This past Monday, Dr. Michael Koster shared his thoughts with us over zoom surrounding the current climate of COVID-19, along with his advice on how to best keep ourselves and our children safe. Dr. Koster is the Division Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Hasbro Children’s Hospital & Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School.
The forum addressed a wide range of concerns, including pediatric infection rates, vaccine safety, variants, prevention measures & treatment options. We were extremely grateful to hear Dr. Koster’s valuable expertise.
For those unable to attend who would like to view a recording, please click the link in the photo above. The format is a 15-minute presentation followed by a Q&A.
A Note From the Chair
RI Democratic Party Chairman Joseph McNamara
Earlier this week, House Speaker Shekarchi & Senate President Ruggerio announced a commitment to act on the Governor’s RI Rebounds Proposal: a plan for 10% of the State’s $1.13 billion in American Rescue Plan State Fiscal Recovery Funds to be initially invested in RI’s families, workers & small businesses. Additionally, tens of millions would go towards supporting the State’s Early Intervention program for children with developmental needs.
These funds would serve as a critical investment in RI’s recovery through providing vital supports to our citizens & through catalyzing our economic comeback.
The proposal will be brought to vote in the Finance Committees next week, to learn more click here.
Keys to Elected Office: The Essential Guide for Women
The Barbara Lee Foundation’s guide offers the most direct, must-know advice for women elected officials and candidates running for office. This newly updated edition is a concise look at what it takes for a woman to run and succeed.
The Foundation also recently hosted a webinar in which Christine Matthews of Bellwether Research and Celinda Lake of Lake Research Partners covered how voters perceive women leaders who are seeking subsequent terms in office, how voters judge messages about women’s records as elected officials, and tips for women incumbents to counteract the double standards they face.
The RIDP is partnering with RagTag–a volunteer organization with expertise in building digital tools for down-ballot Democratic Campaigns–to provide assistance building a new campaign website for your campaign, at a total cost of $272 paid by your campaign.
Please check out this document for details. If interested, please fill out this interest form: https://ragtag.typeform.com/ridp2021. We are also extending the invitation to City and Town Committees and their down-ballot incumbents, dependent on capacity.
Don’t see your town committee meeting? Check the website for contact information
Campaign Corner: Texting, a Valuable Tool for Voter Outreach
Texting is a hugely valuable tool for campaigns to reach voters in 2022, however, rules & regulations have been changing quickly in the last year. While it will take longer for these changes to finish taking shape, it is important for campaigns to understand the value of texting for their campaign outreach.
The Pros of Texting (+ the Cons):
Texting became hugely popular for campaigns in 2020. Campaigns used tools like Spoke, OutVote, ThruText and many others for mass texting of voters– one volunteer could send hundreds of messages in an hour, get a hundred responses, and collect dozens of IDs. This is a drastically more efficient means of voter contact than calling or knocking. There are downsides that balance this efficiency though: Quality of conversations, and exhaustion of your contacts. Texting conversations are good for identifying strong supporters/opponents or sharing information (GOTV), but are very poor for persuasion or other substantive conversations– thus, texting conversations should be considered low quality for persuasion, but high quality for information sharing & gathering. The risk of texting is exhaustion, both for your contacts (oversaturating your voters to the point of backfire) and for your contact lists (opt-outs). The reality is that while it will feel like every other responder will vote against you if you text them one more time, the point at which oversaturation of voter contact genuinely backfires is quite high. The bigger concern is opt-outs: Legally, if somebody sends “STOP” or asks to be taken off your list, you can never text them at that number again. That means no turnout conversations, no volunteer asks, and especially no GOTV information (polling location changes, etc.). Since the quality of texting for campaigns is higher for information sharing/collecting, campaigns should balance the volume of outreach with the risk of driving high opt-out rates which exclude sections of voters from future texting. That being said, those voters can still be reached by phone or door-knocking!
Changes For 2022:
Over the past year, phone carriers and the federal government/courts have been rapidly redefining the boundaries of political campaign texting. There are two major developments to be aware of, but it is important to note that both of these are still highly subject to change:
Peer-to-peer Texting & Phone Carriers:
Since 2020, Phone carriers have collectively imposed regulations to restrict political texting. The immediate impact is that campaigns cannot text from the phone numbers they have in the past; you will be blocked. Campaigns have a couple options here, #2 much preferred in the short-term:
1 – Register with carriers under “10DLC”. This is what carriers are pushing for: Register with them as a political campaign, and text as usual. However, this is new, and the regulations/standards for campaigns aren’t even defined yet. It’s recommended to wait.
2 – Text with a toll-free (e.g. 1-800-***-****) number. This has the downside of feeling less “peer-to-peer” than a local phone number, but will otherwise allow you to text just as you did in 2020. For now, this is the recommended option for political texting. Whatever texting vendor you use should be able to get you set up with a toll-free number to text from.
Mass Broadcast Texting & the Supreme Court:
Recently, the Supreme Court redefined the rules around texting in a way that suggests broadcast texting (send infinite texts to voters at once, rather than sending one-by-one) is effectively now legal for campaigns to use to reach out to their voters. Platforms like Switchboard have begun testing this, but this is still uncertain. This potentially offers much quicker, easier political texting options.
**stay tuned for Campaign Tools comparison summaries & recommendations early next year!