Locations: Statewide locations while phone canvass; preferred areas for door canvassing - Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Metro-Detroit
Canvasser: $17/hour, phone stipend, earned paid sick-time and mileage reimbursement
Michigan United is looking for canvassers to participate in a deep canvassing civic engagement program focusing on climate, criminal justice, immigration, voting rights, race, class, and the 2022 elections. Canvassers will be making statewide calls, with the possibility of going door to door, and will attempt to help voters understand major conflicts in society in more unifying ways, specifically around conflicted perspectives and unpacking worldviews that often keep us divided and fearful. As the election cycle progresses, canvassers will work with our sister organization, Michigan People's Campaign, to talk with voters about member-endorsed candidates. This program includes a field testing component that will utilize deep canvassing to engage thousands of Michigan voters in conversations about social and economic issues, in addition, speaking on local candidates. There may be opportunities for promotion to canvass lead or other leadership positions.
WHAT IS DEEP CANVASSING? Candid two-way conversations where canvassers ask voters to share voters’ own relevant, emotionally significant experiences and reflect on them in a dialogue.
Rather than telling voters why they should support a particular issue or candidate, deep canvassing draws on personal story and dialogue to create a transformative experience for both the voter and the canvasser. Canvassers will need to demonstrate skills in active listening, creating moments of empathy, and the ability to engage in potentially difficult conversations about social and economic issues with people who may disagree.
This position has a work week that includes Saturday mornings and afternoons, and weekday afternoons and evenings. Canvassers are expected to work 3-5 days per week. Hours and workdays may fluctuate based on COVID-19, weather, and progress towards goals.
Individuals who are interested in participating and learning the skills of deep canvassing but are unable to commit the time required for a paid position are encouraged to volunteer.
- The ability to have long conversations on the phone and face-to-face, once the weather gets warmer, with targeted voters on Saturday mornings and afternoons and weekday afternoons and evenings.
- Have multiple deep canvass conversations per shift.
- Track conversations in ThruTalk and/or MiniVAN [voter database].
- Debrief conversations on a daily basis with the canvass team and canvass lead.
- Participate in ongoing training to learn deep canvassing tactics and scripts.
- Listen without judgment so voters feel comfortable sharing their views honestly.
- Listen actively and ask follow-up questions.
- Be willing to share your own stories to help voters feel more comfortable.
- Connect around shared values based on common experiences.
- Train new volunteers to engage deeply with voters and community members using the tactic of deep canvassing, which incorporates compassionate curiosity and listening, storytelling, and assertiveness to move people on issues in the community.
- Fully vaccinated for COVID-19
- Excellent listening and communication skills, such as the ability to ask multiple follow up questions and elicit stories. Empathetic and motivational in conversation. Comfortable sharing stories about your own experiences.
- Capacity to listen without judgment. Ability to find common ground with people who have different opinions.
- Experience using ThruTalk and MiniVAN is a plus, but not required.
- Reliable computer and phone, valid driver’s license, auto insurance, a reliable vehicle.
- Personal connection to Michigan areas and/or social and economic issues preferred.
- Strong commitment to social, racial and economic justice, and passion for our issues.
- Serious about achieving qualitative and quantitative goals.
- Current Michigan United members and leaders will be prioritized.
- Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until positions are filled.
This position to start early August.
Michigan United is a statewide organization of community members and institutions fighting for economic and racial justice. We use the tools of community organizing, leadership training, advocacy, media work, and civic engagement to run strategic campaigns that win real change. We're committed to winning a better world for all of our communities, not just the privileged.
We are the largest community organizing group in the state, with offices in Detroit, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids and Flint. We represent 100 member community organizations.
Michigan United organizes along the following issue areas: immigrants’ rights, criminal justice reform, environmental justice, universal family care (including health, child care, elder care and paid sick time) and civic engagement. We work to build the capacity of community members who are directly impacted by these issues to lead and win concrete reforms that will change their own lives and shift the balance of power in our state.
Michigan United, along with Michigan People’s Campaign, our affiliated 501(c)(4), is serious about building long-term, political power with the aim of transforming our political and economic system into one that puts people and the planet first. Our main office is in Southwest Detroit, with additional offices in Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids, and Flint. As a racial and economic justice organization, we actively encourage individuals who are underrepresented on the basis of race, ethnicity, income and sexual orientation, as well as those who share the life experiences of the members we serve, to apply.