Wilmington, you spoke loud and clear: you want police reform and it’s time our elected officials follow through. 

For the September 2020 primary election, the ACLU of Delaware, Campaign for Smart Justice, and the Game Changers relaunched our successful Vote Smart Justice campaign, this time with a focus on police reform. We surveyed candidates for Wilmington mayor, city council, and treasurer on ten different reforms that our coalition believes are instrumental to provide systemic change.

In just six short weeks, our campaign achieved the following:

  • Trained and employed 26 Game Changers — people who are formerly incarcerated and come from communities most impacted by over-policing — who canvassed in their local neighborhoods and spread the word to thousands of people about Voting Smart Justice.
  • Texted nearly 40,000 voters in Wilmington about Vote Smart Justice and encouraged them to cast an informed ballot.
  • Hosted a virtual phone bank to speak directly with voters about Vote Smart Justice.
  • Held a telephone town hall that reached over 1300 Wilmington voters.
  • Produced a multi-media ad blitz, where we appeared in Delaware Online, published a full page ad in Thethe News Journal, and had radio ads on Power99 FM. 
  • Reached nearly 100,000 Delawareans on social media, leading to thousands of people visiting VoteSmartJusticeDE.org.

Candidates heard us, and responded. All candidates for mayor and city council president responded to our survey, and 70 percent of all other city council candidates responded. Of the winners:

  • Only three winning candidates did not respond to our survey.
  • Four winning candidates responded affirmatively to all ten of our priority platform items.
  • Of winning candidates who responded to our survey, they aligned with our policy platform 92 percent of the time.

As we look ahead to 2021, it’s clear that there is consensus among elected officials and the public that policing should be reformed. 

The next step: we must continue to #VoteSmartJustice in the November 3 General Election, and then we must hold our elected officials accountable once they're in office.

Our coalition pledges to actively engage with city leaders to ensure that they deliver on their pledges for reform. However, we can only do that with your support. Sign up for email alerts with the ACLU, and volunteer to join our Campaign for Smart Justice chapter meetings. We will keep you up to date on the latest reforms and how you can get engaged to ensure our police protect all members of our community.