Incumbency Protection, Part 2: How to Gain Voter Support While in Office

As a part of our blog series on Incumbency Protection, we’ll go over how to build consistent support routinely while in office.

Recognize students

If a student gets Principal’s List in your city, district etc- they should get correspondence from you. Does this mean you need a massive administrative operation to sustain thousands of letters going out each academic quarter? No, it means being strategic with your resources.

If your context is a city council or school board office, an individual communication is feasible. If you’re serving on a federal level, that’s probably outside your wheelhouse. In those cases, choose manageable blocs of your voter base to send letters to. Many local newspapers will publish the names of students who are excelling in school and even give the name of the school they’re attending- providing your address and name as well. While this may seem insignificant, families notice the politicians who encourage their students to do well.

Host Parties

Does a “Forum with Representative ________” sound like something you really want to attend on a Tuesday night, unless you have something you want to scream about? No, probably not. Host engaging, differently styled parties that does provide legislative updates, give room for people to ask you and your staff questions but more important lets them connect with your personality. A block party or roller skating night every six months would be a difference-maker, and it can probably be paid for using official funds as its a constituent-focused effort.

Respond to citizens

Kinda obvious. When a constituent takes their time to reach out to you by phone, email, letter, stopping you in person etc, they deserve a real response. That doesn’t mean they need to always get impossible requests granted, but you should feel compelled to serve the people who as a whole elected you to your office by serving them.

And if you don’t know the answer, do not feel bashful about connecting them with the people who do. You will earn the support of people who reach out to you if you can help facilitate citizen concerns in a way that communicates you care.

Check back in next week for our final blog on Incumbency Protection!