Mary Anne Hering, Working Class Party candidate for the Michigan State Board of Education, discussed the practical lines of the Working Class Party campaign, at a Meet-the-Candidates meeting on September 23, 2018. Her speech is transcribed below.
I’ve already said I feel like slapping someone on the State Board of Education in Lansing. I feel like slapping people on the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that can take another 300 million dollars away from the public schools in Detroit to give to the multi-billion-dollar Ford Motor Company for its railroad station. But, no, I’m not going to talk about that. You already know what I would say.
I’m going to talk about our campaign. And first, I want to talk to all the candidates. You, we, the candidates are the best bet for us to get a decent vote. All of us have friends, family, co-workers, neighbors. We have to talk to them. People get excited when they know someone like themselves who is running.
Ask people to take things. Get used to these brochures, get used to taking a lot of them, carry them. Ask people to take them, not just for themselves, but five or ten to give to people THEY know. It’s the main way to have something to show people – whether it’s the pictures or the program. But as Gary said, when we are out there discussing with people, discuss these ideas – they are not unrealistic. Absolutely, they are normal, natural. Or, as a friend of mine said, “Why settle for crumbs when we bake the whole cake?” (Applause)
We need to ask people for money; this is important. We’re not talking necessarily volume. We need to pay for the campaign, of course, but asking for money is also a way to campaign. When we are out campaigning, or talking to people in our neighborhoods, workplaces, family, ask people to buy a button, ask people to wear a button. It’s a dollar towards the campaign, but any time people give money – what do we know – they’re invested. We know people give money to all the different organizations they are involved in. Working Class Party can be their organization, people can give money to it – but we have to ask.
And a word for the rest of you all, who are not the candidates. It’s the same thing: friends, family, co-workers and neighbors, too. Try talking with people wherever you go – you all go to CVS, Krogers, the laundromat, the Post Offic. Have something in your back pocket or purse to give people. Get into conversations with people – you can say, have you heard about this, the Working Class Party? People talk all the time about what they are going through. You’re going into Office Depot, I’ll use this as an example. You can get into conversation with everybody. Teachers are there, trying to figure out – 92% of teachers pay out of their pocket for school supplies. Parents or people responsible for children are there trying to figure out how to pay for all the things on that list. Parents have to pay for more and more supplies for school – supplies that should be free as part of public education. That’s what the word PUBLIC means. Or should mean. (Applause)
How did we get our votes the last time? We got almost a quarter million votes. How was that possible? We didn’t get much media coverage. We had very little money. But our name, it meant something – Working Class Party. We got votes in places where we never campaigned. People saw the name of our party on the ballot – Working Class Party – and they said, “That’s what we need, a party of our class, the working class.”
But something else really important. It was all the work that many of you sitting in this room did: talking to other people, posting information on your Facebook page, inviting our candidates into your churches, your clubs, your barbeques.
Yes, we campaigned in the streets. But what got us a big part of our 224,392 votes in 2016 – nearly a quarter of a million people – were all the people known by someone like you. I’m talking to you all. Someone like you. Some of you are new into this campaign, and you can hear what happened in 2016. You need to understand it depends on you also. It’s not some magic group out there – it’s you. It’s all of us in this room and who we are linked to. And all the people who hear us. That’s what will get us our votes this time, and this time we have eleven candidates instead of three.