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Democratic Municipal Officials Digest
Week of 6/15/2020


DMO Update

  • We have upcoming state chapter calls for Maryland (1pm Wednesday) and Michigan (4pm Thursday). To join, or learn more about starting your own state chapter, email
  • Couldn’t attend the first Municipal Mondays with Rep. Maxine Waters and Mayor Van Johnson? Stay on the lookout this summer for more Monday webinars featuring top Democrats, policy experts, and DMOs.

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Mark Schaur of Winning Connections

Telephone Town Halls: Safely Interacting with Constituents and Voters at Scale

As our country continues to adjust to life under Covid-19—coupled with nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd and racism in America— telephone town halls are an ideal tool to help elected leaders and candidates at all levels safely and conveniently communicate with constituents and voters at scale. Telephone town halls, essentially, are your own “radio call-in show,” controlled and moderated by you and your team. In the era of video conferencing, we’ve added a video livestream option to our traditional town halls, which place out-bound calls to a landline universe.

With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, Winning Connections-hosted telephone town halls are helping Democratic leaders engage in interactive conversations with constituents and voters at a time when in-person meetings are limited, if not impossible. The public is filled with uncertainty, and there is no better way to address their concerns and keep people informed than through live, interactive town halls.

During this period of social distancing and public wariness about “returning to normal,” we have seen an enormous surge in telephone town hall participation rates. And like the New York Times reported in April with the story “Surprising Poll Results: People Are Now Happy to Pick Up the Phone,” this isn’t a fluke. We are having longer conversations with more engaged voters who desire real conversations about the issues.

Winning Connections has facilitated telephone town halls this year for governors, mayors, U.S. senators, interest groups, and candidates.  At this year’s Campaigns & Elections Reed Awards, Winning Connections took home the award for “Best Telephone Town Hall” for a town hall we ran for Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan which featured Governor Gretchen Whitmer. If you’d like to learn more, contact me at or (269) 209-3940.

Mark Schauer is a former Battle Creek (MI) City Commissioner, MI state Representative and Senate Minority Leader, Member of Congress (MI-07), and 2014 Democratic nominee for Governor.