New York’s 11th: Staten Island Women Who March
Fight for Better provided $15K in funding voter engagement as an early state investment for two growing organizations.
“First of all, John and Bill have been mentors. Especially in the beginning. They were very cautious mentors, they weren’t sure how much to inject their experience. But they learned about us first. They did what good partners do, they listened and learned about us. They helped us iterate and gave us feedback on ideas.
FFBA has been one of our strong partners/ stakeholders/partners/sponsors. They’ve helped us get things up and running. A lot of times I bring it back to the core group: this is what they think; this is what we’ve heard. What do we think? How should we act on this? They’ve been really good partners for us.”
–Roxanne Mustafa, co-founder and Chair of SIWWM
In NY-11, though Democrats outnumbered Republicans by nearly 20 points, many are socially conservative union members who resonate with Trump’s populist tone. However, the district went for Obama in 2012 and Cuomo in 2014, underscoring the potential power of Democratic voters. The district is primarily located in Staten Island where Democrats have struggled to win, running Brooklyn-based candidates in recent elections. However, this year a strong Staten Island Democrat, Max Rose, was positioned to win back the district amid Republican anti-union efforts. And win, he did!
Outcome: DEMOCRATIC WIN
Staten Island Woman Who March (SIWWM) is a coalition of women born from the Women’s March (Jan 2017) who focus on highlighting intersectionality and the advancement of women district and city-wide. SIWWM has strong core executive team of diverse female leaders who represent this intersectionality and who have grown up in the district. They have over 900 Facebook group members and host/promote an average of 15 events per month since its inception, generating significant interest from the community, including their most recent inaugural SIWWM Breakfast, featured in the local news.
The most common refrain about NY11 we hear from locals is “it’s an unusual place, politically”. That is why SIWWM developeded a strategy to engage a wide cross-section of voters through townhalls, forums, fundraisers, protests, rallies and concerts, each coupled with a voter registration effort. SIWWM brought a large swath of progressive groups to the table to coordinate efforts for GOTV in the summer and fall leading up to the election.
Examples of Right Tactics + Results:
Diverse new voter outreach coalition mobilized. Using Vote Fwd model and deep canvassing pilot. Recruited over 1000 members and sent 21,000 handwritten letters to targeted Democratic and infrequent voters.