Elections are big job interviews. It’s time to get your questions ready.

October 24, 2018
by Carly Pildis, Advocacy and Organizing Senior Associate

The midterm elections are fast approaching. Whoever is elected on November 6 will be making the policies that impact your life and the lives of millions around the world. That’s a big deal — but members of Congress work for you, and you have the power to help shape these policies. So let’s get out there and start engaging candidates.

Don’t know where to start? I’m here to help with a step-by-step guide.

  1.  Do your homework. Who is your candidate and what do they care about? This help you frame RESULTS issues in a relatable way. Check out some sample questions here.
  2.  Find an event. Check their social media pages, particularly Facebook, to see what events they have planned in your area. You can also call their campaign office directly.
  3.  Attend a town hall. Get there early and bring a few friends with you, if possible. More people = more chances one of you will get called on.
  4.  Be seen. This is important. Look around the space. Where will the candidate easily spot you? Where will you have best access to a microphone being passed around? Usually, the best place to sit is near an aisle towards the front. Remember to smile and look friendly!
  5.  Be heard. When it’s time to ask questions, raise your hand FIRST, FAST, and HIGH! Say who you are, why you care, and make sure to ask a yes or no question. Keep it brief. If a candidate says they will look into the issue you’ve raised, great! Then you have a reason to follow-up later.
  6.  Find the handshake line. Almost every event has a handshake line, so keep an eye out and head straight there when things wind down. Most people will want to take a selfie, but not you! You’re there to reiterate your request. So shake the candidate’s hand (firmly but politely) and make your pitch.
  7.  Network. You’ve spoken to a candidate – awesome! But don’t go home just yet. These events are full of engaged civic advocates who just might be perfect for RESULTS. Get to know some folks and tell them about your work fighting poverty.

Carly speaks in front of Capitol Hill

Okay, you’re all set to take the campaign trail by storm! If you have any questions, I’m here to help. I even made you a video (above) in case you need a little extra motivation. And remember, elections are only the beginning. Regardless of what happens on November 6, it’s up to you to hold your members of Congress accountable and fight for the country – and world – you want to live in. Let’s get out there.

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