Mondaire Jones Democratic Primary 2020, New York CD17
Real Life Experiences
In 2020, we helped elect Mondaire Jones, one of the first two gay Black men to Congress, with his Democratic primary win in New York’s CD17. On top of this win, Mondaire was running against a billionaire’s son with seemingly endless contributions and another candidate backed back by the nation’s largest Democratic political action committee, EMILY’s List, and he prevailed despite being WILDLY outspent. Mondaire’s persuasion program focused on his real-life experience and his authentic origin story. Because of Mondaire’s childhood and adolescence growing up, we knew that speaking to his childhood could only strengthen his campaign. It wasn’t about being gay, coming from a single-parent household, or even graduating from Harvard Law; rather this was about a boy who grew into a man who had lived experiences similar to every other person who would vote him into office. Using his authentic story to activate voters would be the key to pushing his mail program to the height of success.
Speaking to Voters
In a five-way primary at the height of the pandemic, this eight-piece program spoke to voters honestly and with Mondaire’s own voice. Again we were tasked with activating voters at the height of the pandemic and even more so in a state and area that were under strict lockdown orders. Getting creative with pieces had to be on the top of our list. Laying out Mondaire’s compelling story into the eight-piece mail program allowed for his voice to come through.
That voice relayed messages of compassion and understanding mixed with assurance that he understood what voters were going through. This allowed us to also tell voters about his Democratic values and his ability to deliver on behalf of the voters. Because of the timing of the presidential primary vote, we knew that there would be an increased voter turnout. This led to three distinct voter groups being targeted with an emphasis on persuasion that increased name recognition.