How can a first time candidate win an election on a shoe string budget while working a full time job?
In Bowie, Maryland, Roxy Ndebumadu had her work cut out for her. Hardworking from the start, this 26 year old was no stranger to tough fights.
As the daughter of a first generation immigrant from Nigeria, Roxy suffered from Erb’s palsy which resulted in her left arm being paralyzed. Refusing to let this slow her down, she grew up and began working at the age of thirteen in order to help her mother pay the bills. Along the way she was met with many harsh words from others and was the victim of domestic abuse, but she says these experiences have made her stronger as an adult.
“Growing up with no one to fight for me taught me to fight for myself.” — Roxy
Determined to succeed, she continued to work full-time to pay her way through college. At Howard University she took part in one of the largest technology implementations across the Health Division. Upon graduation she joined Microsoft to manage a team of technical advisors, and has pursued philanthropic work to help other survivors of domestic abuse.
“That’s when I learned how to combine the power of technology and sheer hard work to solve problems and enhance people’s lives.” — Roxy
Roxy’s passion for connecting with people and experience exploring new technology eventually led her to RumbleUp. She realized that personal, peer-to-peer (P2P) texting was the perfect tool to reach people when she decided to run for City Council. The timing also happened to be perfect on our end since we had just launched a new version of our platform specifically focused on enabling local candidates get up and texting quickly (and affordably).
Through everything she had learned and experienced in her life, Roxy had a vision for a better Bowie and believed she was the right person to step up and take on the challenge. She saw P2P texting as a cost-effective solution to her most pressing problem: reaching everyone in her community with limited time and a small budget. Using our turnkey sign up feature, she got setup and rolling without needing to wait on our team to begin texting.
Roxy also took advantage of the best thing P2P texting offers, facilitating real human-to-human conversations. She used our platform to personally send out texts to hundreds of voters in her district, introducing herself as a candidate and kindly asking people to vote for her. Her message was heartfelt and struck a tone that resonated with voters because it accurately portrayed her character.
The most important thing that Roxy did was follow the best practice we’ve seen of responding to everyone who texted back, even the ones who texted back saying they would not support her!
By taking the time to reply and make it a two-way conversation, she solidified the votes of those who already supported her, and even managed to change a few minds who first responded back that they were not going to vote for her.
In one conversation, for instance, Roxy texted a woman who responded back very angrily, saying she was offended to receive such a text message.
Roxy promptly responded, apologizing to the woman and explained that the reason she was texting people was to ensure she was able to personally reach everyone in the district. Roxy went on to tell the woman how as a full-time employee, she had been worried she would not be able to reach everyone in person at their doors, so she sought out a solution in order to get in touch with everyone she was not able to talk to.
The woman took a bit of time with this, and finally responded back in a much friendlier tone saying that she looked Roxy up and had come to the conclusion she would be a great leader for Bowie, and that Roxy could count on her vote.
This is a perfect example of how effective P2P texting can be when done right. Roxy was able to change someone’s mind and solidify their vote just by being honest and replying back to them.
In another instance, on election day, someone walked up to Roxy at a voting location and said “So you’re the person who texted me!” Roxy braced herself. Then the person smiled and said, “Don’t worry, I voted for you!”
The time Roxy took to have conversations with people turned out to be time very well spent. Roxy ended up winning the election by just 16 votes! She texted with over 500 people in her community.
Roxy made history winning her seat as councilwoman, becoming the youngest woman elected to serve Bowie City Council.
This goes to show that taking the time to respond to people and putting in the effort to facilitate genuine back and forth voter engagement does pay off. Especially as Roxy’s election proves, every vote matters.
We are proud to have helped Roxy win the election by providing an easy way for her to connect with voters (who are now her constituents), and we look forward to seeing how she uses RumbleUp in her next election.
With RumbleUp you can create an account and get texting in under 15 minutes! Learn more or sign up to get started here.