HOW WE WIN–a look inside CASA in Action’s Maryland Primary Campaign Season

As a supporter of CASA in Action, you don’t need to be told why you fight. You also don’t need to be told that CASA in Action gets results: we consistently deliver electoral victories for our membership and their communities, the Latinx, Black, brown, immigrant, and working-class people of Maryland.

But what you may not know is, how does CASA in Action do it? How do we ensure that our communities show up at the polls and elect progressive leaders that will champion immigrant and working-class families? Let’s take a look under the hood of one of our upcoming campaigns, the Maryland Democratic Primaries, and see how CASA in Action’s model works. And keep in mind that CASA in Action will also be active in this fall’s General Elections in not only Maryland but also Georgia, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

CASA’s Theory of Change

CASA in Action’s theory of change is to engage recently activated, newly registered, and infrequent Black and Latinx voters using a multilayered voter-contact strategy, integrating field operations and communications, with special focus on micro-targeting our most likely Progressive voters–Black and Latina women. Or to put it simply, we believe in democracy and our goal is to make it stronger by bringing more people into the electorate to have a voice in the political process.Research by independent groups corroborates CASA in Action’s organizational experience: while there is no single action guaranteed to persuade a voter, early and frequent conversations do lead to greater voter participation.

Finding the Votes

Our goal is to mobilize Black and Latinx voters in Central Maryland, from the DC metro region to the southern counties surrounding Baltimore City. Black and Latinx voter participation has grown in recent elections, but their turnout rate overall still remains low. Since the populations of these communities have only grown in the last decade, it is a certainty that there are still major gains to be made with these voters.

There are three categories of voters we will be targeting this primary season:

  1. 1. Newly Activated Black and Latinx voters: Democratic-leaning Black and Latinx voters who voted in the 2018 and 2020 general elections, but did not vote in any elections before 2018
  2. 2. Newly Registered Black and Latinx voters: Black and Latinx voters that registered to vote prior to 2020 elections, regardless of their participation in 2020
  3. 3. Infrequent Black and Latino voters: Democratic-leaning Black and Latinx voters that either have no voting history, voted in 2016 general election only, or have not voted since the 2014 general election

In the 2022 Primaries, CASA in Action has set the goal of turning out about 28,000 voters. We know not everyone we contact will show up to vote, so we try to give ourselves a very large cushion to get those votes. This means CASA in Action will need to contact almost 80,000 voters this cycle.

We reach these voters with a team of talented canvassers, many of whom have worked with CASA in Action for several election cycles now. Canvass teams are hired directly from the communities and neighborhoods they canvass. Truly motivating voters means connecting with them on the issues that really matter from a perspective they identify with–this is the power of CASA in Action’s deep community roots. All CASA in Action canvassers make at least $20 an hour, and we’ll be hiring more than 50 canvassers to get the job done in the primaries.

Putting the Plan into Motion

Not every voter can be reached in the same way. CASA in Action takes a multi-faceted approach, reaching voters through door-to-door canvassing, followed by phone calls, peer-to-peer texting, and mail–all backed up by digital and radio ads. But CASA’s most invaluable asset is its enthusiastic CASA membership, who know how to reach their own peers.

Our goals for the 2022 Primaries:

On to Victory

This has been just a peek inside the plans CASA has put together for the 2022 Primaries in Maryland. Whether electing immigration champions, winning healthcare coverage for vulnerable communities, defeating legislators who thwart climate justice legislation, or ensuring that the strongest possible Progressive candidates are running in competitive races, every fight CASA takes up is for our members.