The First 100,000

In October, the California Alliance launched its first statewide civic engagement program to test its new state-of-the-art integrated civic engagement system, and begin experimenting with issue framing and messaging around possible solutions to California’s budget crisis.  The Alliance set a goal of contacting 100,000 voters through phone calls and door-to-door visits out of 8 regional centers in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose and Oakland. 13 organizations are participating in the program.

Through Saturday November 14th Alliance organizations had contacted 153,486 voters statewide. Voters are being asked a series of questions to test resonance about potential solutions to the budget crisis, messages and attitudes about Proposition 13, and local issues. The program is scheduled to conclude on Saturday November 21st.

Preliminary demographic analysis indicates that

  • 54% of the voters contacted are occasional voters
  • 12% new voters
  • 25% always voters

Ethnically the voters contacted through November 3rd were:

  • 39% are Latino
  • 26% African American
  • 4% Asian
  • 31% other

The responses to the various fiscal and budget solution questions mirror voter confusion seen in recent polls. However framing the issues in terms of an outdated 30 year old system and updating Proposition 13 to protect homeowners and make sure corporations pay their fair share has received surprising support. When the program is completed the Alliance will do a detailed demographic analysis of the results.

This is the first in a series of mass civic engagement organizing efforts the Alliance will implement over the next several years to develop effective issue framing and messaging that builds support and creates a new center of gravity for progressive tax and fiscal reform. The regional anchor organizations and coalitions will implement follow up programs to begin developing sustained relationships with the voters contacted, utilizing grassroots civic engagement leaders down to the precinct level. In 2010 the Alliance plans to expand its civic engagement program into at least two additional areas of the state and expand its capacity to contacting at least 250,000 voters.