(Also at Nevada Progressive & The Nevada View)

Over the weekend, I witnessed something amazing. DFA Training Academy came to town, and many dozens of local progressive activists came in to learn more about how campaigns work. And while we were all at the local SEIU hall this past weekend, we experienced something perhaps no one was really expecting.

@jayhenders & @AndySzekeres chatting w/ #Vegas #nvp2 acti... on Twitpic

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Our local activists come from all walks of life. We had "old school" folks who remember the 60s, and we had new "Dream Team" kids who got their start organizing in local Latino communities on everything from the DREAM Act to state education. We had experienced union organizers, and we had rising LGBTQ equality superstars. We had folks from Mesquite, from North Las Vegas, and from Henderson.

Long story short, we had a wide variety of activists show up. We saw "the big tent" of the Democratic Party, up close and personal. And what made this even better is that we learned from each other just as much as we learned from the trainers.

Of course, the trainers did a great job and we now have a better idea on how to craft an effective "get out the vote" (GOTV) plan, how to raise money more efficiently, and how to create the messages we need to actually "win the media cycle". What made this even better is that we also talked with each other on what field strategies worked on our last campaigns, what media strategies didn't work on our last campaigns, how we built our social media profiles, how we run our web sites, and so much more.

#DFAVegas organizer Teresa Crawford helped make this @dfatrai... on Twitpic

Victoria @DFATraining talking w/ #DFAVegas on "setting s... on Twitpic

Fired up & ready to go @DFAaction @nvdems #DFAVegas #nvp2... on Twitpic

Over the course of two days, we learned more than enough from the trainers and from each other to start undoing the damage from the last election and moving our country (and our state, and our county) forward again. This is what DFA Campaign Academy is really all about.

Even if you think you already know everything about campaigns and elections, you can always learn more at the academy. Lordy knows I did, and I did DFA Academy four years ago in California! See the schedule for the rest of 2011, think about signing up for a training, and in the mean time check out the academy "night school" archive to get an early start.

We need to start preparing now if we want to win next year and win future elections. Making progressive change isn't easy. We've already been learning that the hard way. We're recharged and ready for action here in Nevada again. One of our previous "trainees" is now a state Assembly Member. Others are now veterans of a host of successful, winning campaigns. This stuff really works.

Now let's get your community ready.

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Millie to show us the ropes on Latin@ media outreach @DFATrai... on Twitpic

@nvdems VAN wizard Leora Olivas in the house! #DFAVegas @dfat... on Twitpic

(Btw, many thanks to Teresa & Marla for sharing photos!)

Originally posted to atdnext on Mon Jul 11, 2011 at 09:06 AM PDT.

Also republished by Nevada Kossacks.

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