Caution: Beware of
Conflicts of Interest
Governmental or quasi-governmental agencies, including municipal authorities, should avoid hosting or sponsoring activities for political candidates. Coalition members, such as businesses, community or civic groups, labor unions, and independent special interest groups, should take the lead in planning such events to avoid any potential or perceived conflict of interest.
Elections at all levels of government often help draw public interest and media attention to specific issues. During campaigns, candidates focus their attention on issues they believe are of greatest concern to the voters. This is where your coalition can be most successful. By demonstrating that a diverse group of voters cares about public transportation, the coalition can help push transit-related issues to the forefront of public debate. Early communications during a campaign can also help lay the groundwork for a strong relationship with the candidate and his or her staff after the election.
Some tips for communicating with candidates:
- Be specific about what you want a candidate to support or oppose.
- Provide candidates with detailed information about the coalition, its members and public transportation issues. Be sure to include easy-to-understand charts, numbers and statistics that candidates may find useful when discussing the issues publicly.
- Provide personal stories. Candidates like to personalize their messages and talk about real people. Offer to help candidates locate individuals who can testify about their own experiences and how important public transportation has been to them.
- Invite candidates to address the coalition or a business, labor or community group. Be sure to create an event that meets the candidate’s needs, your coalition’s needs, and is conducive to media coverage.