WHILE CANDIDATES gear up for primary day tomorrow, some Philadelphians are getting ready to bust out their brooms to sweep up campaign fliers they expect to see lining streets and stoops.
Campaign staffers insist they're not looking to leave materials anywhere they can, including your doorstep. Instead, they say,
they're handing them to people individually, or sticking them into doorjambs if no one answers while canvassing.
"It doesn't make sense for us financially to leave it on the ground, and it doesn't make any sense environmentally to leave it on the ground," said Sam Durso, campaign manager for City Council candidate Jeff Hornstein.
Despite that, one South Philly resident told the Marquis that the ground is exactly where Hornstein's fliers have ended up. Cramming campaign materials into doorjambs indirectly creates litter if they come loose or are otherwise ignored when someone opens the door and they blow away.
Sheila Simmons, communications director for Mayor Nutter's re-election campaign, was unsure whether her camp had an official policy on leaving materials at residences. She said the campaign is working to curtail curbside clutter.
"We've done a lot of direct mail," she told the Marquis. "That's a big part of getting the message across."
For John Schall, of Society Hill, the fliers are an anticipated and annoying part of the political process.
"They come daily in the mail - in stacks," he told the Marquis. "They end up right in the recycling."
Marianne Bernstein, an artist living in Society Hill, said candidates should work to find more socially appealing and environmentally friendly ways of getting their messages out. She said candidates could save money by not distributing papers that are doomed to end up in the trash or in storm drains.
"I don't think fliers work," she said. "If you want to effect change, you have to go about it in a new, creative way."
On primary day, Durso said, the Hornstein camp plans to hand out materials near polling places but will not drop fliers off in residential areas.
But until then, you can still expect a knock on your door - and maybe a flier or two waving at you from the doorway.