Thank you for hosting a Swing Left House Party! Together, we can take back the House in the 2018 midterm elections and reject the Trump agenda. We have a lot of work to do, so thank you for being a part of this movement.
In This Guide
- Bring your friends and other Swing Left members together and get them excited about working to win your nearest Swing District. Creating real connections is the most important step towards building a movement, so take the time at your house party to get to know each other.
- Create an action calendar to plan out the work you’ll do together, whether you’re near or far from a Swing District.
- Review the agenda below and share it with anyone helping run the party.
- Read over the Swing Left Strategy and Actions document so you're familiar with it.
- Prepare and arrange your space (chairs, materials, etc.).
- Ensure wifi is working, charge your laptop or computer, and bring it to the party.
- Buy or make snacks and beverages if you’d like to provide some (although it’s not required). Feel free to ask your attendees to bring a snack to share.
- Write up the agenda and party goals on big paper for everyone to see (butcher paper or sticky chart paper works best).
- Gather materials: sign-in sheet, printed agendas for your guests, pens, name tags.
Documents to Print
- House Party agenda (1 per guest)
- Sign-in sheet (print 1 copy)
- Swing District Strategy & Actions two-pager (print a few to share)
- District Primer (use the drop-down menu below to find the primer for your District:
- Event Planning Worksheet
These are example times, feel free to edit to whatever hour you’d like to start your party.
8:00 pm Arrival and Introductions
- Give people a few minutes to mix and mingle.
- When you are ready to begin, start by introducing yourself and your motivation for having the party. Then briefly review the agenda.
- Ask everyone to quickly find a partner (or just turn to the person next to them). For ~10 minutes ask them to share (pro tip: tell your guests when it’s been 5 minutes so they take turns and don’t run out of time) :
- What strengths do you bring to doing this work?
- What is motivating you to do this work right now?
8:20 pm Campaign
- Overview of Swing Left and the importance of the House.
- Play this Swing Left Overview Video (this was filmed for our March 4th Kickoff parties, but the content should still be helpful)
- Review the Swing Left Strategy & Actions document together
- Review of your District Primer--You can find it on your District Resource Page
8:40 pm Make a Plan
As a group, check out the online District Calendar (Find it on your District Resource Page) to see if there are other events already be happening in your Swing District. Then use the Action Planning Worksheet to plan your own events. Try to schedule at least one Swing District Visit a month. If not everyone in the group can go each month, that’s okay, different people should take the lead on Swing District visits.
8:50 pm Build the movement
- Everyone: Invite 5 friends to your event or to join Swing Left
- Right now, together, send a quick text or email to 5 friends that says:
- Hey, I just joined Swing Left’s campaign to take back the House in 2018. We’ll be heading to our nearest Swing District every month this year. I’d love to keep you updated and have you join us. You can sign up SwingLeft.org. Let me know if you’re in!
8:55 pm Closing
- Review next steps:
- When are your first couple of Swing District visits and who is taking the lead? Is everyone clear on the commitments they made and when they need to be done by?
- Do a quick closing: Ask each person to share their biggest hope for 2018 in one sentence (and their name again, if it is a big group!).
- Thank everyone for coming and remind them of the overall goal: together we’ll take back the House in 2018 and stop the Trump agenda!
- Be inclusive and connect with guests. Talk to each person when they arrive and sign them in. Introduce people to each other and genuinely get to know people by asking a few questions.
- Delegate tasks to other people. Give people roles so that you’re not the only one doing all the talking. Ask someone to lead the calendar-creation section or to help review next steps.
- Stay on schedule. Start on time and follow your party agenda. It’s fine to keep questions and answers short so that you keep moving and don’t keep people too late.
- Get specific commitments for upcoming activities. Don’t be afraid to ask for a lot.
- Be positive and constructive. Keep the tone upbeat—this is an exciting, fun, and participatory event!
- Show everyone what Swing Left's movement to take back the House looks like! Share a group pic, video, or anecdote from your party on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook (or all three!) with #swingleft #GA06 (substitute your Swing District in that second hashtag, of course). Swing Left will retweet/repost!