The incumbent for the At Large Position 2 Houston City Council cannot run for reelection. She has reached the charter limit of three 2-year terms. This gives Jenifer Rose Pool a good opportunity to run in an open election with no incumbent in the race. Her chances for a win are better (as is true for everyone in general) because she won’t be running against an incumbent. In an open election that is city wide public exposure is a key strategy for voters to “get to know” Jenifer. Paul Wellstone’s campaign in Minnesota is a good strategic model (Wellstone.org, 2011).
Ms Poole will be running against nine other candidates for this position. She is one of the three female candidates along with six males. We will have to define her priority issues and solutions as unique to the others. None of the candidates for this election run on party lines. The race for this position is non-partisan but her differences from the others on party ideology will still need to be delineated.
2. Approach to Transgender Issue
On one issue Ms Poole is already different. She is a transgendered woman. The voters need to understand that gender does not make one bit of difference when studying the issues. The issues facing Houston are significant to the voter and the way problems will be solved. The campaign does not need to bring attention to the issue of transgender.
An example of how the issue of transgender will be downplayed is in this example when Jenifer handled a question about transgender with honesty, compassion and professionalism.
“The transgendered elephant in the room didn't come up until questions. "So what's bubbling in the bigot community?" someone asked about her candidacy. Pool said that she expected a backlash: "As a transgendered person, I've been subjected to prejudice since the day I told the first person who I really was," she said. "My first thought for those people is to pray for their souls. They must live in a dark world. I live in a world with smiles in it, a world of light," she said.
“But though being transgendered makes her candidacy uncommon, she refuses to let it define her campaign.”The clothes they wear or the makeup they wear or don't wear: People need to look at the heart more and that less," she said, "and this could be a beautiful city." (Houston Post Blog, 2011).
3. Natural attributes of a Winner
Jenifer is a gregarious, lovely and articulate woman. She is pleasure to be around. Her optimism and compassion are contagious. These two natural attributes of the candidate are key to campaign success. Those character credentials are a natural backdrop to the three key elements of any campaign activity we initiate.
We will take a Wellstonian approach to running the campaign; having Ms Poole meet as many people as possible in organization meeting, public settings and door-to-door campaign. (Wellstone.org, 2011). She has the stamina and the energy to face a grueling election campaign so we will take advantage of her strengths.
4. Candidate’s Experience
Ms Poole’s professional and civil service credentials are solid and will be important points to repeat so the Mayor Bill White who was the Democratic mayor from 2004 to 2010 appointed her, City Commissioner of The Building & Standards Commission, a post she still holds. The current mayor, Annise Parker, appointed Jenifer to the Police Advisory Committee and placed her on the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Building & Standards. Ms Poole has also served as the Co-Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Human Rights Campaign-Houston. We need to point out that she already knows how Houston city government works and will have no time loss on a learning curve.
Since taking up residence in Houston Ms Poole has worked in the construction business. She owns her own company, DeepTarget™, offering consultation on topics including construction permitting, licensing, and project management. She understands the importance of digital communication in business and society. So when she talks about the issue of jobs and the economy in Houston we need to emphasize when she says “cutting edge technologies” she understands what she is talking about.
5. Internet Social Applications
The Internet will be used with a Jenifer Rene Poole Facebook page and a Twitter account; two of the most popular social networks available and an excellent way to reach out to potential young voters. Not only will monetary support of organizations that endorse Jennifer be important; they will also be encouraged to mention Ms Poole and her issues in their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
We need to make sure that when people Google “Jenifer Rene Poole” they will see an example or two of her success in business. For example right now the press release on the Internet describing DeepTarget’s partnership with CUTS Performance Marketing is good. Her trademarked “Insight Driven Digital Marketing™” coupled with the trademarked DeepTarget™ logo has more impact than 100 speeches.
Houston’s demographics show a varied citizenship of 2,100,017 people (City of Houston, 2010). The reported percentage by gender is male 49.9% and female 50%. The women of Houston are generally active in the community and government. This will help Jenifer reach the women of the city because they will understand her concerns for safety on the job and creating more jobs. In terms of ethnicity the city (considering one ethnicity) reports 1,892,153 with 49.3% as Anglo, 25.3% as 25.3% Black or Afro-American, and 8,568 of indigenous ancestry. In general the census reports 96.9% of respondents’ recorded they are of one-race descent; the other 3.1% are from a variety of ancestries.
Jenifer is a white woman with liberal, progressive goals. How this will affect the strategy is still to be determined. There is a populist grassroots energy that is catching on across the political spectrum. We will hire a knowledgeable consultant on this issue.
The budget needed to take the campaign to the election will be determined on a monthly basis with a goal of reaching $8,000 per month in donations with the expectation that all will have been spent by the end of the campaign. We are going to target the historical supporters of Ms Poole. (1) The Democratic Party (a) Houston Stonewall Young Democrats (b) Houston Area Stonewall Residents (c) Houston BGLT Political Caucus (d) Harris County Tejano Democrats (e) Oak Forest Area Democrats.
The biggest expense will be at the beginning of the campaign for the telephone deposit. The mailings will be the next in cost but we have tried to cut that cost by making efficient use of the mailings. The printing costs will be about the same as the mailing. The last month of the campaign we will have a large printing bill for flyers and buttons. We need to choose a consultant for the demographic analysis based upon quality and also keep the cost within the limits of our budget.
8. Face to Face Campaign
We will present our candidate in as many forums as possible including, but not limited to press conferences, speech making at organizations, television and radio interviews.
We will use door-to-door campaigning but those neighborhoods we can’t reach door-to-door will be sent mailings twice. The door-to-door campaigning by Ms Poole will be reinforced by door-to-door by volunteers and one mailing.
9. Hammer home two main issues.
The two main issues we will educate voters on are (1) job creation and (2) job creation of modern jobs that will be around for a long time such as hi tech jobs and clean energy jobs. Ms Poole is a successful business woman. She will be able to address issues of business and job trends due to her experience.
We have a strong progressive candidate who should be attractive to the populist movement across the political spectrum. We will focus on presenting our candidate in person to the public in press conferences, speech making at business organizations and other appropriate forums. We will keep our costs as low as possible and our volunteers revved up. Jenifer Rene Poole will be the new Houston At Large Position 2 Council Member.
Deep Target Press Release. “DeepTarget™ Announces New Partnership with CUTS Performance Marketing.” 18 Mar. 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Faucheux, Ron. “Writing your campaign plan. The seven Components for Winning an Election.” Campaigns and Elections Magazine. 1 April 2004. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Kuffner, Charles. Election 2011. Off the Kuff. OfftheKuff.com. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Mayoral History. The City Of Houston. www.houstontx.gov. n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
Oaklander, Mandy. (2011). Transgendered Woman Jenifer Rene Pool Announces Her City Council Candidacy. Houston Press Blog. houstonpres.com. 11 Febr. 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2011.