The Hometown Project encourages cultural leaders from all walks of life to return to their hometowns with the goal of bringing attention to local campaigns and issues important to the community. The Hometown Project connects well known individuals, called Hometown Energizers, with local candidates running for city council, school board, state legislature and more. The overall goal is to provide an elevated platform in hometowns across America so that exciting local candidates have access to and can connect with a larger community. The Hometown Project helps garner an expanded audience for candidates, translating to candidate recognition and higher voter turnout which can really make a difference in small races that are often decided by hundreds of votes.
This dynamic forum will bring more candidates and constituents together and is a means to build an informed educated electorate for the 2018 midterm elections and beyond.
Across the United States, statehouses, school boards, and city councils have seen a massive influx in money and false advertising from SuperPACs, funded from outside of their own communities and often fueled with an anti-democratic, national agenda. Due to gerrymandering, redistricting, and other voter suppression initiatives, rural and suburban areas of this country have been besieged by these forces. The result has been that local voices across the political spectrum, regardless of party affiliation, have been drowned out and thus need an elevated platform to amplify their local needs, goals and priorities.
Mission And Concept
The Hometown Project seeks to bring positive energy to the local arena by strategically working with community leaders and enhancing their reach by introducing them to figures we call Hometown Energizers. These Energizers are notable individuals who hail from the community and who evoke a certain sense of pride. The Hometown Project works with local partner organizations, leaders and candidates to identify individuals who are excited to return to their hometowns to draw attention to local issues in a meaningful way.
We work with national and regional partners like People for the American Way, Planned Parenthood, and Run for Something, help to identity and align key candidates and districts with Energizers to advocate for causes and candidates both online and in person. These cultural leaders may endorse issues or promote local candidates running for city council, school board, state legislature and more. This unique approach garners an expanded audience for candidates that can really make a difference in small races that are often decided by hundreds of votes.
Campaigns and candidateS
The Hometown Project and our electoral partners support and endorse progressive, diverse candidates who are connected to their communities and have a proven record of constructive, positive work within their districts. We are promoting candidates who we believe will work on behalf of their community to seek solutions to help all of their constituents, and not to serve the interests of national organizations and agendas. We make a dedicated effort to ensure diversity of our candidates from many perspectives including gender, age, and ethnicity. Our goal is to ensure that our candidates are informed, balanced representatives and reflections of the community they serve.
In 2019, The Hometown Project will hone in on voter registration efforts and key races with state legislative and gubernatorial races like New Jersey, Virginia, Mississippi, Kentucky and Louisiana with the main goal of educating people about the importance of voting for local positions all the way down the ballot, local leaders that effect people’s lives on a daily basis.
In 2018, The Hometown Project focused efforts on local elections and GOTV efforts in key states including Arizona, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. We had over twenty well-known artists as volunteers who supported candidates and GOTV efforts in their Hometowns, including Mark Ruffalo in Wisconsin, Kate Walsh in Arizona, Danielle Brooks in South Carolina, Ron Livingston in Iowa, Molly Shannon in Ohio and more. The 2018 Energizers supported nearly 40 local candidates in their hometowns. Whether at a concert in Kentucky, a rally in Texas, or in videos on social media, the content created by these Hometown Energizers engaged and energized hundreds of thousands of voters in local communities. And perhaps most importantly- we have met some extraordinary candidates— young leaders in so many cities and towns across the country and they give new hope for the upcoming generation of leaders.
They are diverse individuals, women of color, leaders in the community, and these newly elected leaders will strongly and more accurately reflect the values and demographics of the communities they serve. In 2018, 21 of our candidates won and 15 came up short but by a lot less than in previous years.
We purposefully choose candidates in tough, competitive races, in order to maximize the potential impact of our Hometown Energizers. And yet even with losses, we made progress. Historically there are so many unopposed races, that sometimes just getting a new candidate in the race is progress. It gives thousands a choice and a chance to vote their values. And Hometown Energizers' support can help bolster the morale in these campaigns that are often an uphill battle.
Now more than ever before, we must find innovative ways to educate and empower visionary and progressive individuals to be active citizens and voters in their communities. The Hometown Project strives to provide the passionate people running for local office an active, engaged and energized electorate, excited to participate in the rewarding project of serving their community. Through individuals who have become well-known through their artistic, athletic and academic activities, The Hometown Project aims to distribute their energy and passion across the country, sparking change in towns and cities, school districts and counties throughout the nation.