Vote for (S)he who Promises Change

11 February 2009 By New Israel Fund

As Israel's premier social change organization, SHATIL used a multitude of avenues during the pre-election period to ensure that social issues were on the agenda of the candidates – and the voters.

Consciousness-raising efforts among voters included the multi-organizational nationwide Ichud-Yichud (Unity-Uniqueness) campaign whose website and short film, facebook group, public information campaign and dozens of parlor meetings encouraged people to get out and vote and to pressure candidates both before and after the elections to make social issues a high priority.

The SHATIL-sponsored forum on environmental issues

The short Hebrew-language film encourages people to vote for the candidates who promise change, provides the startling facts about social conditions and income/benefit disparities in the country, provides a link to send a letter to the party leaders asking for their commitment to promote a just and egalitarian society and another link to  spread the word through viral marketing by forwarding the site to friends.

SHATIL sponsored the only public candidates' forum on environmental issues in the run-up to the elections. Candidates from six major parties committed themselves to address significant environmental issues such as public transport and air pollution.  

Rinat Butbul, 28, a graduate student in environmental studies at Tel Aviv University and a Porter Environment Fellow at SHATIL, helped organize the panel through her internship at the non-profit Transportation Today and Tomorrow, which co-sponsored the event. "The panel helped me see which of the candidates was proficient on the issues, had acted on them and knew what steps need to be taken in the future,” she said. "It strengthened my ability to choose a candidate. That party's representative on the panel was the most knowledgeable on environmental issues and the most committed to change."