Ten to-dos for the YES Committee Chair
Ten to-dos for the YES Committee Chair
We're heading in to the last big election cycle of 2015 and are already starting to hear of possible 2016 library measures. We are often asked for a practical to do list when YES committees are starting. To get ahead of the curve we put together this list of the first ten to-dos for the YES committee chair. Spend some time with it this summer. You'll be glad you did.
- File the committee with your state board of Elections or Secretary of State; get an FEIN from the IRS; open a bank account (and get a debit card, please).
- Discuss a donation from EveryLibrary to kick-off the local fundraising.
- Ask *honorary* co-chairs from outside the library world to represent your referendum, bond, or measure outside of the usual circles.
- Think about who you need on working sub-committees for: fundraising; volunteer coordination; web and social media management; earned media (press and letters to the editor); yard sign distribution coordinators. It’s not too early to start having conversations with the people you want on your team.
- Order voter data from the local Clerk of Elections. Ask for the 'enhanced voter file' to include the 6 or 8 most recent elections, regardless of the type of elections. "Score" the voter file based on behavior. EveryLibrary can help.
- Draft your voter engagement plan with the frequent voters in the file. You will need volunteers to do either door-to-door canvassing or phone canvassing or both. Also look at the community calendar for events to table.
- Design and order yard signs appropriate for your community. Local printers may not be the best resource for this; there are a lot of online sources, too.
- Design and order printed materials and giveaways for both door-to-door and events that are appropriate for your community.
- Design and launch a GOTV website and social media presence, Include paid ads on Facebook.
- Fundraise to support the efforts, above.
The public campaign needs to launch about 3 months before your Election Day. EveryLibrary wants to help you get there. We can help you ramp up for this work early.
Residents in Muskegon (MI) will be voting on a millage increase to support the Muskegon District Area Library this November. The 0.5 mill increase will fund the county library system and does not include Muskegon City or Whitehall or their school districts.
Library supporters in Omaha (NE) are asking for an additional $850,000 for library operation funds after hearing the mayor's budget proposal last week. In a meeting with the City Council last Tuesday, they warned that if the funding proposal is accepted, the library will have to cut hours and possibly close branches.In 2009 private donors gave the library steady funding, but that was on the assumption it would be a temporary situation. Council Members are expected to suggest changes and vote on the funding proposal on August 25.
A measure to change the North Carolina constitution to put limits on public spending will be on the November 2016 ballot. Formerly called, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR), now the Taxpayer Protection Act, would cap annual increases by inflation rates and population growth averaged over the 3 past years. It would also cap personal income tax at 5 percent. Any increase beyond the cap would need 2/3rds of the vote to be passed. Similar measures have been proposed in 30 states. Colorado passed this type of legislation in 1992 and had to quickly suspend it because of declining public services. This type of legislation will have a negative and long lasting impact on library funding making it even more difficult for funding to grow if there are spikes in use. We're watching this one, it is huge.
That is all for this week. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!