Friday, July 22, 2011

Justin-Mila or Justinila?

Are Justin and Mila secretly dating?  Or is that just publicity for their new movie Friends With Benefits? And, by the way, will Snooki appear on Dancing With the Stars?


I'm so sorry... this is a naughty ploy to make you look. I won't do it again, promise. My actual subject today is a fundraiser for Oakland Mayor Jean Quan at our house on Monday night. She will be talking about the future of Oakland. Fair enough, police pensions and budget cuts are a tough thing to hear about. But it should be a nice evening in our living room, mixing with neighbours over a glass of wine and dinner. It's a "unique opportunity" (sorry that was a bit much) to ask Jean Quan the tough questions or even about the potholes outside your house.

But we just can't get people to come. We were hoping for 50 to 70 people, raising about $5,000. So far we have 15 yes's,  45 no's, 1 maybe and 110 not replied.

How are we going to do it? I would love your advice.

You might have met Jean here and here.  She is a hard-working do-er, a "civil servant" not a politician, who has given back 25% of her salary, $46,000, because of the budget crisis. I wanted to host this evening as Jean was left with a $100,000 debt from her campaign. I really think in the future each politician, local or national, should be given a specific campaign fund.  Though this would have to be funded by taxes, it would help eliminate the incidence of politicians working to serve the interests of their campaign backers. We are asking for a donation of $100 per couple for drinks and dinner at our house, Jean Quan will talk and people will have the opportunity to chat with her and voice concerns.

But I get it. I totally get it. People want to give their spare money to charities. And then we are asking people to come out on a Monday night - down-time with family or alone is prized and let's face it - the lure of relaxing in front of "Million Dollar Decorators" is pretty strong.

Firstly we sent out an Evite to 160 people using this recent photo of Jean (far left) with Michelle Obama in Oakland. We wrote:

"Please come to our house to meet Mayor Jean Quan. This is a great opportunity to meet the Mayor, express your views and ask tough questions. Jean will talk about the recent budget negotiations and her plans for Oakland. We will provide drinks and a light supper"

Photo via Lailan Huen on Facebook

Using Evite may have been a mistake:  efficient but so ubiquitous as to be seen as impersonal, a bit spam-y and easy to ignore when sent out to large numbers.  We didn't "hide" the replies, so I suspect the more "No's" we received, maybe the easier it is to say "No."

We then decided to distribute a flier using this photo.

Kevin and our friend Sally took about 50 fliers around the neighbourhood. Tallulah, 10, and Cy, 7, accompanied Kevin on the trail, Cy bouncing his ball and talking constantly, Tallulah singing and cycling. So far one reply.

Cy, Kevin and Tallulah handing out flyers

We have three days left - what should we do? Should we have used a different photo, different wording?


  1. It sounds like you are doing all you can! You have done a great job so far! Offering food and drinks are always a great plus- so kudos for that! And sometimes, people tend to RSVP at the last minute. Is it tacky to send out a reminder to the non-RSVP ers? :)Best of luck!!

  2. maybe another flyer with just 'would you like to meet a politician who gives back 25% of her salary to show support with the working American public? You can on Monday at xx Our Street, 7pm.' Then maybe something like 'come and tell her what you want doing and watch her make a difference to our community. Jeans actions speak loud.' but obviously written better (I'm scribbling this naked at the kitchen table at 6am on a saturday before the children wake up). Make it beneficial to the person reading it, instead of asking them to come and support something. Write it in large, bold capitals too so it's attention grabbing. Sorry if it's rather obvious but am thinking of things which would work on me. Also.... don't forget if you want things done the most effective form is talking to people face to face. It's harder for them to refuse when you are politely asking them but very easy to ignore emails and flyers.
    Good on you xx

  3. Jenny - great ideas! You're absolutely right - it's got to be beneficial to the person reading it! Love your wording - I'm going to try that! And I need to hit the streets too...
    Simple Dwellings: yes, counting on those late RSVPs...

  4. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job so far. Where did they pass out the flyers? Did they go to local stores, grocery stores, or just door to door?

    I know my event is no where near what you are doing, but im hosting a card making/scrapbooking event at my house and I did the same thing with the evite and on facebook too. I sent it out to about 25/30 people and got 6 to say yes...and those 6 are my mom, sister, motherinlaw, two sisterinlaws, and a family friend. My best friend is the demo person so she is a given! But I was just really surprised at people who didnt even say yes or no, they just left me hanging with no answer! I would have liked an answer even if it was no!

    Good luck with your event, I hope you have a great turnout. :)

    PS thanks for all the great comments you leave! <3

  5. Diana: yes, after this I'm not sure if evite is the best way to go... In future I might just send an individual email to everyone. Kevin and kids passed out flyers door to door and tried to talk to everyone. Think we need to do more of that tomorrow..

  6. I cannot suggest anything, having read what you've done and what others have suggested, and what you're thinking yourself (personal e-mails).
    You really have given this your best shot, and I think you're gutsy for just holding this get-together. Hope it works for you.

  7. Definitely Justinila! They're actually cute together. I wouldn't mind if they started dating again. Although I heard that he's back with Jessica Biel. Anyway, enough celebrity gossip! ;)

    A fundraiser?! That's awesome. I hope evrything goes well. When I have my own business and I start making my own money, I would love to open my own organization to help everyone in need.

    Have a great weekend!


  8. it seems you have your best to make this thing a success. maybe you should have made the evites more personal? good luck and i hope it turns out to be a success.

  9. I like getting evites, but you're right they are much easier to ignore than a paper invitation that asks me RSVP. Could it be that people filter their emails, and evites have directly gone to their junk mail? Sorry, I have no experience in this and can't help.
    Hope you're fundraiser is successful!


  10. i'm the LAST person to be giving advice...
    last night i hosted a 45 person bash, at my home, for hunkiest's 40th birthday.
    i sent out formal {formal in the sense that i designed and printed them out at our fancy-nancy local stationary store-informal in the sense that were disco themed, attire specifying: 1971}, invitations more than a month in advance. we asked for no charities to be donated to, in fact, even insisted on no gifts to be brought....the only thing we kindly {?} asked for was an rsvp. as of a week before the catered party, 3 rvps out of 65 people were all that i had received. i, humiliatingly, had to call guests one by one and ask for their rsvp. 50 yeses....and then 2 hours before our even 6 canceled....
    so even without an evite people are STILL mannerless these days.
    i REALLY wanted to blog post my ire, but thank you for letting me just air it out all on your pretty blog instead....too many of my guests read "irene"....numbskulls!

  11. First of all, Justin and Mila are way too attractive of a couple. I want them to have super hot babies and live happily ever after simply because of this fact.
    Second, I would LOVELOVELOVE for Snooki to be on DWTS. That is the only time I will ever watch that stupid-ass show.
    Third, I always think that e-vites are more effective than mailing things. When things are mailed, they are easily lost or thrown away. Plus, e-vites are cheaper!
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  12. I think follow up evites are appropriate and calls if you haven't heard back from people the day of. Good luck with your event!!!

  13. I know I'm a bit late on this as it is almost Monday, but it sounds like you really have done all you can! If it's not too late, maybe try sending invites through email?
    I really hope you have a bigger turn out, even if people aren't RSVPing. I wish you all the best!

  14. So nice of you to organize something like that, too bad you have so many no's. Hope the fund raising night will be a success!! Good luck!


  15. Hope your fundraiser goes well tonight! Let us all know.

  16. I know how nerve-wracking this can be, I had no idea who was coming to my last event, but it turned out fine after the first scary hour! Anyway, who wouldn't want to come and spend an evening at your gorgeous home? I know it will be more fun than you probably think. Sending you good thoughts for a successful party tonight.

    xo Mary Jo

  17. is it possible to send some personalized emails to the people who haven't responded yet? maybe have the bulk of it be copy and pasted but add a line or two that is specific to the person you're emailing. I do this when there is even that I want a lot of people to attend but isn't the typical dinner party or night out. and then if there are specific people that you REALLY want to come, give them a call and let them know that you think they would specifically enhance the evening.

  18. Food and drinks - people will show up they just may not respond! I think people are out of the habit of responding promptly, if at all. Call 10 good friends and ask that they attend and each bring a friend. Just in case. But I bet you end up with an interesting crowd!

  19. It's interesting - you make a good point about it being easier to reply "no" on evites. It seems that if you have to call someone to RSVP, it's harder to say no...

    I hope people pull through for you!!

  20. I'm too late now to offer advice but hope it was a success !

  21. I think that just entertaining and doing a fundraiser is huge right now. I think you did great!


    Art by Karena

    Come and enter my $150 giveaway from Dr Perricone

  22. oh man, it's tuesday night so i'm too late to help. but anyways, i hope it turned out well. :)

    and i totally think the justin-mila thingie is just to promote their movie... i read he's back with jessica biel?

    <3, Mimi

  23. What an amazing opportunity! I hope more people take advantage of it!

  24. I know this is already passed, but I'm just (finally) getting caught up on your posts (and my reader in general!).

    I'm so sorry to hear about the lack of response. I look forward to seeing how everything turned out- which, I guess is a benefit of reading posts 'in bulk!' :)


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