(with Marcia Schneider)
2022 was supposed to be a red wave – coming out of a pandemic with inflation high and confidence in democracy low. With our rights, our families, our planet and so much more on the line, not only did you vote, you wrote letters, knocked doors, sent postcards, dropped slate cards, made phone calls, made donations, shared stories, registered voters and held the line. Thank you!
Here’s some key measures of our work, of your work – to celebrate and suggest strategies for more progress.
Small changes make the margin of difference
Our actions to increase voter turnout can get up to 3% of the people contacted to vote who wouldn’t have otherwise. While these may seem like small impacts, the consequences often mean the difference between winning and losing elections. Remember, President Biden won Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin by a combined 42,918 votes, or 0.37% of the total votes cast in these three pivotal states.
In Multnomah County, dropping slate cards makes that difference.
Multnomah County voters added 167,568 net votes for Tina Kotek, overcoming strong Oregon turnout for Drazen. Statewide, Kotek won by 3.4% or 66,727 votes. It’s been shown over the years that MultDems slate cards which feature every Democrat running for local, statewide and national offices, along with the ballot measures we’ve endorsed measurably increase voter turnout. The slate cards encourage people to vote the whole ballot. This time around, it meant the City Charter reform and school bonds that our districts depend on.
You dropped these cards at Democratic voters’ doors. All together, MultDems delivered 76,000 cards for this November election. There were 28 different versions of the slate card for 15 OR House Districts, 3 Congressional Districts, city, county, school, metro and fire districts.
You helped raise the funds to print these cards. Our campaign committee members (with help from our Communications team) designed our cards. Our District Leads and Neighborhood Leader Coordinators took charge to get the cards and voter walk lists into the hands of hundreds of volunteers.
How did our November 2022 Slate Drop perform this election?
In 2022 we had a new tool to track and measure the effectiveness of our work. About 50% of our slate card droppers used the MiniVAN app on their phones to note each door we dropped.
Let’s look at votes to send Democratic Congressmembers to DC, and the increases in Multnomah County votes with slate dropping vs. general Democratic turnout:
As you review these data, please be aware:
Although Multnomah is only a small part of Congressional District 5, we dropped slate cards at every single walkable Democratic voter door, all 11,600 in our efforts to elect Jamie McLeod Skinner. Even with a 83.5% turnout, Multnomah County was not large enough to overcome Republican votes in other CD5 counties. (This time.)
Portland City Charter measure won with a 58% Yes vote.
There are 243,000 Multnomah Democrats in the Portland City Limits.
79.5% Democrats voted in Portland
83.1% Dems with Slate Cards Voted in Portland
Holding our majorities in the Oregon House and Senate.
With redistricting and retirements, many voters were voting for the first time for our candidates. We have MiniVAN slate data for about 50% of the slate in most of our 15 house districts.
Most volunteers walked neighborhoods and dropped cards at Democratic voter doors. Some areas were not walkable though – we had volunteers mail cards and text cards to their voters. We had volunteers who live in gated buildings deliver cards to their neighbors.
|Oregon House District #||Dem House District Lead||Dems||Dems voted||% Dem turnout||Dems who got slate recorded in VAN||Dems who got slate & voted (VAN)||% Dem turnout (VAN data)||% gain with slate|
|HD44||Cynthia Yolland||27016||20934||77.5%||#too few||in VAN|
|HD47||Deian Salazar Layla Assam||16404||10833||66.3%||1574||1257||79.8%||+13.5%|
|HD50||Pat Delaquil||14130||9537||67.5%||#too few||in VAN|
|HD52||Ron Rhew||2458||1849||75.2%||#too few||in VAN|
Reviewing these data:
HD 44 dropped a whopping 15,000 slate cards in their district!!!
However, we don’t have MiniVAN data to measure these results.
HD50 worked with partner organization, East County Rising to drop slate.
Again, we don’t have MiniVAN for these voters.
Having real conversations with voters is the most powerful means to motivate voting.
In Multnomah County, and across Oregon, Neighborhood Leader is our prime example. Neighborhood Leaders take on a group of about 35-40 Democratic households, talking with their neighbors about their concerns, why voting matters and encouraging everyone to vote. These are ongoing relationships – NLs keep their same voters for as long as they stay in the program – connecting a couple times a year, and especially ahead of elections.
This year, we added more than 200 new Neighborhood Leaders in Multnomah. We’re hearing all kinds of positive feedback about getting to know neighbors, hearing more about voter issues and we saw really great turnout. In all, 91.4% of NL voters turned in their ballot.
Want to take on your neighborhood too? We’d love it. Sign up now for training happening Feb and March: https://secure.ngpvan.com/MLFVmR_sOUyyJhhR3frqOA2
All hands on deck: engaging every voter
If you joined in volunteering for the Georgia Senate Runoff election from here in Oregon, you got a sense of how well the GA organizations work to make the most of each volunteer’s time with tools, clear training and support. Phonebanks, textbanks, letter and postcard writing from afar – backing up on the ground canvassing, events, house parties, rides to the polls, and voter registration.
And how groups are able to depend on each other to reach the voters they know best – County parties turning out the Democratic base. Voting rights orgs like Fair Fight, with non-partisan, pro voter motivation and protection, advocacy groups including Black Voters Matter, Asian American Advocacy Fund, GALEO, New Georgia Project and labor organizers including Unite Here are connecting with and mobilizing their voters. All of this in addition to each candidate’s campaign.
There are valuable lessons for us in Multnomah County and Oregon for this team approach.
Your donations at work
County parties raise their own funds – your donations allowed MultDems to print 76,000 volunteer delivered slate cards, host candidate forums and train 200 new Neighborhood Leaders this year.
Can we get stronger? You bet! With a headquarters office to organize, recruit and train volunteers, and work with likeminded groups to reach every voter; With funds to add textbanking, media and more mailing to reach voters, with paid staff to help manage the everyday work that our all volunteer leadership currently needs to cover.
Pillars are our monthly donors – whether its $10 or $100, these reliable donations keep us going strong. Give here: https://secure.ngpvan.com/hffEW7YPfUeqpjnzvycoRQ2 .
What’s next ? School Board Spring!
We’ll have elections for local school boards, community college boards and Multnomah Education Service District. Filing will open on February 3. Ballots are due on May 16. These local elections determine how we educate and support our students, how we respect and value families and staff, and how we protect school safety and unrestricted access to facts and learning for all our students.
Do you know someone who’d be a good board member? An engaged parent or civic minded community member looking to contribute more. Maybe that’s you?! Multnomah Dems Campaign Committee will be hosting training and support for candidates. Contact Nan Stark, Committee chair at firstname.lastname@example.org to ask questions, learn more, suggest a candidate.
And don’t forget to sign up as a Neighborhood Leader to help get out the vote!
Dannelle D. Stevens is a PCP and active Multnomah County Democrat, working with the Campaign Committee and more.
Marcia Schneider is the Vice Chair 1 of the Multnomah County Democrats.