We joined Color of Change for two important missions in 2016. Firstly, we wanted to effect criminal justice reform by replacing county prosecutors and district attorneys who had failed to hold police accountable with public servants who would. Secondly, we endeavored to use those races to test messaging strategies so that we and allied organizations would be better prepared to impact more races in the future.
Early in the year, we our targeted Cook County voters into four groups, including a control group, so that we could test if social pressure messaging, persuasion messaging, or a combination of the two yielded better results. We learned a lot, and we also helped Kim Foxx defeat incumbent State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez in the March 15th primary.
During the general election we tried similar tests agains Republican incumbents. In Texas’ Haris County, which includes Houston, we were able to help Kim Ogg defeat incumbent District Attorney Devon Anderson by focusing on her reputation for running the office without transparency.