SpeakEasy Spotlight: Shola Farber, The Tuesday Company

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SpeakEasy Spotlight: Shola Farber, The Tuesday Company

SpeakEasy is excited to launch our latest blog series: virtual interviews with some of our favorite innovators in the down-ballot political space. We’re proud to work alongside other innovators who are using technology to empower more Democrats to run for office, and win. Keep reading for our interview with Shola Farber about The Tuesday Company, down-ballot organizing, and her first memory from the voting booth.

Name: Shola Farber 

Company: The Tuesday Company

Current city: Fortunate to split my time between Austin, Washington, D.C. and New York City

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m the co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer of The Tuesday Company. While serving as a Michigan-based regional director for the 2016 Clinton Campaign, I saw how traditional organizing methods like phone-banking and door-knocking prevented us from reaching large groups of voters. This mid-20th century approach is impersonal, fails to account for the modern ways that Americans consume information, and leaves many citizens out of the political process. 

I co-founded The Tuesday Company to bring the best practices of community organizing online. Our mobile app, Team, allows nonprofits, unions, and campaigns to build digital communities that reach more people, increase civic engagement, and help movements build power.

 

What was your first experience in politics?

I have early childhood memories from the voting booth with my mom! Beyond actually voting, I learned the value of volunteering and serving the local community as a child living in a small, tight-knit community on Long Island. I grew up going to my local library to teach citizenship classes with my mother when I was a kid. 

 

Can you tell us a little bit about how your company can be used by down-ballot or first-time candidates running for office?

Down-ballot and first-time candidates need to organize their supporters long before election day. I believe that all good organizing is relational. Relational organizing is simply friends talking to friends about the things that they care about. It is the natural way to build relationships with members of your community, which is exactly what organizers do! Plus, it’s proven to be more impactful than outreach by strangers. Think about it: we’re more likely to try restaurants or check out new TV shows if recommended to us by friends and people we trust. Why wouldn’t it be the same with civic action? 

In our experience, digital community-building and friend-to-friend contact on Team by The Tuesday Company leads to engagement rates of over 80% and can be 20X more effective than traditional outreach methods, particularly among low-income, millennial, and minority groups. In our time of highly-contested elections, it has never been more important to engage every single voter. Team allows organizations to engage more people at once in a trackable, scalable way. 

 

What’s your favorite book/article/podcast/documentary you’ve seen recently about political trends or innovations in politics?

The Victory Lab for those interested in progressive campaigns and data.

 

How do you feel Tuesday Company can help campaigns adapt to a COVID-19 voter contact world?

We’re fostering a community of practitioners sharing best practices, based on years of experience building strong online organizing programs. Check it out, and let me know if you’d like to contribute at organizingwhilecorona.com.

 

What’s your favorite small business in your city? 

In Austin, my favorite local spot is Lucha’s Cantina. Compass Coffee is my favorite local business in DC. In NYC, Sunny & Annie’s Deli on the Lower East Side takes the prize thanks to their incredible sandwiches; and they’re open 24/7!

 

What’s your favorite “social distancing” activity?

I enjoy setting up daily breakfast video calls with friends who are living around the globe.

Thanks again to Shola Farber for chatting with us about powering down-ballot and first-time candidates and campaigns! For more digital tips and tricks on running for office, check out our e-books and be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.

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