Vote For Equality

About VFE

Vote for Equality is the local community organizing and research arm of the Leadership LAB. Working with volunteers throughout Los Angeles County, Vote for Equality develops and implements innovative direct voter contact strategies to increase support for LGBT rights and reduce anti-LGBT prejudice.

Winning lasting victories for LGBT equality means:
Our Work

In 2009, after Prop 8 delivered our 34th loss on marriage equality at the polls nationwide, VFE dedicated itself to figuring out what it would take to start winning.


We began to do the hard work of talking one-on-one with voters in neighborhoods where we lost Prop 8 by landslide margins, determined to find out why people vote against LGBT rights and what we could do to change their minds. In the four years since, Vote for Equality has grown into a large, sustained, year-round volunteer-based voter research program.

Engaging Volunteers

We’ve engaged over 1,300 volunteers to participate in and lead voter canvassing, phone banking, recruitment, logistical coordination, leadership development, videography, data entry, data analysis, evaluation and planning.

We’ve involved volunteers from all over sprawling LA County and organized students at Occidental College, Cal State Northridge, Cal State LA, and UCLA.

Talking to Voters

We’ve talked one-on-one with over 13,000 voters, and after doing follow-up calls months later have found that our conversations consistently move 14% of undecided and unsupportive voters to become lastingly more supportive of LGBT rights. Meaning that by tracking what works (and what doesn’t) we’ve developed a proven persuasion model that creates a substantial, measurable change in favor of equality.

Recording Conversations

We’re now documenting our conversations at the door on video, and have created a first-of-its-kind library of over 2,300 conversations with voters about LGBT rights. This rich data is helping us get better and evaluate our efforts, and is allowing our team and other researchers to do even deeper analysis of what does and doesn’t work.

Bringing up the opposition’s arguments

We’re testing campaign ads with voters at the door. By showing voters our opposition’s most effective ads we’re unearthing the deep fears and misconceptions that have led large groups of initially-supportive voters to turn and vote against us in the past. And once the other side’s worst weapons are out in the open, we’re learning how to inoculate voters against them.

Putting messages to the test

We’re researching and producing our own response ads, testing them head to head against the oppositions’ most powerful messages. We’ve already showed 10 of our own TV spots to over 3,000 voters. What we’ve learned has put us in a position to respond effectively to anti-LGBT attacks in future ballot campaigns in California and across the country.

Making it Personal

Alongside the statewide Breakthrough Conversations coalition, we’ve pushed our persuasion conversations about LGBT equality to the next frontier by learning how to talk to people we already know and care about. We’ve had over 150 powerful conversations with family and friends about the personal implications of their positions on LGBT rights, and continue to learn more and get better at tackling these tough conversations each day.


Steve Square 150 x 150If you live in the LA area and would like to learn more about how you can help dismantle transphobia, contact Steve Deline, [email protected]