In 2008, a historic number of LA’s residents participated in the presidential election, yet only 15 percent of registered voters turned out at local polls five months later. Across the country, this is not uncommon—national campaigns are a lot better at making sure we see candidates as people, not platforms. But the most influential names and faces are those we know personally. That’s why SCOPE‘s key voter engagement strategy is one-on-one communication between neighborhood residents.
SCOPE also understands that transforming community residents who rarely vote in into regular voters begins with aligning their values with a progressive agenda. And that’s why in 2002, we launched California Calls. We also spend considerable time analyzing voter turnout, particularly in closely contested races, to help us know exactly how many votes are needed to affect outcomes. We call this the “tipping point”—a target number that maximizes successful results by drawing upon the fact that crucial decisions are often decided by small margins.
Over the next three years, SCOPE aims to engage 50,000 new and occasional voters both during and between election cycles to build a far-reaching base of supporters. In that way, we can achieve deep, transformative change—the kind that allows folks to witness their civic engagement at work, improving the lives of their neighbors, friends, and family.