How to Host a Neighborhood Party
You can host for one candidate or for multiple candidates – the lasting effect is getting the candidate’s name out there.
Invite 50-100 people, even 200! It sounds like a lot, but most won’t attend. But, you have personally let 50-200 people know that you endorse this candidate and this snowballs to their family and friends and coworkers, etc. Remember, if you only invite your friends (comfort zone) you are most likely inviting people who are already like-minded and would probably support your candidate anyway.
Invite people you don’t know. For example, if you are hosting a get together for your neighborhood, obtain the mailing (or email) list from the HOA or deliver door-to-door invitations and invite EVERYONE. For a work hosting, invite ALL your co-workers.
Consider inviting a friend or relative from a different neighborhood in the district so they can meet the candidate at your gathering and then host a party for the candidate in their neighborhood.
ALWAYS be positive – we need everyone’s vote – Democrat, Independent, Republican.
Have the event for 2 hours – you can keep it simple: “Please join our family from 1-3 (or whatever time) for an opportunity to meet [candidate]. We believe [candidate] has all the qualifications to be [our delegate, commissioner, etc.] and invite you to meet him/her personally. Her/his resume is very impressive. (you can even attach the resume if you are doing an email invite) Light refreshments will be served.” Serving desserts and tea/water/lemonade is fine – it doesn’t have to be a gourmet event. Serving chips, dip and drinks is also fine. It is okay to ask for an rsvp.
Even if you do not live in the district of the delegate, but live close, it is getting the name out there that is important. Commissioners are voted for by everyone in the county. And your neighbors may work with people who do live in the delegate’s district.
At the event, have a literature table: obtain email addresses so the candidate can send a thank you (this is now the third contact that the voter has had with the candidate), have financial contribution envelopes, resume. You can also have bumper stickers. Always have name tags.
The candidate should have 7 touches with a voter. A neighborhood party offers 3 in one go – the invitation which gets the name out, the party itself, and then the follow up thank you (or sorry you couldn’t come for those not making it).
If we want to get these candidates elected, you cannot be shy!! Get out of your comfort zone! Tell everyone that you are supporting your candidate – you don’t have to be pushy about it, but get your candidates' names out there!
(With many thanks to Mary Bohanan for these tips!!)