Highlights of the Action Fund’s 2022 electoral activity

Despite the fact that elections are often portrayed like sport, at 50CAN Action Fund we see elections as one part of a broad set of tactics we use to achieve our overall objectives, which is to advance laws and policies that put the needs of kids first. We secured 26 policy wins throughout our network in 2022, and we are now poised to go further in 2023 with the foundation of our political engagement.

The highlights of our 2022 electoral activity include:

  • We were involved in just shy of 100 races throughout the network in 2022 with 75% of supported candidates winning their election.

  • In New Mexico, advocates recruited and supported four new elected members of the 10 member Public Education Commission, a statewide charter school authorizer. Combined with the 2020 elections, the team had a hand in electing 7 of 10 members. This was accomplished through excellent candidate recruitment, a fundamental staple of any strong political operation.

  • In Tennessee, legislators made tough votes in favor of educational choice and a new student-based funding model, so it was critical that advocates stood by their friends this election cycle. The bipartisan effort resulted in the team winning 17 of 19 competitive seats. In a joint effort with TennesseeCAN Action Fund’s coalition partners, this resulted in gaining five State House seats for educational choice supporters in the cycle, including defeating two incumbents who opposed school choice in the primary.

  • In Georgia, the team used their grassroots organizing and political mobilization skills to make 45,486 touches on behalf of candidates in the primary and general elections through doors and phone calls. These were conducted by 46 highly-skilled parent advocates who were able to effectively build support among other parents as a result. They helped make a difference in two tight elections–one for a Democratic champion and the other for a Republican.

  • In Delaware, between school board and legislative elections, 13 of the 18 supported candidates won their elections. The highlights included defeating an incumbent in one school board race and doing polling this fall that identified a legislative champion as highly vulnerable in the general election. The team conducted independent expenditures on his behalf and he won one of Delaware’s most narrow races. That’s exactly the kind of data-driven political advocacy the 50CAN Action Fund aims to bring to every state in the network.

  • In Hawaii, the team conducted a thorough survey of candidates, hosted the first debates of the gubernatorial election, helped candidates through door-to-door engagement and worked closely with the campaign of Governor-Elect Josh Green.