Ethics, budgeting, more on table at workshop
Second 'Running for Local Local Office' event included tour of Elections Department
By DIANN ANDY
The League of Women Voters’ second workshop, Running for Local Office 201, held Jan. 8 at the Bexar County Elections Department, began with Bexar County Elections Administrator Jacque Callanen announcing that we “hope” to have new electronic voting machines for the November 2018 election.
The next generation of equipment that Bexar County Elections will select must be certified by the federal EAC and the Texas Secretary of State's office. (The machines’ specifications were determined by the state, as are the bid and testing processes, which could extend into the fall of 2018.)
At the LWV’s public signing ceremony of the Texas Voters’ Bill of Rights on Jan. 19, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff said the Commissioners Court will be voting to approve approximately $12 million in funds for the equipment soon.
Callanen provided participants bags filled with materials from her office and the Texas Ethics Commission (TEC), including the 2018 filing schedules for required reports, helpful guidance and information, and reporting instructions. She emphasized that the TEC ensures fairness, transparency, and that campaign laws are enforced; and reminded participants that there are penalties for not meeting deadlines or following the laws. She also provided voting statistics for recent local elections, pointing out that with so few people voting, the number of votes necessary to win is amazingly small. Callanen also fielded questions from participants.
The rest of the workshop addressed:
- Calendaring the campaign
- Budgeting considerations
- Planning the “ask” (fundraising calls and conversations)
- Best practices including: knowing and correcting your public record; coordinating and ensuring consistency in your message and brand; connecting with voters via events, publicity, email and social media; useful websites
- Finding a mentor
At the conclusion, those who wished to were taken on a tour of the facilities.
Written feedback from the 30+ participants strongly indicated the desire for another workshop.
In response to the question: “What was most useful, helpful
or interesting in today’s workshop?” many echoed these replies: “I loved it all, very insightful and in-depth information.” And “The information listed in the handout is great – exactly what I was looking for and needed.”
In answer to: “Should we plan a third workshop?” everyone responding said, “Yes.”
So, save the date! Our third workshop, Running for Local Office 301, will be held Monday, Mar. 12, 6-8 p.m. at the San Antonio Central Branch Library, 600 Soledad. Based on requests from 201, the workshop will include:
- Public Speaking and Debating Tips
- Campaign Literature Basics
- Recruiting and Training Staffers and Volunteers
- More Best Practices
As always, this workshop will be free, for anyone who is even thinking about running or wants to help someone who is running. It has no prerequisites. Materials from previous workshops are already available online at https://lwvsa.org/running-for-office-materials/, and some may be available at the workshop.
To ensure we have sufficient seating and materials, we ask that you register by March 9 by clicking here