Rhode Island was under a second Air Quality Alert this week because of smoke from the Canadian wildfires, so I wanted to expand on what Rhode Island Democrats have been doing to move toward a clean air and zero emissions future.
First, under the Act on Climate passed this year, the state will develop a plan to incrementally reduce climate emissions to net-zero by 2050. Rhode Island has so much potential to build a thriving green energy sector, and we already have the nation’s first commercial offshore wind farm. In fact, if we harness it to its full technological potential, offshore wind can generate 8x more energy than the entire state of RI used in 2019.
Zero emissions transportation is also a key part of the puzzle. Just one year ago, the RI Department of Transportation started its pilot program providing access to electric vehicle chargers at two Park & Ride commuter lots. Under legislation passed this year, the department will begin developing a plan for statewide electric vehicle charging infrastructure. This will allow us to capitalize on the electric car revolution- major car manufacturers like GM, Volvo, and others have committed to going all electric by 2025-2035.
There is so much work to be done and a lot to look forward to.
Call for Volunteers
As the Party begins to build and grow we are looking for volunteers to assist with a variety of tasks: organizing events, writing, or research. If you are looking for a way to devote some of your time to important projects that will impact Rhode Island, drop Kate a note at KCM@ridemocrats.org
VAN aka VoteBuilder is a national online database administered by the Democratic National Committee and maintained locally by state parties.
Don’t see your town committee meeting? Check the website for contact information
Campaign Corner: Making Hard Asks
Most candidates cannot reach every one of their voters on their own, so campaigns rely on volunteers from their communities to reach voters on behalf of the candidate. Volunteers can knock doors, make calls, talk to their friends, recruit their friends, offer services to the campaign, and whatever else is needed. Volunteer recruitment should be incorporated into a Campaign’s Organizing/Field plan.
So how can Campaigns best develop volunteers within their district? People volunteer because they want, they can, and they were asked! Even the American Civil Rights & Labor activist Cesar Chavez was first asked to volunteer by an Organizer Fred Ross (read the story here). “He started talking—and changed my life,” Chavez later remarked. “Fred did such a good job of explaining how poor people could build power that I could even taste it.” Even Cesar Chavez was recruited. And he got involved because he wanted, could, and was asked.
Just as important as asking at all is making the ask as effective as possible to prompt action, which is what is often called a “Hard Ask.” A “Hard Ask” is asking people to take action in a way that is:
Specific: it asks for the completion of a clearly defined task at a clearly stated time and place
Urgent, Relevant, & Important: this specific task matters now and for a clearly important and personal (or otherwise relevant) reason.
Presumptive & Unapologetic: Presume the person will take action by ending with a question like “What day is best for you to join us for X?” rather than “Could you maybe join us for X?”, for example. Don’t apologize or use weak/uncertain language; while not everyone will be willing and able to participate, for those who are, participating is an opportunity, not a burden
When asking constituents to get involved in your Campaign/Community Organizing, make your ask specific; urgent, relevant, & important; and presumptive & unapologetic.
Some of the above taken partially from Organizing Corps 2020, Summer Institute
VAN Pro Tip #4
Use MyCampaign to Manage & Mobilize Volunteers
MyCampaign is a separate database within VAN that allows you to organize volunteers effectively and efficiently. There are many many things you can do within MyCampaign, such as Event management, Volunteer Recruitment, Volunteer Management, or signing up volunteers for events. We won’t go over any in detail here, but check out the link below to get started reading on how to use the dashboard below and start exploring how MyCampaign might help you manage your campaign & volunteers more effectively.