Support a Local Ballot Measure


  • Advocate for a local ballot measure in your community.
  • Provide information for potential voters so they can make a better informed decision.

Ideal Outcomes

  • Voters who are more educated on the issue and more engaged in the local legislative process.
  • Ensuring that local ballot measures reflect community opinions.

Step-by-Step Guide

  1. Find out what measures are being considered:
    • Google!
    • Talk to the people or groups endorsing the measures.
    • Follow city council meetings – they approve what gets on the ballot, normally several months before the election.
  2. Find a team. Great places to start are:
    • Your city council or other elected officials.
    • People you know in your community.
    • People who are already on local boards, task forces, or commissions.
    • People who volunteer in your community.
  3. Tailor your actions and strategy to your community and issue.
    • Volunteers can help with things like fundraising, phonebanking, and canvassing (e.g. flyers, lawn signs, door-to-door visits) – ask the campaign leaders where they need help!
    • Get out there and take action!


  • Keep it personal.
    • Directly reach out to your neighbors to inform them about their ballot options.
    • Showcase prominent community members in your advertising – many people won’t be familiar with the issues, but a friendly, familiar face is a good starting point to win them over.
  • Incorporate the skills that volunteers bring.
    • People with a technical background can simplify data and create visual infographics (i.e. graphs, charts) to communicate complicated policy.
    • Community leaders can influence voters, be sure to connect with them and ask them to endorse the measure you’re supporting.


Article - February 5, 2023
Acting Locally on Abortion
Share this article

The debate around abortion is informed by science, medicine, and public health, as well as ethics. Many people with STEM backgrounds feel compelled to get involved. One way to do this is to have critical conversations with your friends, family, and other members of your community. We hope that the information in this post can serve as a guide for anyone looking to engage in this important policy discussion.

Article - December 18, 2022
Energy Engineer Helps Reduce Transportation’s Climate Impact
Share this article

Learn about how Arpit Soni uses his background in energy engineering to support efforts towards climate action in California and beyond.

Article - December 23, 2018
Policy's Last Mile
Share this article

On October 25, five scientists and engineers shared their insights on community engagement at an ESAL happy hour in Oakland, California. The event brought together leaders from across the San Francisco Bay Area who apply their expertise toward pressing problems in their neighborhoods.

Article - December 17, 2018
Fish Passage in Alaska
Share this article

Frankie Barker talks about how she helped write an ordinance that would require anyone building roads in Alaska's Matanuska-Susitna Borough to adhere to US Fish and Wildlife Service standards for fish passage when installing culverts.

Article - November 24, 2018
Transforming Political Campaigns with Technology
Share this article

Computer scientist and physicist Dave Leichtman has been involved in political technology for over ten years. He helped build a tech volunteer group in his state to connect tech-savvy individuals with campaigns. Now, he is the vice chair for technology and communications of the Democratic Party of Virginia.

Article - November 15, 2018
Milwaukee Area Science Advocates
Share this article

The Milwaukee Area Science Advocates (MASA) nonprofit grew out of the March for Science. MASA's mission–to increase scientific enthusiasm, understanding, and legislative value in the Milwaukee area–is achieved through a strong relationship with the community.

Article - July 23, 2018
Representing a State Student Delegation
Share this article

Ryan Coogan wrote to ESAL about participating in a nuclear engineering student delegation in Texas, where students met with politicians and nuclear industry stakeholders to discuss safety and security, environmental impacts, and politics.

Article - June 11, 2018
Meeting with a City Official
Share this article

In the second part of this month's "Postcard", Arti Garg describes a follow-up discussion she had with her city's economic development manager after offering public comments at a city council committee meeting. She wrote a one-page summary proposing that the city prioritize cleantech hardware in its development plan.

Article - June 11, 2018
Delivering Public Comments at a City Committee Meeting
Share this article

In this month’s “Postcard”, Arti Garg describes delivering public comments at a city council committee meeting.

Last Updated: Dec 30, 2018
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram