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FORWARD COLORADO.com “To go forward, put it in D”

Dear Friends, Thank you so much for hosting an “IdeaRaiser.” Campaigns must raise money to be successful these days, but we also want to raise ideas. Democracy works best when people come together to figure out solutions to our toughest issues. “IdeaRaisers” are an opportunity to talk with friends, family members, colleagues and neighbors about the issues and concerns most important to you, and to brainstorm solutions to solve those issues. Please send your most powerful stories and ideas to the campaign. Your input will be invaluable in shaping my policy priorities and our future. In order to ensure your IdeaRaiser is successful, the Colorado Democratic Party has put together this packet. Please do not hesitate to contact the campaign office if you need any support. I am truly looking forward to hearing from you. Thank you so much for your participation in this effort.

With gratitude,

Congressman Mark Udall


IdeaRaiser

Guide


Table of Contents 1. Overview…………………………………………………………………………1 2. Idea Raiser Guide for host..……………………………………………………....2 3. Checklist……………………………………………………………………….....4 4. Issues……………………………………………………………………………...5 5. Agenda…………………………………………………………………………....6 6. Agenda with talking points…………………………………………………….....7 7. Invite worksheet…………………………………………………………………..10 8. Summary sheet………………………………………………………………........11 9. Sign in sheet…………………………………………………………………........12 10. Phone script……………………………………………………………………….13 11. Thank you template………………………………………………………………..13 12. Sample Stories…………………………………………………………………….14


Overview “IdeaRaisers� are designed to get the ideas from Coloradans across the state about how best to resolve the issues that shape our day-to-day lives. The meetings are designed to bring people together to share their experiences about an important issue in their lives and then come up with innovative ideas for how to solve that issue. This is a way for you and the people you know to participate actively in the democratic process. Colorado Democrats are committed to hearing from you. They will use the ideas you generate to inform their policy agenda while they campaign and once they are elected. This process started because of Congressman Mark Udall’s commitment to hearing first hand about the experiences of Coloradans and acting on their ideas to make things better. He has taken the ideas of regular Coloradans and turned them into legislation. The IdeaRaisers were so successful that the Colorado Democratic Party decided to take them on and make the results available to all of the Democrats in the state. As a host, you will be facilitating this process. We are asking you to invite all the people you know in order to talk about an issue that you care about. We will ask you to take notes on the conversation, or make a video of it, and send it the campaign. Please also give us permission to post your stories and ideas on our website. Be sure you send the information in or we will miss your great ideas. This process will not only generate great ideas, but it will help us build a large network of Coloradans who are committed to working together to implement some of those ideas. We will ask you to ask each of the people who attend your meeting to host a meeting of their own. It will be crucial that you help them to have a successful meeting. We also want to be sure we know who came to your meeting so we can follow up with them and keep them informed about the issues they raise. Our stories compel us to act together to improve the conditions that cause unnecessary suffering. The process of coming together will help us build an organization that can help us make the necessary changes successfully. By participating in this process you can help ensure we elect Democrats who are committed to working with us, and that we build a strong constituency that will help them govern effectively. While many campaigns only focus on fundraising, we are committed to raising as many ideas as possible to generate solutions to make Colorado and our country better. Thank you so much for participating in this process. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office and we will support you in any way we can. Thank you! Please send your sign-in sheet and summary of your conversation to: IdeaRaiser@ForwardColorado.com Or Fax it to (303) 600-0339 Or Mail it to: Colorado Democratic Party 777 Sante Fe Drive Denver, CO 80204

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IDEARAISER GUIDE for HOSTS Purpose of the Meeting: • • • • •

To share your personal experiences about the focus issue with one another. To build a network of people committed to working together to address those issues. To raise ideas about how to solve the issues people raise. To share those stories and ideas about solutions with the campaign and Colorado Democrats. To have fun and strengthen our Democracy!

What happens in the meeting: • • • • • • • •

Everyone introduces themselves and says why they came or where they are from. Host explains the format of the meeting and the topic he/she has chosen for discussion. The host shares a short story about a personal experience relevant to the issue he/she has chosen. Participants share stories and experiences and engage in dialogue with one another. The host shares a little bit about Democrats’ work on the topics that come up in the conversation. Participants brainstorm their own ideas for how to address the issue (take notes). Ask each person if they are willing to host a house meeting of their own. Evaluate the meeting.

Helpful Reminders: • • • •

• •

It is important everyone gets to speak. Do not let anyone dominate the conversation (including you). Politely ask for permission to interrupt before the conversation starts to wander from the agenda - don’t be afraid to do so. Get people to tell stories, not just voice complaints. Ask someone to take notes and report a summary of the conversation. We have found it works best to: Take notes in the first person to maintain the integrity of what people are saying Take notes on a laptop if possible, or video tape the conversation! See the sample story page for examples Encourage people to ask one another questions (What do you think of Mrs. Garcia’s story). Ask each person if they are willing to host a house meeting of their own.

After the meeting:

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• • • •

Send thank you letters or emails to participants (see examples). Help those who want to host their own house meeting plan and invite people. Use the summary sheet to enter the information from your house meeting. Email it or send it to the campaign: IdeaRaiser@ForwardColorado.com Or Fax it to (303) 600-0339 Or Mail it to: Colorado Democratic Party 777 Sante Fe Drive Denver, CO 80204

Tell friends and family members who could not attend the meeting what happened and who else is hosting an event. Follow up with the people who said they would host an IdeaRaiser and see how it went

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IDEARAISER CHECKLIST

Actions Before the Event ___ Decide DATE, TIME, and PLACE. ___ Make a list of 30-50 people to invite (you are aiming to get 15 people there). ___ Use the Event Planning Section of the Forward Colorado website to plan your meeting and invite people. ___ Pick the issue you want to focus the conversation around based on your interests and the interests of the people you are inviting. ___ Make a phone call to each invitee or invite them in person (email is not enough!) ___ Remind people who have confirmed one day before with a phone call. ___ Study the IdeaRaiser packet ___ Practice your story. ___ You can enter the data on your attendees in the sign-in sheet before they come. ___ Print and copy all materials Material List ___ Pens ___ Paper for writing/laptop or video camera ___ House Meeting Agenda to hand out ___ Sign up sheet

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We want to keep the conversations rooted in people’s personal experience. It is important that we hear people’s stories, not jus their complaints. This helps give the candidates a visceral understanding of how policy is affecting people’s day-to-day lives, and good stories usually reveal policy solutions. In order to focus the conversation, you may want to focus on a single issue. Based on your own interests and the interests of the people you are inviting pick one of the following topics to focus on: (If someone comes to the meeting and does not have a story specific to the issue you choose, let them talk about something else important to them. We want to have a focused conversation, but not to the exclusion of any of the participants.)

• • • • • • • • • • • •

Civil Rights Economy and Consumer Issues Education Energy and the Environment Healthcare Homeland Security and Foreign Affairs (Iraq and Afghanistan) Housing and Transportation Immigration Veterans Affairs Water and Agriculture Work and Retirement Other

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IdeaRaiser Agenda I. Introductions (10 minutes) -Host introduces him/herself -Guests introduce themselves -Host explains the agenda and goals of the meeting II. Stories (40 minutes) -Host shares a personal story about the issue (1-2 minutes) -Guests share their stories about the issue (30 minutes) III. Ideas (15 minutes) -Guests will brainstorm ideas for how to best address the specific issues that came up during people’s stories IV. Next Steps (10 minutes) -If we want to do something about these issues, it is imperative we elect more Democrats to federal office! -Who else will host a house meeting (set the dates) -Who will enter the information and post it on the website? -Sign up to stay informed on the website www.ForwardColorado.com V. Evaluation (5 minutes) -How did this go? How can we make them better in the future?

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IdeaRaiser Talking Points for Host •

Introductions o Thank everyone for coming. o Introduce yourself and say a few things (where you are from, what you do). Keep it brief, you are modeling for others. o Explain the agenda and purpose of the meeting. This is an opportunity for us to talk to each other about the things we care about. We want to keep this about our own experiences as much as possible. The stories and ideas we talk about tonight will be given directly to the campaign and help inform how Democrats see this issue. Mark Udall and other Democrats will get a report once a week with our stories and ideas. You can see the stories and some of his responses on his website at ForwardColorado.com We are accustomed to politics being about politicians, but it is really about our experiences so we want to hear from each other. Ask for questions but keep it brief. Explain it is important for everyone to have a chance to talk. Ask for permission to keep things moving (you can make a joke here) but ask if its okay to interrupt, and then feel free to do it. It is your job to keep the meeting on topic. If people start to voice abstract complaints, interrupt and ask them questions like—what experience made you care about that, or why is that important to you. Make sure you have someone who will take good notes. If you want, you can video tape the meeting as well.

Stories and Framing the Issue o Tell your own story about the issue you have chosen. Keep it short – 1-2 minutes. Practice it before your guests arrive so it is crisp. Feel free to call the campaign if you want help with it. Remember to have a clear beginning, middle and end. Paint a picture for your guests, add details and tension.

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Ask other people to share. Explain that you want to be sure that everyone has the opportunity to speak. Feel free to ask questions. Get people responding to each other (Mary have you had a similar experience? Etc.). Sometimes people share deeply moving stories so be prepared to acknowledge that in a supportive way. Keep people to 1-2 minutes. Make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak if they want to, but don’t pressure them. •

Ideas o After everyone has had a chance to share their stories, ask people what ideas they have to address the issues that have been raised. o Keep the conversation going, we want to generate as many ideas as possible. o People may want to start debating the ideas, but the idea is to brainstorm rather than debate the merits of people’s ideas

Summarize the meeting o Now ask the group which stories and ideas they feel best represents the conversation you had. You do not need people to fight over which one is sent, but we do want to be sure that the stories and ideas are representative of the group. That does not mean everyone has to agree or you can’t send more than one. o Explain that the information will be sent to the campaign and some of the stories and ideas will be on the website. Be sure no one minds if their information goes on the website. (If anyone does mind, please note it on your summary sheet). People can see some of their stories on our website at ForwardColorado.com.

Next steps o Here is where you make the case for people to do something. o Say that if we want to act on the issues we discussed, we need to get Democrats elected. o Ask who else will host an IdeaRaiser. o Ask each person individually. o Encourage people to sign up on the website www.forwardcolorado.com. o Let people know other ways they can get involved.

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Ask people to invite their friends to sign up on the website or attend IdeaRaisers Vote in the February 5th caucuses (people can contact the campaign or local Democratic Party for more information). •

Follow up o Make sure that the information from the attendees gets into the database or sent to the campaign. o Send a thank you note to all the attendees. o Offer to help your guests who are going to host their own party. This is a critical part to maintaining the integrity of the project. You can be sure they know who to invite, how to plan, and how to be sure the conversation stays rooted in people’s experience. o Host another IdeaRaiser ☺

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WORK. You have just taken a critical step to ensuring that we have a Democratic Senate, and more importantly an avenue for citizens to engage in the democratic process.

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Invite Worksheet This is a guide to help you think about who you want to invite and track who is coming. Once you have the list of who you want to invite, you can use the Event Planning part of the website to help you. However, a phone call or face to face invitation is an important part of being sure you have a successful meeting. Think about all the people you know: friends, family members, coworkers, people you know from any organizations you are part of, people from your child’s class, people you don’t know but have always wanted an excuse to talk to. Write them down and invite them.

Guest List Name Maria Perez

Contact Info Attending? 303-555-1321 Yes

Reminder Call X 5/8/07

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IdeaRasier Summary Sheet Your Name: How many people attended?: What issue did you talk about? How many people agreed to host IdeaRaisers? What stories and ideas best represented the conversation you had?

Link to pictures or video:

Evaluation: What worked and what could we do better in the future

Thank you! Please share this for and your sign in with us at: IdeaRaiser@ForwardColorado.com Or Fax it to (303) 600-0339 Or Mail it to: Colorado Democratic Party 777 Sante Fe Drive Denver, CO 80204

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FORWARD COLORADO.com “To go forward, put it in D”

First Name

Last Name

E-mail Address

Phone

Zip

Host Idea Raiser ?

Issue of Concern

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Target Date


Phone Script Hi, may I speak to __________. This is __________. I wanted to be sure you saw the invitation for the “IdeaRaiser” I am having. This is a way we can have direct input to Congressman Udall and Democrats across Colorado about our concerns and ideas. Do you think you will be able to attend? If yes: Great, let me give you more details. (Share the time, date, and location. Give them directions, answer any questions, ask them if you want them to bring anything). If no: I am sorry you won’t be able to make it. Do you want me to let you know if there other ones happening in the area? Thanks.

Thank you Template: [Name], Thank you for attending my “IdeaRaiser.” It was great to hear about your experiences and share ideas. I am looking forward to working with you on solving these issues. Make sure you sign up at www.forwardcolorado.com to get updates from the campaign on other events in our area. Thanks again,

Signature

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IdeaRaiser Guide