CfER CHAPTER GUIDELINES
PURPOSE OF CHAPTERS
The purpose of CfER Chapters is to promote PR and IRV in counties and cities in California. Chapters advocate and educate for IRV and PR, and look
to increase the use of IRV and PR in the communities and in their county. In addition, when there is key legislation at the state
level, they work in their county to lobby their representatives to support the legislations.
ORGANIZATION OF CHAPTERS
- Chapters have a Coordinator or two Co-Coordinators.
- Coordinators keep communication going, and suggest or simply pick projects and activities for
the chapter to work on. Without a coordinator, we don't really have a chapter in that county.
- Note that Cfer is strictly non-partisan. Chapters can take official postions on electoral reform proposals. They
cannot make endorsements on non-electoral refor proposals, or for candidates for office.
CREATING A NEW CHAPTER
To create a new chapter, simply send us an email telling us your name, county, and that you are willing to coordinate
or co-coordinate a chapter in your county. The State Chapter Coordinator will get back to you promptly.
THE STATE CHAPTER COORDINATOR
This is a person in CfER whose job it is to help you succeed. You can talk with him or her to learn how to do things, to get access to resources,
to find someone who has successfully done things you want to do, who will give your reminders if you want them, etc. You can email this person
at firstname.lastname@example.org, and then once you have met each other, talk via phone, text, or whatever other method works for you.
SUGGESTIONS FOR CHAPTER COORDINATORS
The list below is a suggestion. If you don't know what to do, follow this list.
But of course, you should make any and all changes that make sense for you and your communities.
IMPORTANT!: If you would like any assistance with any item at all, contact the State Chapter Coordinator
- You need an email list, or the equivalent. You really must be able to reach supporters in your county very easily when you need to.
You can start with members and ex-members of CfER, add in other people you know in your county, and grow this list over time.
- Think about your long term goal: To get cities in your county to use IRV and PR.
Put your thoughts on paper or in your computer.
Ask yourself or find out which cities are charter cities?
Which cities would be most likely to change to IRV and/or PR?
How might you and your chapter convince this city to use IRV or PR?
Discuss your thoughts with others in your area, and with the State Chapter Coordinator, and with other Chapter Coordinators.
- You really need tabling materials: a table, a sign, and literature.
- Begin having discussions with people over coffee, tea, or even over the phone.
Note: It is suggested you not call general meetings of your chapter. This may seem counterintuitive, but we've found that normally people
don't like to go to these kinds of meetings, so it achieves nothing and simply discourages people. However, it is fruitful to have smaller
meetings with people working on specific projects, to connect and pick people's brain, to energize people, etc. Bigger discussions can happen
- Find out as much as you can about the election machines used in your county. Try to make some contacts and friends among the staff people
that run elections in your county. This is normally the county Registrar of Voters.
- At this point, you can start doing some activities and taking on some projects. A good activity is anything that is educational,
energizes people and/or makes any progress at all towards your goals.
Here are some common projects and activities:
- Tabling at events or at well-trafficked places. Be sure to have a sign-up list there!
- Speaking to groups and classes about IRV and PR. Ask groups to endorse the use of IRV and PR. Ask schools to start
using it in their elections!
- Lobbying elected officials and other people to endorse the use of IRV and PR. Keep a list of endorsers!
- Work to get the county to get new machines, or to upgrade their current machines, so that IRV and PR can be used in
- If CfER has statewide legislation going, or if FairVote has national legislation going, getting commitments from your
elected representatives to support this legislation is extremely important and valuable to the movement.
It is extremely important that you regularly do activities, and that you invite others to join you. If your chapter never does anything,
it is rather hard to educate people and to move your communities towards IRV and PR.
However, don't beat yourself up when life gets in the
way -- we are only human, and we are volunteers, so we do as much as we can. After things settle down, you can get back to the incredibly
important and tranformative work of moving our communities and our world to more inclusive and effective election systems, such as
IRV and PR.