Setting up a meeting with candidates in your area is a great way to convince them to take the People’s Pledge. Try to meet with all of the candidates in the race, as the Pledge is only effective if all candidates agree to it. If the primary has not yet occurred in your state, you can still meet with candidates although they may want to wait until their opponent is determined before taking the Pledge. Here are some easy steps you can follow to schedule a meeting:
- Call the campaign office of a candidate in your area. Say that you would like to schedule a meeting with the candidate or a senior staff member to discuss spending in the current election cycle and strategies to reduce outside influence.
- You will likely be directed to send a follow up email to the candidate’s scheduler.
- Keep following up until the scheduler sets up a meeting with either the candidate or a staff person who deals with finance or media for the candidate. The scheduler is very busy, so without persistent, but polite, follow up he or she may not get back to you.
Let us know when the meeting is set up. Let us know how your meeting went using this form. Invite members of your community, especially those who represent or come from groups that typically support the candidate, and we will also help spread the word about your meeting.
Once you have scheduled a meeting, there are also some easy steps you can take before and during your meeting to ensure it is as effective as possible:
- Read up on campaign finance. It is important to understand what constitutes ‘outside spending’ which can be blocked by the People’s Pledge. Any group that is not a party committee or candidate’s campaign is an outside group. These outside spenders can pump unlimited amounts into elections with little oversight.
- Research outside spending in the candidate’s race. Try to determine which candidate relies the most on outside spending so that you have adequate context when making your pitch. You may find statistics on outside spending in federal races a helpful tool.
- Prepare materials to bring to your meeting. You can print a copy of our People’s Pledge handout and a copy of the 2012 Warren-Brown agreement. You should also bring a copy of our formal request for candidates to take the pledge along. Having this information will help you explain the Pledge to the candidate or their staff and convince them of its importance.
- Ask the candidate when you or Public Citizen can follow up with them about the Pledge. They likely will not want to commit to signing right away. If they express interest, we need to maintain pressure on the campaign to agree to the Pledge.
Please feel free to call us at Public Citizen at (202) 588-1000 if you have any questions. Ask to speak to the Democracy Is For People Campaign.