High dollar dinners, where guests get to meet the candidate, can generate excellent proceeds, but only if there are enough people willing to pay a lot of money for a single meal. In the best case scenario, the restaurant would donate their services and/or food, but this is unlikely.
Family-friendly fairs are a fun way to help your candidate. Get some entertainment donated, such as pony rides, petting zoos, clowns, magicians, jugglers, velcro walls and/or inflatable play equipment for kids. Even without these donations, you can still set up a fortune telling booth, ring toss game, water balloon toss, three-legged race and so on. Think of a fun theme that you can tie to your candidate in some way, and use it on everything.
Music concerts are another way to fund-raise. The musicians donate their time and the proceeds go to your candidate’s campaign. As with a rally, you’ll need to provide a venue, covered stage and an appropriately-sized PA system.
Register, if you haven’t already.
After you’ve voted, consider standing near the polling place with a sign promoting your candidate. Be aware that “electioneering” is prohibited within 30-100 feet of where voters cast their ballots. The distance depends on your local laws.
ATTEND YOUR PRECINCT CONVENTION OR CAUCUS
You’ve probably never heard of these, but ultimately, they’re how we choose each party’s presidential nominee and decide on a platform. Here’s how it works: At 7:15PM on election day, meetings are held for each party. Democrats and Republicans meet separately in or very near the polling place. Independents also meet, but usually at other locations. To qualify to attend, just vote and show up!
Several important things happen during these meetings, including:
~ Suggestions for the state party platform are debated, then turned into resolutions.
~ Delegates are elected to attend the County Convention or Caucus.
If you choose, you can volunteer to be elected as a delegate at each stage of the process. After “County” comes the State Convention, followed by the National Convention!
All of this is surprisingly easy. The Precinct Chair or someone else with previous experience will be there to guide you every step of the way. Some of these meetings attract large numbers of attendees, but others have a hard time just finding enough people to be delegates. This is your chance to really make a difference, so don’t be shy. Your candidate will thank you!
Originally published February 2004 in the One Smart Puppy newsletter, a subscriber-only companion to my old website, KnowledgeHound.com