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Looking for inspiration - progressive local candidates online

  • 1.  Looking for inspiration - progressive local candidates online

    Posted May 22, 2019 13:37

    I'm about to start some pro bono work with a local progressive candidate for city council. I could use a spark.

    Please share examples you've come across of local websites, tool sets (event and volunteer management / CRM-lite), and generally smart online tactics.


    Rebecca Campany
    This and That
    Baltimore, MD
    Tech Accelerate

  • 2.  RE: Looking for inspiration - progressive local candidates online

    Posted May 23, 2019 08:34
    There's NationBuilder - Toolset notably design for campaigns with a nice people database, events, donations, and related engagement features.

    Seth Giammanco
    Principal, Technology
    Brooklyn, NY


    Tech Accelerate

  • 3.  RE: Looking for inspiration - progressive local candidates online

    Posted May 24, 2019 12:59

    We just had our municipal primary in Philadelphia this week. This article has a run down of all the candidates, with many links to websites. If you install the Wappalyzer browser extension, you can see some of the toolsets the sites use - lots of Squarespace, Wix and Wordpress, with NGP-VAN almost exclusively for donations and other back-end functions.

    Here are two sites that I think are particularly good, that were part of successful campaigns: Helen Gym (super-progressive who, in a huge field, won reelection as an At-Large council member with the most votes for a candidate in the last 6 cycles), and Jamie Gauthier, who beat an entrenched, machine-dependent district council member who'd succeeded her husband in 1992; Gauthier is the first person not named "Blackwell" to represent the district since 1975. Except for the interstitial page, I also like Jen Devor's site; the candidate that I most wanted to win that didn't. And here's a website launch cautionary tale from an unsuccessful mayoral candidate. 

    I will say, as someone who is very engaged with local politics, that I hardly ever visit candidate web sites. I am much more likely to follow them on social media. You need to be able to build your email list, accept donations, list events and endorsements, and give a basic outline of the candidates' positions. But I would imagine Baltimore is similar to Philly in that the Dem primary is the race that counts for many offices, and the officially stated platform differences between candidates in the primary are going to be pretty minor. In our current cycle, there were a couple of big-ish issues (keeping/abolishing our sweetened beverage tax, and a super-inside-baseball thing called councilmanic perogative). I would guess that Baltimore's next cycle will probably have a lot of focus on candidates' association or not with Catherine Pugh. My point being that most voters aren't going to make a decision based on your website - the website primarily serves those already inclined to support, and the media. 

    Thomas Taylor
    Philadelphia PA

    Tech Accelerate