Volunteer

Our campaign will recruit, train and coordinate the collaborative work of hundreds, if not thousands, of active volunteers throughout the entire state of Minnesota, organized in every state legislative district (134 total). To delegate the varied work of implementing multiple political organizing and advocacy strategies, volunteers will be recruited to sign up to serve on one or more of our campaign’s Cannabis Legalization Action Teams (“Action Teams”). Each Team will have Co-Captains, and their own strategic plan with S.M.A.R.T. goals (Strategic, Manageable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound) and toolkits. Volunteers will be provided with tools to work effectively and efficiently. Joining an Action Team or few will provide volunteers with opportunities to actively support the campaign, develop their political and community leadership, and build the organizational capacity needed for us to win this campaign.  

Action Teams

Lobby Team volunteers will be trained and committed to contacting their own State Senator and State Representative to learn their positions on the issues of cannabis prohibition and full legalization, and to commit to contacting various legislator targets to ask questions, gain answers, educate and urge them to support full legalization. Lobby Team members will write and mail letters, postcards, emails, phone legislators and schedule meetings with them to lobby for the cause.

We will track the positions of each state legislator, incumbent-challenging candidates and gubernatorial candidates in the #Cannabis Count, grading them as either a (I) Full legalization Champion, (II) Marijuana Middle member, or (III) Prohibitionist. The intelligence we gain from the Cannabis Count will inform our lobbying, our candidate endorsement process, the development of our Voter’s Guide, and our Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts.

Lobby Team members will also be asked to Caucus for Cannabis, attending their precinct caucus to campaign to become delegates at their Senate District and State Conventions and advocating for adoption of our Full Legalization Resolution by either the Democratic or Republican parties.

Lobby Team members are our greatest hope for recruiting hundreds of other Lobby Team members in their own, and/or other legislative districts, to also join us, therefore we’ll depend heavily on everyone reaching out within their personal networks to help build our army of Full Legalization activists, advocates and organizers.

Lobby Team Goals

  • Recruit volunteers in every State Legislative District to lobby their State Representative and State Senator (ongoing)
  • Survey all 201 incumbents (and challenger candidates) to complete the Cannabis Count by April 10, 2018.
  • Gain a legislative hearing during the 2018 session
  • Recruit dozens of people to Caucus for Cannabis on Precinct Caucus night to become delegates and advocate for our Full Legalization Resolution to be adopted by both the DFL and GOP
  • Collaborate with the Endorsements Team on candidate screenings for our Minnesota Full Legalization Convention to be scheduled in October and sample ballot
  • Collaborate with the Petition Team on collecting supporter contacts with the 2018 Minnesota Full Legalization Voter Petition, and phone banking, door to door and event canvassing

Lobby Team Toolkit

  • About the Campaign tri-fold brochure
  • Who Represents You / GOTV one-pager / postcard
  • About the Cannabis Count one-pager
  • Full Legalization Legislator Survey
  • Tips and Sample Scripts for Contacting Legislators
  • Minnesota Legalization Legislation Comparison one-pager
  • About Caucus for Cannabis
  • The Value of Storytelling one-pager (work in progress)
  • Full Legalization Talking Points (work in progress)
  • Nonpartisan Full Legalization Resolution
  • Weekly / Bi-weekly Lobby Team ZOOM video / teleconferencing
  • Slack Lobby Team communications access

Petition Team volunteers will collect contact information from voters, registering people to vote, and emailing typed lists of petition signees to be entered in our campaign supporter database. All petition signees will receive business cards and/or postcards, and they will be asked to actively support our campaign by volunteering AND donating. We will track which Petition Team volunteers engaged each respective petition signee and ask them to follow-up later with a phone call to ask them to volunteer AND donate if they indicate that they’re willing and able, and to invite them to attend our endorsement convention in October, and to help GOTV in their respective legislative districts on the August 14 Primary Election, and the November 6 General Election.

[INSERT PETITION]

Petition Team Goals

  • Recruit volunteers in every state legislative district to canvas at events and door to door. Each canvasser will set a goal of collecting an average of 100 petition signatures, asking everyone to volunteer and donate to build the power of the campaign to WIN.
  • Every member of the Petition Team should become a member of the Lobby Team
  • Each Petition Team leader will recruit others to write their stories in a letter urging their State Representative and State Senator, and Gubernatorial (Governor) candidates to support full legalization, and communicate with them during the legislative session, and before their party endorsement conventions.
  • Petition Team leaders who become Cannabis Caucus delegates at either of the DFL and GOP party conventions will canvass the entire state’s delegations.
  • The Petition Team will follow-up with everyone who signs our petition and provides us with their contact information to try to secure ongoing, active support and to urge them to follow through on their commitment to vote for Full Legalization candidates and against Prohibitionist candidates.

Petition Team Toolkit

  • About the Campaign tri-fold brochure
  • About the Petition Team one-pager
  • 2018 Minnesota Full Legalization Voter Petitions
  • Weekly / Bi-weekly Petition Action Team ZOOM video / teleconferencing
  • SLACK Petition Team communications access

Research and Communications Team volunteers will conduct research, online and offline, to compile as much compelling, factual information as possible, both qualitative and quantitative data, to help present our case thoroughly about the thousands of lives adversely impacted by prohibition annually in Minnesota, outlining the wasteful police, judicial and corrections system resources and economic costs of this corrupt, senseless, structurally racist and failed public policy, as well as the health and socio-emotional benefits of full legalization.

We will categorize talking points as MORAL and ECONOMIC IMPERATIVES. Research and Communications Team leaders will produce a wide variety of multi-media education tools in the form of literature, memes, photography, videos, including webinar campaign team training videos, merchandise, rally signs, buttons, stickers, t-shirts, hoodies, etc. We will create teach-in presentations for volunteers to publicly present.

Research and Communications Team leaders will serve a leading role in the development of our campaign’s strategic messaging to continually enhance the quality and effectiveness of our legislative advocacy (lobbying), public education and media advocacy works. They will help develop talking points, survey questions and canvassing scripts.

Research and Communications Team leaders will be responsible for developing and implementing communications plans for contacting all our volunteers, donors, legislators, members of media, and petition signees. Communications will include calls to action, invitations to events, and thank you calls / emails / letters for volunteering, donating, and signing our petition, etc. The legislator communications will be influenced by all the research and strategic messaging.

Public opinion polling and the video storytelling project will probably be delegated to a 501c(3).

Research and Communications Team Goals

  • Categorically compile research, both quantitative and qualitative data
  • Produce model Full Legalization legislation with the help of our legal / regulation analysts
  • Produce Teach-In campaign presentation
  • Develop talking points, strategic messages, campaign literature, signs, clothes, memes, videos, social media content, volunteer scripts for lobbying, phone banking, and canvassing
  • Produce monthly newsletter, annual report, event programs and agendas, surveys, and voters guide / sample ballots

Research and Communications Team Toolkit

  • About the Campaign tri-fold brochure
  • Research and communications needs
  • Master campaign calendar
  • Text messaging app
  • Campaign talking points
  • All campaign team rosters with contact information
  • Voter Access Network – our voter petition database
  • Media contact list
  • Cannabis Count
  • Weekly / Bi-weekly Research and Communications Team ZOOM video / teleconferencing
  • SLACK Research and Communications Team communications access

Endorsements Team volunteers will organize a formal candidate endorsement process for the 2018 elections, screening and endorsing all State Legislators, incumbent-challenging candidates, and gubernatorial candidates. Endorsements Teams leaders will send out candidate questionnaires, communicate with candidates to ensure questionnaires are completed, attempt to schedule in-district candidate screening interviews and submit responses and assessments to campaign leadership for review. This work will culminate in a Political Action Convention where we will formally endorse candidates and publish a Voter’s Guide that will be distributed throughout every legislative district in Minnesota.

Endorsements Team Goals

  • Survey all candidates – incumbents, challengers and candidates for open seats – for State Representative, State Senate and Governor
  • Recruit in-district constituents in every district to invite candidates to discuss cannabis prohibition and full legalization, and to participate in our endorsement convention, securing attendance commitments
  • Partner with the Events Team on planning our Political Action Convention
  • Partner with the Lobby Team on the production and publishing of our Voter’s Guide
  • Target evasive candidates with dozens of calls, emails, event confrontations, etc.

Endorsements Team Toolkit

  • About the Campaign tri-fold brochure
  • Candidate Endorsement Process one-pager
  • Cannabis Count
  • Sensible Minnesota Voter’s Guide
  • Voter’s Petition contact list
  • Weekly / Bi-weekly Endorsements Team ZOOM video / teleconferencing
  • SLACK Endorsements Team communications access

Storytellers Team volunteers will tell their personal story in writing and/or in audio/video about how cannabis has improved their quality of life, and/or how cannabis prohibition has adversely affected their lives. Storytelling is more valuable than the presentation of facts and statistics because it humanizes those numbers and provides clarifying contextualization to these issues. Qualitative data is more effective than quantitative data in changing the hearts and minds of the ‘Marijuana Middle’, those legislators and voters who may support some form of medical cannabis, but not yet see the light about the need to fully legalize adult personal use of cannabis in Minnesota.

Storytellers will receive a letter writing guide and/or video pre-recording questionnaire to help facilitate the development of their own personal narrative by prompting reflections, critical thinking with a visionary problem-solving orientation. Emphasis on speaking from the heart will be made consistently. Letters will be edited to one page in length. Videos will be edited ideally < 1 minute in length. People who are afraid to go completely public can share their stories signed with their initials, and people who share their stories in video can have their images and voices distorted to testify publicly with anonymity.

Storytellers will briefly describe the following:

  1. Who are you?
  2. Why do you like cannabis? / How has cannabis benefitted your life?
  3. How has prohibition harmed your life?
  4. Why do you think cannabis is illegal?
  5. Why should cannabis be fully legalized?

We will schedule Storyteller events where we video record everyone being interviewed with these 5 questions. Brixton Hughes will video record and edit the stories and produce video links that we can feature on our website, share on social media and include in emails to legislators, media and our Marijuana Middle and Prohibitionist people in our lives.

Storytellers Team Goals

  • Collect 10,000 written letters to legislators featuring personal stories and arguments for Full Legalization – edited for quality, clarity and brevity
  • Video record 2 stories per week, 104 per year
  • Schedule monthly letter writing / video recording sessions

Storytellers Team Toolkit

  • About the Campaign tri-fold brochure
  • About the Storytellers Team one-pager
  • Storytelling guide and video-prerecording guide
  • Weekly / Bi-weekly Storytellers Team ZOOM video / teleconferencing
  • SLACK Storytellers Team communications access

Events Team volunteers help plan and organize campaign events, facilitate signing in and signing up attendees, collecting and reviewing evaluations to improve future events. Events Team is responsible for promoting events and contacting our active campaign supporters and petition signees in legislative districts where our events are held.

Events we’ll organize include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Capitol rallies
  • Legislator visits
  • Action team video / conference calls / meetings
  • Political Action Summits
  • Minnesota Full Legalization Convention to endorse candidates and publish our campaign Voter’s Guide
  • Lobby Days

Events we will try to table at include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Minnesota State Fair
  • Twin Cities Pride Festival
  • Sound Set
  • County Fairs (87 Minnesota counties)
  • Juneteenth
  • Rondo Days
  • Grand Old Days
  • July 4th
  • May Day Parade

Envisioned campaign fundraising events:

  • Buds and BBQ (summer)
  • Annual New Year’s Day Gala
  • Solstice Sessions (winter, spring, summer and fall)

Direct Action Events:

  • Petitioning voters
  • Contacting state legislators – write, email, call and schedule meetings
  • Attending legislator election campaign events
  • Door to door canvassing
  • Phone banking
  • Caucus for Cannabis @ DFL and GOP conventions

Events Team Goals

  • Recruit event planners, coordinators, volunteer staff, marketers, promoters, phone bankers
  • Establish branding standards guidelines for events
  • Create master calendar with project management protocols
  • Begin and end all events on time
  • Maximize the number of people who sign-in, sign-up, donate, volunteer, purchase merchandise, complete evaluations and enjoy their time at our events, making sure everyone feels welcome, valued and empowered
  • Partner with the Fundraising Team, Petition Team, Lobby Team, Endorsements Team, Research and Communications Team, and the Storytellers Team
  • Organize effective and efficient video, text and tele-communications systems to promote meetings / events and maximize accessibility and participation with retention

Events Team Toolkit

  • About the Campaign tri-fold brochure
  • About the Events Team one-pager
  • Master calendar
  • Action Team rosters
  • Media contact list
  • Event planning memos
  • Meeting agendas, event programs, sign-up / sign-in lists, evaluations, and literature
  • ASANA project management software
  • Weekly / Bi-weekly Events Team ZOOM video / teleconferencing
  • SLACK Events Team communications access

Fundraising Team volunteers will help raise funds to cover the costs of our campaign operating expenses. We will solicit donations at every meeting and event, on our website, in every email, and on all campaign literature. We will plan and organize a variety of special fundraising events, such as Bowling for Bowls, benefit musical concerts, benefit races / walks, an Appetizer Expo, and Craft Beer and Cannabis Festival. We will promote Campaign House Party FUNdraisers and schedule as many as volunteers as we get to sign-up to privately host one. We will seek major donors, apply for nonprofit grants, and develop a network of businesses that support our campaign by hosting donation collection boxes, round-up donations at purchase, as well as collect petition signatures in their businesses. Head ships and businesses that serve alcohol will be targeted and invited to partner with us to end prohibition (again).

Fundraising Team Goals

  • Recruit 26 House Party FUNdraiser hosts and plan a calendar
  • Plan a comprehensive event vending and tabling schedule to solicit donations and sell merchandise
  • Plan fundraising events
  • Plan the Partnership to End Prohibition (again) with supporting businesses such as head shops, hydroponic grow shops, craft beer breweries and distilleries, etc. Partnership could involve roundup donation collection, donation collection containers, campaign literature distribution, and petitions with instructions.
  • Recruit 100 people to contribute an average of $50 per month
  • Recruit 1,000 people to contribute an average of $10 per month
  • Produce Major Donors presentation and marketing tools
  • Create fundraising pledge postcards with volunteer sign-up

Fundraising Team Toolkit

  • About the Campaign tri-fold brochure
  • About the Fundraising Team one-pager
  • House Party FUNdraiser one-pager
  • List of potential events with proposed dates / seasons
  • Fundraising tips
  • Partnership to End Prohibition Again one-pager
  • Weekly / Bi-weekly Fundraising Team ZOOM video / teleconferencing
  • SLACK Fundraising Team communications access

More Ways To Volunteer

Beyond our Action Teams, there many other volunteer roles we need people to fill:

  • Data entry (efficient and accurate)
  • Phone banking
  • Door to door canvassing
  • Event tabling and canvassing
  • Videography (filming and editing)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation
  • Organize a local chapter of our campaign
  • Host a Campaign House Party FUNdraiser
  • Write letters to newspapers
  • Educate the Marijuana Middle (people who support some form of medical cannabis, but not adult personal use)

Testify: Tell Your Story

We have a Storytellers Team to recruit, train and support cannabis consumers and victims of prohibition to tell their personal stories most effectively. We will undoubtedly organize empirical, quantifiable research data, but more importantly, we are committed to organizing storytellers to humanize the statistical information that we share with the public and our state legislators. If you’re willing to share your personal story, please email stories@legalizeitmn.com.