So I got up early to be a part of the Equality Summit, an event involving community leaders in planning the next steps to winn back marriage equality in California.
The first meeting was with:
Staff and Executive Committee of Let California Ring (Geoff Kors & Vaishalee Raja)
Staff and Executive Committee of, and Experts on, NO on 8 campaign and (Chad Griffin, Yvette Martinez, Sarah Reece, Lorri Jean, Kate Kendall, Geoff Kors, Delores Jacobs, Marty Rouse, Chris Maliwat, and Julie Davis)
Staff from Marriage Equality USA (Pamela Brown, Policy Director and Molly McKay, Media Director)Proposition 8 Post-Election California Voter Survey, presented by David Binder, David Binder Research
About 200 or more folks were there, eager to hear about what went right and what went wrong.
Some of the info was pretty interesting. Like the 'No' campaign knew the polling results were not great for weeks, however they didn't release them until 5 weeks before the election. They felt that if they did release them, the 'Yes' campaign would use that info as a force against us.
Folks in the room were not happy about that. Most of us thought if we knew earlier we would have worked harder. Because we didn't hear about this, we thought were safe.
Lorri Jean talked about the issues they had with the professional consultants. Apparently, it was their(consaultants) fault with their faulty advise and strategies. But that came off as an excuse, maybe the 'No' folks should have kept a watchful eye on these professionals at all times.
Other issues that popped up were: Where's the money from the campaign? Who's going to hold the 'No' campaign accountable, and will they reach beyond their private circle for help.
The big story came from Molly McKay and Pamela Brown from Marriage Equality USA. Their passion and power point really hit home with the audience. They presented a power point that proved that maybe they should have been on the 'No' campaign.
Their research showed that there should have been outreach to LGBT communities of color, clergy and religious groups, also they should have used LGBT families and people in their ads, more use of grassroots groups and better outreach to Central Valley. The truth probably hurt the 'No' campaign, but it was good to hear.
People were wired after their presentation and demanded more answers from the 'No' campaign. Lorri Jean wasn't feeling it and became a little testy after a while. A little later, cards were passed out to every table for questions for the panel.
At first, they wasn't going to address the questions right away, until the audience demanded that every question get answered on a website or some form of media. The 'No' campaign and the rest of panel agreed to follow up. I have to say the crowd were fierce, they wanted explanations and answers, and made sure that each issue of the failed campaign was addressed.
David Binder, from David Binder Research talked about the Prop 8 Post-Election California Voter Survey.
- We learned that we lost in LA county, there were more support for the 'Yes' campaign than 'No'.
- Women opposed it, Men supported it (of course).
- More educated folks voted no over yes.
- The message that worked for the 'Yes' campaign was: marriage being taught in schools.
- 9% of the 'Yes' voters now feel that Prop 8 is unfair and would vote differently.