Green Lantern for Mayor

(crossposted to Future Majority)
The Green Lantern is running for Mayor of DC. Wait, what?

Yes, it’s true. Well, sort of true. I’m in DC right now, at a Campaign BootCamp run by the New Organizing Institute. I’m joined by five dozen promising progressive activists who have also traveled to D.C. to learn the ways of online organizing. We’ve been split into teams, each supporting a different superhero candidate for mayor, and we’re running a mock campaign that ends this Friday, July 10.

We’ve come up with some interested innovations in online organizing that I’d like to share with you.

Let’s take a look:

First off, let me talk about the Green Lantern campaign.

We took a bit of a risk with our strategy, and decided to create a story line whose outcome would be determined by our supporters. Buttons representing the two “adventure” options brought supporters to customized tell-a-friend landing pages, where each email address they submitted counting as an extra vote for their preferred outcome. This email clearly captivated our audience, yielding higher than expected open and click-through rates. Hopefully it will leave them hungry and ready for more.

The storyline so far:

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Egged on by Adam Green, we also boldly strode into DC local politics. We set up an online petition against “Street Cleaning Tickets”, and vowed to hand-deliver a copy of the petition to the relevant Neighborhood councils if we got enough signups.

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We used Twitter to attract followers, of course, but also picked fights with Superman, Sarah Palin, and the Parking Ticket Menace.

We also solicited (and achieved!) the endorsements of Ezra Klein via Twitter, though sometimes this strategy backfired.

This lead to a front-page endorsement from ShadowBanker of Eco-Comics, who noticed our chatter and kindly decided to endorse.

We’re also expanding into google ads and using google news alerts to keep track of the candidate.

Here’s the take-away:
Using nothing more than free tools, 25 dollars for google ads (which we haven’t used yet), and a Blue State Digital account, we’ve been able to create a bit of a splash in the span of a couple days.

The Blue State Digital Account was very nice, but I still believe that this experienced proved that anyone with a good theory of change, a website, and google docs has the possibilities of power that simply weren’t nearly as easy even two years ago.

Check out our website for a closer look, and I hope you vote for us this Friday.

Coming soon (after the election!): A look at the best practices and tactics by the other campaigns.

We’re now getting into petitions.
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