that can come back and be a real PITA need to happen before you can really focus on getting clients and producing quality work.

8)What is there left in your career that you are still looking forward to accomplishing?
I like to learn! I’m a student and at the same time experienced from years of practice. All industries evolve and how quickly we learn how to incorporate or retire methods is vital to staying relevant. I’m excited to engage in more leadership development and to get more women and communities of color elected to office as well as help them progress in their careers.

9)What is one thing you think everyone should know (can be professional or non-professional)?
Your success is built on your brand and your brand is built through your actions. People need to see you as solving a challenge for them. Bring solutions and a “let’s get it done” attitude.

Madalene Xuan-Trang Mielke is the Founder and Principal of Arum Group, LLC. She has nearly 20 years of experience working in political campaigns and specializes in political/non-profit fundraising and political training focused on the advancement of people of color.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Run For Something!


Run for Something is a new political organization dedicated to recruiting, training and supporting millennials to run for office. If you haven't heard about it yet you're going to starting here. Please enjoy my interview with Run for Something co-Founder, Ross Morales Rocketto. I'm so excited about Run for Something's work and to see where it goes from here! Thank you, Ross, for your time and everyone else see below how you can get involved!

1)Tell us about yourself and your professional background.
I’ve been in politics for about 15 years. I started the Houston area ended up working for a number of campaigns over the years. Three or four cycles in I realized I had got into politics because I thought getting good people elected was a way to make communities better place, but at some point I had started just working for candidates who would pay me. So I stopped doing politics for a little bit and decided when I got back in I would do so on my own terms.

About a year or so later, I got the itch again and jumped back in. I realized that part of the thing that had made me feel disillusioned was that I didn’t think the candidates I was working for were there for the right reasons or the right fit for their communities. I decided I wanted to focus on candidate recruitment even if I couldn’t do it full-time. I started working with my friends who were interested in running, and joined a political consulting firm that was founded by two top Obama campaign strategists. Eventually I started feeling restless wanted to go back in the field in January.

I wound up managing a congressional campaign for Wendy Carrillo. She is an incredible person, and is the embodiment of the American Dream. As a formerly undocumented immigrant whose family fled civil war in the 80’s, she and her family persisted and are now thriving! She just ran for Congress!

Meanwhile, Amanda and I launched Run for Something to recruit more young people to run for office on inauguration day. So when the campaign ended, I went back to Run for Something full-time.

2)Tell us about launching Run for Something.
We knew there was energy and interest from millennials who want to run for office but the response has been really fascinating and incredible. We thought maybe we’d be able to recruit 100 or 200 candidates. We launched on inauguration day and had over 1,000 candidates who signed up before the end of the weekend. Now we have almost 10,000 people interested in running!

3)What makes a good candidate? How do you decide which candidates you want to support?
The first question is “WHY are you running?” The why needs to be rooted in making their community a better place first and foremost. We’re looking for candidates who are deeply rooted in their communities-- that can mean a lot of different things. We ask questions like what does their network look like in the community? Are people asking them to run? What relationships do they have? Do others see them as a leader?

The second criterion is being willing and able to stand up and actually do it. Running for office is really hard. You need a willingness to learn, to adjust, to listen to constituents and to the people you bring on to give you advice. So much of running for office isn’t necessarily intuitive. There’s a lot about it-- like calling and asking people for money—that can be downright uncomfortable. So it’s important to understand and embrace the learning curve.

Then as a bonus, I look for someone with the ability to tell a story. Great candidates have empathy and a drive to connect with people. That isn’t to say different personalities shouldn’t run for office, but we want someone who can make the political personal.

In terms of concrete criteria run for something only supports candidates who are 35 or younger, progressive and intend to caucus (if applicable) as Democrats.

4)Why young people?
Let’s face it: most elected officials are old, white and male. Our goal is to recruit and support the next generation of governors, senators, members of congress and statewide officeholders and that often starts by running for local office. Notoriously that pipeline hasn’t existed for Democrats or we do a bad job of is getting young people into it. We need to start younger. Millennials are quickly becoming the largest voting block, or at least the largest potential voting block but in order for people to come out and vote they need to see themselves in candidates. We need to see ourselves.

5)What exactly does Run for Something do?
Our initial goal is ”to plant 1000 seeds.” We’re trying to inspire and get people engaged in the act of running for office, as many young people as we possibly can. Clearly we want to win, but the truth is for many local offices across the country no one is on the ballot or they are uncontested. There are so many offices every year that nobody runs for!

We want to provide our candidates with support in the broadest terms so creating community to share experiences and best practices, connecting them to campaign operatives and to other organizations that can train and support them-we’re not here to reinvent the wheel. And of course we want to provide many of them with financial resources. Right now we’re working on a matching program where if a candidate is able to raise 15% of what it takes to run for that office we will match that with up to 15%.

6)How can we get involved?
Go to Runforsomething.net to learn more about running or sign up to be a volunteer or a mentor. Because of the incredible influx of candidates we’ve seen one thing we need help with is candidate screening. It’s just a 30 minute phone call where the volunteer helps get information on potential candidates and fills out a form to relay it back to us. It’s a fun job because it’s the first personal touch with a lot of these candidates

7)What else do you want people to know about Run for Something?
For most, nobody is going to tap them on the shoulder to run. For people interested in engaging especially at the local and state level, you don’t have to wait for a gatekeeper to tell you it’s time to run. At the same time, you should also know what is involved which is part of why we’re here. The more local the race, the easier it is to run and win as a first time candidate. In most places isn’t that difficult to run for school board. It’s one of the most fundamental ways to get involved and those races are where everything starts. Right now progressives haven’t done as good a job at building that pipeline. School board today, council tomorrow, mayor after that. That’s where the bench is and we are here to demystify that for folks.

8)What do you wish someone had told you earlier in your career?
I wish I had had someone reminding me why it was I had gotten into this work in the first place. It’s easy to be fired up in the Trump era but, thankfully, this moment won’t last forever. If you’re not doing it for reasons that really drive you, you are going to be tired and cynical before you know it.


Ross Morales Rocketto is a progressive political operative with more than a decade of experience in campaign management, grassroots organizing, and data/analytics. Former campaign manager at Wendy Carillo for Congress, principal at Smoot Tewes Group, and management consultant at Deloitte Consulting’s innovation center. Worked in Iowa in 2007 for Bill Richardson, and in 2005 for Julian Castro. Got started in Texas during the 2002 cycle. Married, one dog, two cats.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Isn't That Special (Elections taking place beyond Georgia)


In case you have been living under a rock, or just have a very different social media cadre than I do there is a special election coming up in Georgia. Actually, one just happened and now there is a runoff. (Even though it was not the runaway we were hoping for BIG congratulations to everyone on the ground for Jon Ossoff! I am hopeful for June 20!) That same evening Jackie Smith won the race for Prince William County, Virginia's Clerk of Court and it got me wondering what other state and local special elections are taking place that are worth our notice. With the help of my amazing Facebook friends and wider social media network here is a by-no-means-exhaustive list of special elections taking place across the country! Please feel free to message me to add your own!

Statewide/Federal

Alabama- Alabama's new Governor, Kay Ivey has set the date for a special election to replace a one Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions (now US Attorney General, God help us) in the US Senate. The seat is currently being held by Republican Luther Strange. The primary will be August 15th and the general December 12th. Alabama is R+14.

Georgia- See above. The district is R+8.

Montana- To replace former Congressman Ryan Zinke for Montana's At-Large congressional seat. Zinke is now Secretary of the Interior. Rob Quist is the Democratic nominee. The special election is on May 25th. The district is R+11.

South Carolina- To replace Congressman Mick Mulvaney, now the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The primary is May 2nd and the special election June 20th. The district is R+9.

State and Local

Florida- Special election to replace Frank Artiles, SD 41. You can read about why he resigned this week here. The resignation is so recent that a date has yet to be set, but here is a list of potential candidates.

New Hampshire- After the death of an incumbent State Senator a primary will be held for New Hampshire State Senate District 16 on June 6th followed by a general election on July 25.

New York- There will be a May 23rd special election for New York State Assembly District 9, which is on Long Island. Democrat Christine Pellegrino has an uphill battle.

Rhode Island- Special election to replace resigning Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed of the 13th district. There will be a July 18th primary and an August 22nd general election.

Tennessee- Special election to replace Mark Lovell, HD 95. A primary will take place this Thursday, April 27th and the general election will be on June 15th.

Trump's pick for Army Secretary Mark Green, who says stuff like this about transgender people and represents SD 22 is expected to resign this week which would will trigger an "August-ish" special election.

Washington State- Democrat Manka Dhingra is running in the Senate District 45 special election, being held to replace a legislator who died last year. This race is especially important because it is likely to determine the balance of power in the Washington State Senate. The election will take place in November.

Please note these are not all the special elections going on in the US, just those you thought were noteworthy. You tell me, who else should we be talking about? You can find an addition list, although still not a complete one, of state legislative special elections here.

Shout outs of course to Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska (both in May!), New York City, Atlanta, LA, New Jersey and Virginia all of which have elections this year, although not "specials."

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Resources for Resistance


Since the inauguration a lot of friends and family have reached out to me with questions about how to stay involved. So many organizations are doing great work to keep the resistance strong, I wanted to share these resources with you so that you can take advantage or share them with others. In no particular order they are...

Indivisible Guide
- Practical advice for effectively communicating with and influencing your Members of Congress. Indivisible chapters are popping up all over the US (at least two per Congressional district!) so make sure to look yours up! Required reading.
Call the Halls- In depth practical advice on calling your Members of Congress
Call Them In Their homepage puts it best, "Timely email reminders with tailored call scripts at your fingertips, so you can oppose Donald Trump's agenda and back progressive legislation in a meaningful way."
Mobilize App- This is actually an app developed by a friend of a friend that differs from some of the other tools in that you proactively login when you feel the need to take action and it gives you a variety of targeted call scripts from which to choose.
Daily Action- Texts you with a suggestion of one phone call to make every day to resist extremism.
Movement Vote- Helps you find local groups participating in the resistance to join or donate to.
Call My Congress-Gives you contact info for your representatives based on address
5 Calls-Another calling tool that lets you narrow scripts by issue
Resistance Calendar- A semi-comprehensive calendar of resistance events across the United States
Resist Bot-Turns your texts into letters to Congress. A good option if you are unable to make phone calls or participate in person.

And of course there are amazing organizations like NARAL, Color of Change, and United We Dream to name just a very few who contact their members with opportunities to get involved all the time!

You tell me! What should I add to the list? Email me at CampaignSick@gmail.com!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How To Lobby Like a BAMF: Ten Lobbying Commandments

(Editor's Note: This a guest post and part of a three part series from the amazing Carly Pildis, an OFA alumna who will explain her current position in her post below. It is part of my continued effort to share tools and information to help our community feel empowered in the Trump era. Thank you so much to Carly for sharing your wisdom!)

I present to you the Ten Lobbying Commandments. Please sing to yourself to the tune of the Notorious B.I.G.’s ten crack commandments, or Hamilton’s ten duel commandments, whatever is your pleasure. This is your guide to acing that meeting you scheduled and turning action into change!

1. Treat MOCs and their aides well.
I know you want to speak truth to power. I know a lot of you are really angry. Use those desires in a constructive way. Aides shift through a lot of virulent anger that translates into very actionable requests on legislation. Knowledgeable, passionate constituents get listened to, furious diatribes do not. Most people go into government because they really believe they can make the world a better place. They work inordinately long hours and could have superior lifestyles if they left government.Treat them with respect.

2.Never ever lie.
You are not Kellyanne Conway. If they ask you a question and you do not know the answer that is okay. Just say,"I am not sure. I can find out for you, and I will follow up." This gives you a great excuse to check in and see if what they are thinking later!

3.Do not come in without a clear yes or no ask.
A friend who worked as an aide for a prominent Southern Senator told me she would get calls everyday asking her to protect the 2nd amendment. Two years into the job she still had no idea what these people actually wanted her Member to vote for and against, or if there was even a relevant bill. Don’t be those people. People work in government because they want to do good and make change - don’t bring them a sad story that they can’t do anything about. It wastes their time and makes them want to reach for the emergency bourbon under their desk. Your meeting must end with a YES or NO question that translates to action their part.

4.Show them who you are.
Who are you in the community? Are you a teacher, a doctor, a small business owner? Are you a person from a demographic that is important to this Member? Think about all of the ways that you are a community leader, someone whose opinion they should care about, and then make sure you communicate that to them. Do you have other members of that block of voters who would come with you or would write letters to deliver to the Member? You’d be surprised how big a difference ten or twenty letters make.

5.Speak their language and sell your ask.
I could talk all day about how the transatlantic slave trade and colonization decimated African countries and how foreign aid is a moral obligation. This is not compelling language to most Americans. Instead, I talk about how fighting epidemics worldwide makes a safer, healthier world for everyone. I talk about the linkages between lack of access to free primary school and violent extremism. I talk about how investing in child nutrition grows economies and builds trading partners. I look at what Members of Congress care about and value and create links. When talking to Members about abstinence only earmarks on AIDS funding, I talked about how it was an enormous waste of money that didn’t yield any results. I called it pork. That helped contextualize why it mattered to people. Look at their websites, look at what they care about and then package your ask and your issues to fit those values whenever possible.

6.Don’t snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Let’s be clear, lobbying should involve a yes or no question and if you get a yes you win. Yahtzee! Bingo! Tag! But there is always going to be a next ask, a next thing you want. So don’t burn bridges. I had one staffer I met with tell me about a lobbyist who convinced her member to vote as lobbyist wanted, but was so unprofessional she never took a meeting with her again. She meant it. They could have advocated more respectfully and built, not burned a relationship.

7.DO snatch victory from the jaws of "No."
You didn’t win. They won’t do what you want. That’s okay! You had a great meeting, started building a relationship and educated your Member or their aide about the issue. Hopefully you moved the needle a little by showing that their constituents care. These relationships are gold - and this is a good beginning. Sometimes it can take a while to get what you want, but this was still an important step. Sometimes winning is your MOC abstaining from a vote. Sometimes it takes a few rounds of budget appropriations to win support. But building that relationship is ALWAYS worth your time.

8.Share your personal story.
Members of Congress care about how policy affects their constituents. Tell them why you care, how it affects you, and what you want them to do. A good personal story has some key hallmarks. It’s short (about 3 minutes). It draws a straight line between people who vote and a policy ask. It has one memorable visual image. It is honest. I have seen aides cry at constituent stories. I have seen stories from constituents change Members forever. Speak your truth and tell them why this matters. This is your moment to shine.

9.Structure your time.
If you are 5 minutes late you may miss the meeting. This is not an exaggeration. Lobby meetings are 5 to 15 minutes max. Structure your time to share your story, make a few key points with statistics, and make a hard ask. Leave a few minutes for small talk. Be prepared to talk longer in case you get lucky, but it’s rare. So make sure you have a plan in place and use your time wisely.

10.Don’t show up empty handed.
You wouldn’t go to a party without a bottle of wine, don’t go to a lobby meeting without a leave behind packet. This is a great place to put reports on the issue, additional relevant information, and hard facts to back you up. Also come with letters. This is really important. Bring ten or twenty handwritten letters (NOT a petition) from constituents saying that they care and why. These letters get MOCs attention and can make a huge difference. The more letters the better.

Carly Pildis serves as Senior Associate, Advocacy and Organizing for RESULTS. She manages the REAL Change Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship to Fight Poverty. She also managed candidate engagement around the 2016 POTUS primary, and works closely with both the legislative team and grassroots team on RESULTS campaigns. Prior to her time at RESULTS, she served as Operation Vote Director for the DC office of Obama for America, working to organize people of color and other constituency groups in support of the 2012 reelection campaign. Additionally she has served as a Fellow for Jubilee USA Network, and as a Advocacy Consultant/Field Organizer for American Jewish World Services on the campaign trail in New Hampshire. Want to join her in the fight to protect foreign aid and stop budget cuts that would threaten the futures of millions of people living in poverty? Email her Cpildis@results.org or follow her on twitter @carlypildis