Sherman Hardy, a US Air Force veteran is running for office with military-style precision in Maryland.
Sherman is the underdog candidate in the race for County Executive in Prince George’s County, Maryland against a well funded incumbent. How does a progressive challenger tackle such long odds? Military-style planning to understand community concerns and better technology to respond quickly to concerns.
Hardy swung into action when he heard that the Prince George’s County Public Schools Board was planning to close two Community Based Classrooms (CBC) schools. These schools are popular and vital to the community as they serve risk youth, dropouts, and the homeless, foster, pregnant teens and returning citizens. Hardy decided to rally community support against these school closures while also building contact lists of potential supporters for his campaign. This blog explains how he did this in a day using mostly free apps.
- Create a rapid response video to raise visibility about the impending school closures
- Flyers with Enhanced QR Codes to conduct surveys and assemble a contact list
- Online petition for community members to lobby the school board and build a contact list
- Share talking points to use at school board hearings and on Zoom calls in a free teleprompter
Rapid response video
Hardy created a rapid response 50 second video with the free Lumen5 app in an hour. His video includes a 10 second video clip from a local news broadcast and details on the need to save CBC schools from Twitter. He used royalty-free videos and sound tracks from Lumen5 in his video. Hardy shared the video with students, parents and community members through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
- Make your own fundraising video for free
- Make videos with free app, royalty-free video clips and soundtracks
Build contact lists
Hardy designed a flyer with an Enhanced QR Code to conduct a short survey and collect the respondent’s contact information when they scan the code. This approach is better than directing people to a website because it lets you track who responded and collect information from them automatically. Different flyers use different codes in order to track which issue the respondent cares the most about. All the survey results and contact information is saved in a database automatically.
- Infobots help the needy find food banks and clinics while building contact lists
- Boost door hangers with QR Codes to get more responses
- Survey community concerns during COVID by crowdsourcing
Petition drives to build contact lists
Hardy created a petition with the free Movement.Digital app to encourage parents to demand the school board protect the Community Based Classrooms. The online petition is shared as a link on social media. It launches an email with subject line, addressee and the message already filled out so a resident only has to click send. The school board officials receive individual emails from the people who click on the petition link while Hardy gets a list of all the petition signers automatically as well.
- Use Petitions To Harness Outrage And Build Contact Lists
- Lost your unemployment benefits? Petition your senator to #SaveThe600
Talking points for students and parents
Sherman created talking points on the urgent need to save Community Based Classes. These talking points were loaded in the free BigStage Teleprompter app and shared as a link on Facebook and Instagram. This lets people speaking before school officials and with local process have the facts and talking points scroll by as they are speaking over Zoom or WebEx. Sherman updates the talking points so community members have the latest version of the talking points in their own free teleprompter to use on a phone or laptop, or print them.
Sherman Hardy is a veteran of the US Air Force, Emergency Management specialist, businessman, homeowner and community activist. He’s running to serve as the next County Executive in Price George County after working on social-economic, food justice, veterans, LGBTQ and affordable housing issues for years. Sherman has been lauded by President Obama for his tireless commitment in service to veterans. During the pandemic, successfully petitioned the Governor to allow the usage of Remote Notary/Signing so that official documents could still be notarized and recorded.
TakeAway: Money and incumbency shouldn’t determine who gets elected. Better, affordable technology is a campaign equalizer so the best candidate wins.
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