Saturday, November 21, 2020

Reflecting on the local 2020 Borough campaign

Forward Democrats !

Hello everyone !  As we wrap up the local 2020 campaign, I want to share my reflections on what we accomplished.

First, I want to extend my thanks to Josephine Noone, Sonia Ron and Chris Bauknight for running this year.  Even though we did not win the election, we ran a highly engaged and energetic campaign that had a few notable "firsts" for us.  I'll elaborate on those later in this message.

But before I do, I want to thank our supporters.  Without your engagement, we and our candidates would not be able to do what we do here in the Borough:  supporting quality candidates in their quest for public service, and providing them resources and the environment to get their message out to the residents.

I thank our volunteers who gave their time and talent this year with phone banking, canvassing and the social media support.   I realize all of us have busy lives: family and friends and jobs that compete for our time and attention.   It is difficult to carve out additional time for community service, and I recognize those who are able to do so.   We had many who lent a helping hand this year.   At risk of excluding people, I want to call out a few by name who made notable contributions this year:  Ian Watts, Carole Ann Dicton, Neah Wilson, Josh Lafargue, Elizabeth Gittins, Iris Perrot, Scott McDonald, Ricky Waller and Ina Walls.   Thank you for your time and talents !

I thank those residents who hosted lawn signs in their front yards, and especially in this divisive year in which we sometimes saw sad, obnoxious and, frankly at times, illegal behavior.   I realize how traumatic this can be.   I am proud of those who experienced this behavior and still were committed to supporting us.   Your undeterred resilience, even in face of adversity, is cherished.   (Thank you again!)

I thank our financial donors who provided monetary contributions.   I receive many questions about why money matters on local campaigns.  Plainly put, it does.   It takes money to buy postage, door hangers, postcards, lawn signs, internet addresses, radio ads, and social media ads.   All of these are necessary for us to get our candidates' message out, allowing the voters to become comfortable with them and their backgrounds as they consider them against our opposition.   The importance of media communications was especially true this year as we could not effectively canvass door to door as we had in the past, due to the ongoing COVID epidemic.

And now, I want to highlight a few "firsts" we accomplished this year, enhancing our campaigning skills and capabilities from prior years.  

  1. Establishment of the Washington Borough Democrats Blog, and its email subscription service;
  2. Assertive social media campaigning, on local Facebook private groups;
  3. Assertive promotion of Vote By Mail, on social media, door hangers and postcards;
  4. Internet Web ad placements;
  5. Radio ads on WRNJ;
  6. SMS Text Banking

As in years past, we carry forward valuable accomplishments to future elections.   On this note, you may be wondering what we carried forward from prior elections and expanded in 2020.

  1. Paid political ads on Facebook and Instagram;
  2. Fundraising in conjunction with local businesses;
  3. Door to door canvassing (twice, in a pandemic...);
  4. Phone banking
Engaged citizens make for a robust community for all who live in it.   As an outcome of our campaigning activities, we engaged residents in the political process.  And by doing so, we increased resident interest and involvement, thus building that robust community where we all want to live.   

Speaking for all Washington Borough Democratic Committee members, we look forward towards future elections where we continue to identify, cultivate and support community leaders who drive our town forward!

All the best,
Chris Vitalos
Municipal Chair
Washington Borough Democratic Committee

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