In any democracy, voter participation is vital to progress. In order for voters to be active in shaping the policies and structures of their communities, however, they need to be properly educated on both the systems of government operation and the voting issues at hand. When it comes to criminal justice reform, District Attorneys have a lot of power. But without public understanding of a DA’s function and positions, people aren’t inclined to participate in the election process. As a result, many DAs are not representing their constituents’ values.
The ACLU of Northern California, an advocacy chapter committed to advancing civil liberties for all Californians, solicited our help in confronting this discrepancy. We were tasked with educating citizens on the critical role that District Attorneys play in the criminal justice system and where their DA candidates stood on central issues like mass incarceration, police accountability, and protecting undocumented immigrants.
With the June primary elections on the horizon, we crafted a “Theory of Change” to establish a clear and actionable objective for the ACLU’s campaign. Our mission was to mobilize enough Californians to know their DA candidates and vote in the June 5th primaries so they could elect District Attorneys who better represent their values in the criminal justice system.
To achieve this, we implemented a cross-channel advocacy campaign using targeted Facebook and Google Ads to drive voters to vote4da.org where they could learn candidate’s issue stances. Then, we built an impactful and informative email series to educate and mobilize ACLU supporter leads and formed strategic celebrity partnerships to generate engagement of social media using the hashtag #MeetYourDA.