SEA Fundraising Workshop - Sarah Steward

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SEA Fundraising Workshop - Sarah Steward

  1. 1. MESSAGING AND FUNDRAISING FOR THE SCIENTIST-CANDIDATE Sarah Steward, Rush Holt for Congress
  2. 2. RUSH HOLT ON SCIENCE & POLITICS <ul><li>“ I think the most important lesson I learned from [my role models] is that you don’t have to compromise your intellectual integrity or your science to advocate. Scientists by temperament seem to avoid political activism. But they don’t have to, nor should they. I’m not saying everybody should be an activist any more than everybody should be a scientist. But we could benefit from more scientist-activists or activist-scientists, and I think we would benefit more from having more scientists in politics and of this psychological chasm, they choose not to. They believe that in the House of Representatives. I’ve spoken often of the &quot;two cultures&quot; as defined by C.P. Snow way back in the 1950s: There are humanists and there are scientists, and in this country we have carried that division to the extreme. There really is a chasm. And so most of my colleagues in Congress will say, &quot;Well, I can’t understand science; I’m not a scientist; you have to be really smart to be a scientist.&quot; Let me assure you, there are many members of Congress who are smarter than I am who are perfectly capable of understanding the scientific components of the policy issues before Congress. But because science is for scientists. And that’s actually dangerous.” </li></ul>
  3. 3. RUSH HOLT ON SCIENCE & POLITICS (TAKE TWO) <ul><li>“ Science seems somewhat remote to most people…remember the House of Representatives is nothing if not representative. And generally speaking, the representatives are very smart, very good at what they do. But they represent the hopes and fears and general understanding of the public in general. So I think, again, that science is seen as something of an interest group. And what we would like to do is help people understand that science not only can improve the thinking of individuals, the citizenship of individuals...but will contribute to our economic growth.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. A LITTLE HISTORY… <ul><li>Holt graduated with a B.A. degree in physics from Carleton College in Minnesota, and holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from New York University. </li></ul><ul><li>Holt served as a faculty member at Swarthmore College from 1980 to 1988 where he taught physics, public policy, and religion courses. During that time, he also worked as a Congressional Science Fellow for U.S. Representative Bob Edgar of Pennsylvania. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1987 until 1989, Holt headed the Nuclear and Scientific Division of the Office of Strategic Forces at the U.S. Department of State. </li></ul><ul><li>From 1989 until his successful congressional campaign in 1998, Holt was the Assistant Director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory at Princeton University </li></ul>
  5. 5. A LITTLE MORE HISTORY… <ul><li>1996 – Finished in third place in the Democratic party primary </li></ul><ul><li>1998 – Ran again, won the primary, won the general election by a 51–48% margin, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district in two decades </li></ul><ul><li>2000 – Challenged by former Republican Congressman in the 2000 election; won by less than 1,000 votes </li></ul>
  6. 6. MESSAGING <ul><li>“ To be honest, science was not much of a factor in it. I would talk about what a scientist could bring to Congress, but issues of science did not seem to move most voters. Occasionally, I'd meet a voter who said he'd like to see someone in Congress who “really understood quantum mechanics.’” But most people cared more about health care, Social Security, education -- issues that they felt affected their daily lives, and I tried to address those.” </li></ul>
  7. 8. FUNDRAISING <ul><li>Q. In your campaign, you received contributions from 14 Nobel Prize winners. Did they support you because you're likely to put science issues onto the legislative agenda? </li></ul><ul><li>A. “I must tell you, we didn't try to recruit Nobel Prize winners to my campaign. But word went out in the community that I was running, and some scientists told others and they gave. My campaign staff was very excited by these contributors and they wrote them a letter and asked if it was O.K. to use their names. My staff picked up on that . . . just like they picked up on the fact that I'd been on ''Jeopardy'' six times.” </li></ul>
  8. 9. QUESTIONS? <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>(609) 278-0800 </li></ul><ul><li>www.rushholt.com </li></ul>

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