NLIHC continues to engage housing justice advocates and leaders throughout the country to prepare for robust voter and candidate engagement initiatives in 2020. Candidates will address rental housing affordability when low-income renters and their allies turn out to vote in large numbers. It’s not too early to think about how your organization can help elevate affordable housing policy through the election and to engage low-income renters in voting. Sign up for NLIHC’s free “Third Thursdays at Three” webinar/podcast series to learn how.
NLIHC’s nonpartisan Our Homes, Our Votes: 2020 project provides training and resources to resident leaders, housing providers, social service professionals, community organizers, and others on all the key aspects of effective voter and candidate engagement activities. The “Third Thursdays at Three” webinar and podcast series is a 15-part effort to explore best practices, new ideas, and legal considerations for 501(c)(3) nonpartisan election engagement on issues such as voter registration, candidate engagement, election education, and getting out the vote.
The next session on January 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET is on “Voter Registration: finding and registering residents of subsidized housing.”
Previous sessions on legal considerations for nonprofits, creating an effective plan for voter engagement, helpful tools and partners for election engagement, and voter registration messaging, events and canvassing are available at: https://bit.ly/338Ydho
The upcoming webinars and podcasts are:
Session 5: Voter Registration Part 2 – Finding and registering residents of subsidized housing, Thursday, January 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET
This session will discuss the best ways to make sure voter registration campaigns are finding the people who are not yet registered and focusing efforts in the right places. Key features of the discussion will include best practices for identifying targeted populations; working voter registration into day-to-day operations at service agencies, libraries, and community centers; and accessing locked apartment buildings that are common in low-income areas. This session will be especially helpful for resident councils and associations eager to target new residents. We will also provide an overview of the mapping tools in the National Housing Preservation Database.
Session 6: The role of housing providers in registering and mobilizing voters, Thursday, February 20 at 3:00 p.m. ET
This session includes a review of how housing providers can register and mobilize their residents, with specific considerations for public housing agencies (PHAs) and operators of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing. Presenters will also explore ideas on how PHAs can conduct voter registration with Housing Choice Voucher households that are often harder to connect with during registration drives because the households are scattered.
Session 7: Getting candidates on the record, Thursday, March 19 at 3:00 p.m. ET
This session is an exploration of the most common methods to get candidates for office on the record with their ideas for housing solutions. Candidate questionnaires and legal considerations will be explored along with tips on maximizing response rates from candidates. Presenters will also discuss effective candidate intercepts and asking questions in town hall meetings. Practices such as providing question cards and training volunteers to attend candidate events are effective and common and will be highlighted. The discussion will feature ideas for social media engagement and conventional media op-eds and letters to the editor (LTE) responses as methods to urge candidates to go on the record.
Session 8: Educating voters, Thursday, April 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET
A registered voter is most valuable as an informed voter. Voter education is the second step in a complete voter engagement campaign. Educating voters on the mechanics of voting is key and providing logistical information on polling locations and dates is critically important as well. There are specific considerations for electronic voting machines and ID requirements that voters must be aware of. Educating voters on their rights is also essential. This discussion will dive into information regarding provisional ballots and voter intimidation hotlines. Beyond logistics, voters often should be informed on the positions of candidates. Assembling and distributing a voter guide can be cumbersome and legally tricky, but highly effective. Presenters will explore best practices.
Session 9: Housing issues and ballot initiatives, Thursday, May 21 at 3:00 p.m. ET
In communities throughout the country, voters are showing more leadership on housing issues than elected officials. Twenty-two ballot initiatives on housing affordability issues passed in 2018, and more are expected in 2020. Taking issues directly to the voters can be an expensive and broad undertaking, but it often produces strong results. This session will discuss how to get items placed on the ballot through the legislative process or through signature gathering. Presenters will discuss what works best in ballot-initiative campaigns and building broad support prior to an election.
Session 10: Overcoming common obstacles to voting, Thursday, June 18 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Low-income renters often are disproportionately impacted by common barriers to voting such as prior felony convictions, disabilities and inaccessible polling locations, and language barriers. This session will review laws governing these common obstacles and will discuss best tactics for overcoming them.
Session 11: The challenge of voting while homeless, Thursday, July 16 at 3:00 p.m. ET
This session explores best practices for homeless shelters and outreach agencies increasing registration and mobilization for people who do not have addresses. As the National Coalition for the Homeless has always said, “You don’t need a home to vote,” but there can be confusion among election officials on how best to register someone with no address and how to assign them to a polling location.
Session 12: Voter Mobilization Part 1 – Early voting and vote-by-mail, Thursday, August 20 at 3:00 p.m. ET
More and more votes each year are cast before Election Day, providing voter engagement campaigns with a longer window to get out the vote (GOTV). This session will review how to best maximize early voting opportunities and increase voter turnout in states with expanded vote-by-mail options.
Session 13: Voter Mobilization Part 2 – Protecting low-income people from voter intimidation and voter caging tactics, Thursday, September 17 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Presenters will explore community efforts to staff polling locations with well-trained volunteers to protect against intimidation efforts. Ultimately, educating voters in advance about going to the polls even if they have been told their registration is not current is the best practice, along with ensuring that everyone casts at least a provisional ballot. The discussion will also highlight the importance of establishing relationships with election officials who monitor polling locations in advance of Election Day.
Session 14: Election Day! Getting out the vote, Thursday, October 15 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Presenters will review the most effective Election Day tactics such as coordinating rides to the polls, hosting “walk to the polls” groups in low-income housing communities with nearby polling locations, using snacks and music to keeping people in line at busy polling locations, and deploying Election Day visibility volunteers with signs to remind people to vote. The discussion will also explore effective “knock-and-drag” efforts throughout Election Day for identifying who has not yet voted and sending volunteers to their doors.
Session 15: After the Vote—Holding candidates to their promises, Thursday, November 19 at 3:00 p.m. ET
Once the election is over, it’s important to hold candidates to their promises. Learn how to track the success of your voter turnout efforts to demonstrate to newly-elected officials that low-income renters are an important and active constituency. Presenters will discuss the best ways to constructively remind elected officials of their campaign promises while establishing relationships with new staff members.
Don’t miss these important training opportunities. Put “Third Thursdays at Three” in your calendar and register for the presentation series today.