Thursday, November 6, 2008

After action report

Within our community it's time for a little After Action Reporting. This is something we tend to get confused with blamestorming--but we have to know what went wrong.

Specifically, we need to explore why a strategy that was reliant on polls of voters being accurate could be executed without anyone raising that we know voters lie. The Bradley Effect is dead, but the Wisconsin Effect is still with us.

Hiding from the attacks on our families, behind a comparison to interracial marriage* and pleas for fairness, could only have worked if we were ahead outside the margin of error plus the undecideds. Whoever planned this gets sent back to sophomore year Marketing Statistics.

I'm tempted to rant on the racial aspects of the incompetence, which was perpetrated as far as I can tell by white men, but will say this: You do not need to be black to know that Obama's presence on the ballot was going to drive turnout way up among black people, and that therefore they might represent a larger portion of the voters than your model predicts and that might want to try doing outreach in Oakland's bazillion churches!

Have a damn hat sale as a fundraiser, half the proceeds for the church's action fund, make custom designs by SOMA guys, put that auction in the East 14th AME and you're making connections with voters who get to see who we are and what our lives are like.

*Loved the Samuel L. Jackson ad. But that knife cuts both ways. Yes, this is a lot like interracial marriage, which Oakland's church ladies LOVE so damn much that had they been polled, their response to the statement 'Marriages between blacks and whites were once illegal in CA' would probably have been 'Good!'--but apparently no one asked them. Why associate ourselves with something that everyone doesn't actually agree on, when anymore the strongest adherents to the statement 'I'd prefer that my children marry within our race' are going to be...people of color and immigrants. Exactly the people whose votes we wanted to move. So in the After Action Report: Did a conversation happen in which someone raised this objection and it was addressed, or was there no one in the room who knew to raise it?

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