Amplify your voice

Demand better press representation and coverage for diverse candidates

Three tactics to urge the press to cover more diverse candidates and issues in San Francisco and across the country include:

  1. writing letters to the editor
  2. submitting op-eds
  3. contacting reporters directly to tell them what and who you want to see covered.

Contacting the media is a valid method to share your voice beyond your traditional networks like social media and family and friends. Media is a critical tool in our American democracy, and we all collectively own the freedom to access the press any time we want. We drafted some tips below for how to engage effectively with the press to get them to cover the issues you want to learn more about.

Pressure incumbent candidates to debate diverse voices

Often candidates running against a known challenger are silenced due to processes that allow them to be ignored by candidates currently holding the position. In our case, Nancy Pelosi has not debated an opponent in over 3 decades.

You can call Pelosi’s office—at either 415-556-4862 or 202-225-4965—to encourage her to defend her record and give Shahid Buttar a chance to be heard on where he stands on the issues.

We encourage you to retweet our message urging press outlets to host a debate and tag your favorite news outlet.

Potential outlets to tag include: @sfchronicle @SFGate @mercnews @KPIXtv @nbcbayarea @abc7newsbayarea @KTVU @KQED @sfbayview @MLNow @eBARnews

Leverage your connections

Your personal network is very important, and local orgs have a lot of sway when it comes to elevating diverse voices in our community. Ask national political organizations (e.g. Sunrise Movement) to endorse our campaign and others aligned for ensuring intersectionality approaches to challenges facing the nation.

Invite local political organizations (e.g. the League of Women Voters) to organize a debate with candidates of color like Shahid challenging those who have long-held institutional power in Washington. The only way that people are going to gain their voice is to demand it.

What is a letter to the editor or opinion piece (oped)?

Letters to the editors are often in response to articles that ran in the past, but they don’t necessarily have to be. Generally, you can use letters to the editor to agree or disagree with an article that has already run.

Oped means opposite editorial. Some newspapers have varying names for these types of submissions like commentary, forum, viewpoints, or ideas. Media outlets offer this space for the public to offer different or similar views from an outlet’s editorial editors. This is a method for you to get control over the message that you want to send in your own words.

Every media outlet has a standard protocol for accepting opeds and letters to the editor. Typically, guidelines can be found on the outlets’ websites. If uncertain, a good rule of thumb is to aim for 600-700 words in the length for an oped and 150-250 for a letter to the editor.

Tips for sending letters to the editors or opinion pieces

  • Determine what you want to say: We encourage you to write to the press about any issue that you want to talk about. For updates on where our campaign stands on the issues, visit our website: https://issues.shahidforchange.us/.
  • Be authentic: Speak in your own words and from your own heart.
  • Write well: Editors often make decisions to accept or decline after reading the first sentence, so that is the most important. Proofread for any grammatical errors.
  • Ensure a positive tone and a call to action. Do not bash any other candidates and always incorporate something positive that we can do in the piece.
  • Follow directions. Include your name, city, and state. Most editors prefer submissions directly in the body of the email rather than an attachment.  You will be contacted to verify that you are the author and are giving permission for it to run. Sometimes they require you to use an online form.
  • Don’t stop after the piece runs. Once the piece runs, share your success with friends and family and on social media! Notify us at [email protected], so we can celebrate your success too.

When should you send a letter to the editor?

Now. The elections are rapidly approaching, so the sooner the better.

For your convenience, we have identified links to submission guidelines to the top publications in San Francisco. You are welcome to submit to other outlets including websites of local television and radio stations. The Oped Project also has a free research tool for finding outlets and submission guidelines. If you need help with media guidelines, please contact [email protected].

Op-Ed contacts and guidelines for each outlet

San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chronicle Guidelines for LTEs and Opinion 

San Francisco Chronicle List of Newsroom Contacts

Contacts of note:

Trapper Byrne, Politics Editor, [email protected]

Joe Garofoli, Senior Political Writer, [email protected]

Mission Local

Mission Local 

Contacts of note:

Joe Eskenazi, [email protected]

Lydia Chavez, [email protected]

Bay Area Reporter

Bay Area Reporter Contact Information

Contact of note:

Matthew S. Bajko, Assistant Editor, [email protected]

Politico

Politico’s California Playbook

Contacts of note:

Carla Marinucci,  [email protected]

Jeremy B. White,  [email protected]

And many more…

San Francisco Examiner Guidelines for LTEs, Opinion, and News Tips

San Francisco Bay Times Guidelines for Submissions

SF Weekly Guidelines for News Tips and Letters to the Editor

Bayview Reporter Contact Information

La Opinión de la Bahía for opinion section

Richmond Review and Sunset Beacon contact details

Marina Times Contact Information

What else can I do?

Volunteer with our campaign!

Sign up to:

  • phonebank or textbank
  • deliver window signs to voters who want them
  • support socially-distanced outdoor voter outreach actions
  • host a virtual houseparty / Q&A (via Zoom) with Shahid and other candidates to introduce us to your friends

Donate

As Politico notes, fundraising is one of the greatest barriers of entry for diverse Congressional candidates.

Join our movement to change Congress

Our campaign is powered by people like you. We don’t take any corporate donations, so every contribution matters. Thank you for your support!

If you’ve saved payment info with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately.

Vote early! Vote often!

The San Francisco Department of Elections has the best information on how and where to vote in the upcoming election.

Beyond the election

  • Support policies that reduce racial injustices and get money out of politics in addition to efforts that make it easier for people to vote
  • Support campaigns of other candidates of color who align with your vision and ideals
  • Volunteer with community-based organizations
  • Build capacity in your community to support a general strike
    • Meet your neighbors
    • Grow & share food
    • Transportation (eg carpool, rideshare, bike repair) collaboratives
  • Read, listen to and support diverse voices like: