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How to Establish a Local Union Phone & Text Banking Program

The first step to organizing your local membership to participate in the next election is determining who is registered to vote and making sure they know how to do so on Election Day. Below are suggested steps to get you started, but feel free to get creative to meet the needs of your local!

STEP 1: Assign a point person to lead the local’s phone/text banking program

Communicate the program’s plan to your local’s political coordinator (PC) if the assigned point person is not the PC.

STEP 2: Obtain and organize all necessary materials (lists, scripts, etc.)

  • Consult IATSE’s How to Establish a Local Union Voter Registration Program

  • Pull together a list of your local’s active and retired members.

  • Obtain a list of unregistered voters in your local from the LAN, or by request from the IATSE Political/Legislative Department (polleg@iatse.net).

  • Cross reference the two lists to determine who needs to be registered, and who simply needs to be contacted to get out the vote (GOTV).

  • Compile a draft script for volunteers to use both when making phone calls and sending texts. Click here for sample scripts.

STEP 3: Set a schedule and recruit volunteers

  • Establish how much time you need to call/text through the members of your local.

  • Send an email to your local membership asking for volunteers.

  • Reach out to specific members who may have demonstrated an interest in political action.

STEP 4: Host the phone/text bank

  • Identify a space to gather and perform the phone/text bank, such as your local’s union hall.

  • It is often more motivational and enjoyable to do this work together in person, but we urge all locals to observe applicable COVID-19 protocols and consider providing volunteers a remote option if preferred.

STEP 5: Log progress, track results, and identify future action

  • Focus on contacts, not attempts – if we only leave messages for everyone on the list, we do not acquire the data essential to future GOTV efforts.
  • We suggest using spreadsheets to track where people are within the voting process, so you can follow up appropriately with next steps. For example: who needs to register > have they done so? Who intends to vote > do they have a plan?

STEP 6: Share success and build momentum

  • Share photos on social media and email them to polleg@iatse.net.

  • Use #IATSEvotes and tag @IATSE in social media posts
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