Campaign Update Suspending all In-Person Campaign Activities
As we know you’re all painfully aware, the ever-changing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on how we navigate the election cycle. As of yesterday, we made the very difficult but safest decision we could to protect the health and safety of our workers, volunteers and community and suspended inperson campaigning, but that doesn’t mean we’re not campaigning, not by a long shot. We are committed to doing everything we can safely do to make sure the 49th ward voters are informed and empowered to cast their votes, even during this crisis. Honestly, maybe even especially in light of this crisis. The failure to respond in a timely fashion at the federal level will undoubtedly cost lives and impact our community and economy for the foreseeable future, which makes this election even more important than ever.
Here’s what’s happening in 49:
— Increased electronic presence. The ward is redeploying resources to ensure that our electronic communications cast a broader net and reach folks who are increasingly unwilling to open the doors or interact with volunteers. We are working with one of our endorsed candidates to utilize their text banking operation to push out updates on extended early voting hours, new polling place locations and images of our palm card/endorsements.
— The polling place/judges situation has been incredibly fluid. We are expecting a final list of polling places today and will reprint our materials that will be distributed by taping on the door of every home and building in the ward with updated poll location, hours, resources for rides to the polls and resources for folks impacted by the shutdowns related to COVID-19 on the reverse side. The community of Rogers Park has mobilized beautifully to ensure that our most vulnerable neighbors are able to access food and shelter as well as accurate medical information during this crisis and we will use this opportunity to boost that outreach.
— Election Day: We will run a modified Election Day operation, ensuring adequate signage at all polls as well as increased electronic messaging related to GOTV. As we always have, we will be ensuring the comfort and safety of our election judges by delivering morning donuts and sealed box lunches for all of the judges, as well as making additional sanitation materials available to the extent supplies allow. The Board of Elections has ensured us that they are making adequate supplies available as well, but as an example, when I voted early yesterday, there weren’t supplies available to wipe down the pens that were just being used repeatedly. Alderwoman Maria Hadden and I have ordered a significant number of small alcohol wipes to make available in the polling places so these items that are communally used can be cleaned more regularly.
Finally, while for each of us, this is beyond unprecedented and completely outside of our political instincts to dial back contact, I assure you that leadership in this situation demands that we set the example. If we are to avoid the mistakes made in other countries that are a few days or weeks ahead of us in this pandemic, we must take extraordinary measures to “flatten the curve” to avoid the disastrous swamping of our health care delivery systems and save lives. This post from a long time campaign pro is a great example of how to look at this situation:
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, want to provide electronic versions of materials we can use in outreach, or want to increase your sign visibility leading up to Election Day.
Thank you for your leadership and understanding as we navigate these uncharted waters of campaigning in a pandemic.
Onward to victory,
49th Ward Democratic Committeeperson
President, Democratic Party of the 49th Ward
Political Director, Democratic Party of the 49th Ward