Campaign Spotlight: Morse Force

by Max Clermont

This spotlight goes out to the entire #MorseForce organizing team. Led by David Grizzanti and Elvin Bruno Jr., the Alex Morse for Mayor re-election campaign in Holyoke, Massachusetts really proved that running a positive, data-driven, and organizing focused program is not only the way to win but also the way to build and sustain a dedicated and committed group of people who will stay engaged in civic life long after the campaign ends.

The field program was one of the most inclusive organizing programs I’ve ever witnessed. There was a place and space for all to learn, lead, and execute.

From the very beginning, the campaign made a decision to focus most of its field efforts engaging individuals in the historically marginalized communities of color. These communities have always had the lowest voter engagement and turnout – not because elections haven’t mattered to them, but because they were always an afterthought to candidates and campaigns.

The campaign decided that they weren’t just going to go after their votes in the final weekend before the election. They were going to meet them where they were, engage them in a conversation about the progress that the city has seen under the Mayor’s leadership, and get them involved in making the case to their neighbors that this work wouldn’t continue under a new direction.

This strategic move by the campaign paid off not only in a victory but in an Election Day that saw some of the highest turnouts from these “lower wards.”

One of my favorite #MorseForce traditions was the “slow clap”. Every time a volunteer went above and beyond or showed up with goodies, a member of the campaign team would initiate a clap that got louder and bigger as everyone in all corners of the office joined in. It was a way to show appreciation for their sacrifice but also to reinforce why volunteers matter.

Congratulations, #MorseForce – on creating a community of engaged citizens that will last- and also on your victory!