Background: Kitchen Table Activism (KTA) is a monthly activity by the Rural Organizing Project. The idea is that small actions can lead to powerful collective results when groups of people gather to complete the same action across the state of Oregon. ROP works to keep each KTA easily achievable so that groups with other projects or groups with limited immediate energy can still manage to complete the KTA each month.
WHAT IS THE ACTIVITY?
This month’s Kitchen Table Activism is to make your local group’s election organizing plan. More than 50 groups in rural communities already have plans to engage their neighbors this election, which is incredible! Groups are planning events like candidate forums, ballot measure parties, and door-knocking to deliver STAND Election Guides and talk to their neighbors about shared values this election. We also know that sharing compelling and concise information about what’s at stake in this election encourages voters to fill out their ballots. The 2022 STAND Election Guide (Small Town Actions for a New Democracy) breaks down the issues into simple language about shared rural and small-town values to help start conversations about voting our values this November.
WHY THIS ACTIVITY?
Fancy focus groups and statistical polls confirm what we already know: the best way to impact someone’s vote is to receive information from someone they trust: a friend or family member, co-worker, neighbor, or a fellow PTA or Rotary member. We also know that community members are more likely to read literature if it is dropped off at their house, as opposed to mailed or picked up at a public venue.
Each election cycle ROP produces the STAND Election Guide to help ourselves and our neighbors navigate the issues and make decisions that will advance democracy. If you ordered guides for your group’s election work, you’ll receive them soon! You can also check out and share the web STAND Election Guide on our website in English and Spanish.
Your plan can be as easy as a one-time “knock and drop” on the weekend of Oct. 22nd and 23rd, or it could include a ballot party or a ballot measure forum. However you decide to do it, consider how you and your group can influence your communities’ decisions this election.
HOW TO COMPLETE THE ACTIVITY:
- Share this KTA with your human dignity group.
- Review the STAND Election Guide. If you need more or haven’t placed an order, call us at 503-543-8417 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today! We have a last-minute stash saved to meet your needs! Decide if you would like to add any additional information on local initiatives or issues or if you would like to put a personal note in from your local human dignity group.
- Identify your sphere of influence: who can you impact? In addition to sharing STAND guides at work, with friends, in line at the grocery store, or at the next reading group or Rotary meeting, think about who in your community needs this information. Remember, the more personal the exchange, the better!
- Set a date and time for your group to do a “knock and drop” with the STAND Election Guide on the weekend of Oct. 22nd and 23rd. This will be the prime weekend when ballots will be arriving. Develop a list of potential volunteers and make calls. Let us know about your plan, and we’ll help spread the word in your county!
- If you are delivering or mailing your STAND Election Guides to a particular neighborhood or groups of voters, consider making a round of “courtesy calls” to let your neighbors know to look for you on the weekend of the 22nd. This is an easy and friendly way to make an even greater connection and impact on voters, and also allows you the chance to introduce your group and increase the likelihood that the STAND Election Guide will be read and used. If you want help pulling a list of voters, email email@example.com.
- Consider one of the activities below to add a little more fun to your group’s election organizing plan. These activities offer a chance to explore what’s on the ballot and build analysis, not only for this election cycle but for the long term:
- Host a Ballot Party. Once you have your ballots and STAND Election Guides in hand, host a get-together to discuss the issues and candidates, analyze the ballot with a pro-democracy lens, and fill out your ballots.
- Organize a Ballot Measure Forum. Check out this toolkit for planning an interactive ballot forum to discuss the issues and make sure that your members, supporters, and the broader community are informed.