Below are some prior suggestions for various Scripts FYI.
The current recommended scripts are linked from the 'Area Captain's Manual' (a drop-down from the 'Resources / Links' page.
SCRIPT FOR CALLING NEW SUPPORTERS - OLD
The actual Script Verbiage is in red:
Modify and shorten so it is comfortable for you; these are just some ideas to get you started. Eventually, it will sound more natural when you don't have to read it.
Make sure there is friendliness and enthusiasm in your voice.
It's nice to start out by inviting someone to an upcoming local event.
It's handy to have one or more windows open, such as 'Events' and 'Find Your Legislators.' You can toggle between open windows using 'Ctrl-Tab' or 'Command-Tab.'
If there is adequate time, using techniques from 'The Theory of Change' (TOC) is recommended for connecting with supporters and potential volunteers (not for constituent calls). It takes about a half hour to have a Theory of Change conversation with someone, usually by appointment. To be trained in this technique (over-the-phone), contact us at admin@GetMoneyOutMD.org, and see www.Wolf-Pac.com/TOC).
Always refer to the 'Database Help' document on the sidebar, and print it or keep it in an open window.
IF WE ALREADY HAVE THEIR HOME ADDRESS . . . Look up their state legislators before you call, and modify the script so that you ask them to contact their state legislators early in the conversation. Indicate that you're calling them because they live in legislative district _______ and these state legislators are important targets that need to be contacted. You'll ask them if money in politics is an issue they're concerned about, and ask them if they would be willing to leave a message with each of their state legislators to support a bill for free and fair elections in Maryland and the U.S. (This bill in the Maryland General Assembly is key to winning free and fair elections in the nation as a whole).
“My name is __________ [first name only is quicker], and I’m a volunteer calling from [Towson]. If you’re [anything] like me, you are FED UP with the way Congress has been completely bought off by special interests.
I'm calling to ask you to make a quick call to your state legislator, _______________________. I can give you the number. I'm not asking for money.
“There’s a [ NEW way of ... / NEW approach to... ] getting money out of politics [and overturning ‘Citizens United’] and it’s NOT by asking Congress to do it. Congress is [a lost cause and....] [...just / far...] too corrupt, [ . . . and too far gone...] to fix the problem [themselves]. [Congress IS the problem].
“[Believe it or not,] a group of ordinary Marylanders like myself believe we can SOLVE this problem, working with the Maryland General Assembly. I think it’s really going to work.
“I also want to tell you about a [wine-tasting / pot-luck] meeting we're having, near you, on ___________ (date) where you can learn more, and meet people who are also concerned about this.
[If leaving a message]:
“I’d love to chat, and invite you to our next meeting, so please call my cell phone at ____________________. Our website is GetMoneyOutMD.org, and again, my name is _________. I’m [really] looking forward to hearing from you.”
The above can be left on an answering machine and is also an intro to your pitch. Leaving a message is optional. If you leave a message, include "www.GetMoneyOutMD.org" and your phone number (or the GMOM number: 410-849-0670).
When speaking to someone, it’s recommended that you engage them by asking them a question early on. For example, after mentioning “Citizens United” you could ask them:
“Are you familiar with the ‘Citizens United’ case?
“Are you concerned about the problem of money in politics?”
When you’re speaking with someone, at this point you might enthusiastically, but briefly explain why this is such a promising new approach. Depending on the person’s interest / available time, you could explain some or all of:
- Why we need an Amendment,
- What ‘Citizens United’ was,
- How working in Maryland will address the problem in Congress,
- We need to bypass Congress because it can’t pass anything, least of all an amendment to fix the problem of money in Congress, because Congress is the problem.
- There’s a resolution being introduced in the upcoming session of the MD General Assembly for the first time, by very respected state legislators .
- This national effort began less than a two ago (March 2012) when the first state proposed such a resolution, and, at least 10 states are proposing this type of state resolution This Year for the first time!
- This Amendment would (1) Get money out of politics (allows limits on spending in elections; this is now unlimited), (2) Reverse the doctrine of “corporate personhood” (so that corporations are not entitled to constitutional rights as if they were people), and (3) Get the Right To Vote into the Constitution for the first time.
ALWAYS TRY TO GET THE EMAIL ADDRESS, Even if they don’t seem particularly interested, as follows:
“We’ve had some [terrific / fantastic] meetings with some [great / fascinating / informative] speakers, and we’re having a meeting/party/pot-luck coming up where like-minded people can get to meet each other, and learn more about the issue. Would it be OK if I [invited you to / keep you informed of] upcoming events like this?”
If they hesitate in giving you their email address . . .
“We send messages no more than once a month, and all messages have an unsubscribe option. We’re all just volunteers, working on this in our spare time. [We never sell or share your information with any outside groups]”
If we already have an email address, always verify that it is the best e-mail for them (it may be a junk email). Also, always check to see if the e-mail is stricken (has a line through it), which means either (1) it bounced (most likely), or (2) the person has unsubscribed. If someone has unsubscribed, you can call them anyway. You can tell the difference: if someone has unsubscribed, it will say: “unsubscribed” on the list of recent activity, listed in the "dashboard' for each person at the bottom of their screen. (Also, someone who has unsubscribed will be listed as a Non-Supporter; But “Non-Supporter” status by itself does not necessarily mean they have unsubscribed).
Give them our web address. If they have time and are online during your conversation, show them a few useful web pages, especially 'Events' and ‘Find YOUR Legislators’ pages.
You can give them your phone number and encourage them to call anytime. Or you can give them the GMOM phone number: 410-849-0670, or joe@GetMoneyOutMD.org or charlie@GetMoneyOutMD.org.
THE ASKS: (In order, depending on time and interest):
First invite them to (multiple) upcoming events. If they say ‘Yes,’ or ‘Maybe,’ say: “I’ll put you down as a ‘Yes’ (or ‘Maybe’).
- Then, get or verify their email address (SEE ABOVE).
Ask them to leave a message with their state legislators to support and co-sponsor the bill (see above). Ask legislators to support and co-sponsor the bill. Help them identify their legislators if necessary. If they say they will do this, tell them: “If it’s OK, we’ll check with you after a week or two to see how this went. We need to track how many calls are received by each legislator.” Tag them with the tag: "Promised to call Leg." (Someone WILL check up with them. Even the promise of being checked up on dramatically increases the chances they will do this. We also tag people with 'Contacted some Leg" and "Contacted all Leg," referring to their OWN legislators. Keep it simple for them; they don’t necessarily need to be provided with a phone script just to call their legislator. “[It’s as simple as telling / Just tell] each of your state legislators to support, and co-sponsor, the resolution being introduced by Senator Jamie Raskin in the Senate, that calls for an (Article V) Convention, for an Amendment to Get Money Out of Politics, and Overturn ‘Citizens United.’ (The resolution won’t have a name or number until it’s pre-filed in mid to late December, but it is definitely being introduced).”
- Get their home address:
- “We need your home address so that we can look up everyone’s state legislators.” At least get their zip code and/or county/subdivision of residence.
- If you don't know their address beforehand, offer to look up their legislators while you're on the phone. It takes a few seconds. You can use the database itself, or http://MDElect.net. You can also show them how to do this, but it's better to give them the legislator's phone numbers then and there.
If you want you can offer to send a message from your personal e-mail, which helps to establish a connection.
Ask them to help us arrange an in-person meeting with their state legislators. We will go to the meeting, but we need an actual constituent to initiate the meeting and/or attend, along with us.
You can offer to meet with someone in-person if they might be interested, or forward this possibility to Joe, Charlie, Wylie, Deborah, Herb, or others. Most won't take you up on this offer, but just offering it helps to establish a connection.
If you’re using the database, always use the ‘Log Contact’ link to log your contact – if you spoke with anyone, and it’s advisable to do this if you left a message (There’s a ‘Left Message’) option.
SCRIPT FOR CALLING LEGISLATORS: - OLD
"Hi, my name is ____________, and I'm a constituent living at _________________. Please support the resolution directed at Congress sponsored by Sen. Jamie Raskin (if calling a senator)/Del. Sheila Hixson (if calling a delegate) to create a constitutional amendment process to get big money out of politics."
LONG VERSION: Start with the SHORT VERSION, and add . . .
This is a binding resolution which formally calls for an Article V Convention as a way of proposing a constitutional amendment to deal with the undue influence of money in our political process. We need an amendment to fix this, and the only alternative to the Convention route is to go to Congress itself to solve the problem of corruption . . . in Congress. But Congress is the problem. State legislators like you are less dependent on big money than the do-nothing Congress. Are you familiar with an Article V Convention as an alternative way of proposing a constitutional amendment?"
This is only a convention for the purpose of proposing an amendment, or amendments, limited to the three issues in the resolution: (1) getting money out of politics, (2) addressing the ridiculous doctrine of "corporate personhood," and (3) getting the right to vote into our constitution.
There have been hundreds of actual constitutional conventions on the state level, for the purpose of adopting state constitutions, and there has never been a runaway convention among them.
Also, our Constitution cannot be changed at a convention. All the convention could do is to have a conversation about how to fix this problem of money in our political process and propose amendments. (The convention would have no more power to propose an amendment than Congress does right now). Anything proposed would still need to be ratified by 75% of our state legislatures.
An amendment would not be ratified unless red states AND blue states support it. 85% of the public believes that money in politics is a serious problem. It's about the ONLY thing that Democrats, Republicans, libertarians and Tea Partiers can agree on.
It's clear that Congress is NOT going to address this problem. Two years ago, no state had introduced this kind of resolution. Now it's being introduced in at least ten of state legislatures.
If you're as concerned as I am about free and fair elections, will you be able to co-sponsor the resolution?"
SCRIPT FOR CALLING CONSTITUENTS - 1 - OLD
Hi, I'm <name>, a citizen volunteer calling from <City>. Is this Nancy? Nancy, I’m calling to see if you could call your State Senator / Delegate, <Name> about the role of money in our elections. I'm not asking for money or selling anything. Would it be all right if I briefly explain?
There is a resolution in the Maryland Senate [House] right now, SJ6 [HJ7], the resolution for the Democracy Amendment. Maryland, along with other states, would propose a constitutional Amendment to fix the problem of money in elections, so that we don’t have to ask Congress to do it. We think Congress could never fix this problem, Congress *is* the problem, and we're very concerned that Congress is run by big money and no longer represents the people.
Is this a problem you're concerned about?
The amendment would restore free and fair elections in America by amending the Constitution to make it possible to get money out of elections, and to restore the right to vote for everyone. Your State Senator / Delegate <name>, is one of the swing votes on the Committee right now.
If I gave you his / her number, would you be able to make a quick phone call and leave a quick message for _____________ ?Since you’re a constituent, this would really help tremendously.
Her / his phone number is xxx-yyy-zzzz. Could you read that back to me?
The best time to call is right now. Just leave a message on the answering machine with your name and home address, and ask her / him to support SJ6 / HJ7, the resolution for the Democracy Amendment, to restore free and fair elections, and protect the right to vote.
Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help. I’ll try to check with you in a few days to see how it went. Good night.
SCRIPT FOR CALLING CONSTITUENTS - 2 - OLD
YES - Great! We work with the Maryland state legislature to get a resolution passed that will add a Democracy Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing the freedom to vote and ensuring free and fair elections. We believe elections should be free of the corrupting influence of excessive spending by outside interests and fair enough that any citizen can run for public office. Do you agree with those goals?
YES - Great! The reason we're calling you tonight is that you live in <state legislator's name>'s district and she's a really important person in the Maryland legislature, especially for this resolution, because she sits on a committee that decides whether or not the resolution gets a vote in the rest of the <Senate/House>. Are you familiar with <state legislator's name>?
YES - Great! Well, when we talk to state legislators, they say the most important thing to them is what people in their districts want them to do, especially people like you who vote a lot. Could we count on you to call <state legislator's name> and ask them to support our resolution, <resolution number>?
YES - Awesome! Here's the phone number of <state legislator>: (XXX) XXX-XXXX. Can you read you that back to me?
CONFIRM # - Great! All you need to tell them is your name, the city you live in, and that you support <resolution number> for the Constitutional amendment to restore free and fair elections. Feel free to just leave a message with your support and ask them to vote in favor of the resolution.
Thanks! We really appreciate you calling <legislator name> tonight - I'll give you a call in about 2 or 3 days to see how the call went. Thanks again! Have a good night!