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In the beginning of the year former candidate for Congress, Steve Young, posted his opinion on training progressives. He’s right. We don’t have the training infrastructure that the GOP has. In fact, they’ve been ahead of us for years.

But all that’s changing. You might have noticed in Steve’s and other posts how many people commenting here on Kos have been to a progressive training. Progressive training organizations are undergoing a small revolution – we’re growing, we’re multiplying, and we’re even (gasp) coordinating.

The successes of Wellstone Action, the Center for Progressive Leadership, and the DFA Training Academy (where I work) are just a few examples of grassroots, professionals, and donors all recognizing the need to invest in our own infrastructure. Killer messages, vaunted GOTV plans, and piles of money, don’t just appear. Someone has to make it happen. Being able to run a good campaign is a skill and like any skill, we’ve got to train to master it.

I agree with Steve, and others, who have posted here about training. Frankly, progressives don’t have enough access to professional campaign training. Organizations (like mine) are working hard to fill that need. Campaign trainings aren’t as sexy as the campaigns themselves, but they’re important to the long-term growth of the movement.

And, okay – no surprise here – the MSM and the pundits just don’t get it. That’s fine with me, really. James Carville will never be a trainer at a DFA Training (sorry, James).

The important thing is that the grassroots do get it. I can’t speak for the other progressive training organizations, but I can tell you that the DFA Training Academy has grown by leaps and bounds. From our pioneering online Night School program to our frenetic travel schedule, the DFA Training Academy has made a point of equipping the grassroots activists all over the country with a serious, professional set of skills. This year - a so-called "off" year - is the season to train. So, the DFA Training Academy is doubling its reach this year. Waiting until 2008 is not an option.

I sent out an email through DFA’s list announcing the first 17 trainings of the year. We'll soon add Virginia (Late May) and we’re adding still more states to the list (talking with Washington, Georgia, Michigan, and others), and we've opened up the process to requests from grassroots activists. This year DFA has teamed up with other organizations, such as SEIU, to maximize our impact.

In case you didn’t get our email, here’s the list so far:

Manchester, NH      January 27-28
Las Vegas, NV      February 10-11
Houston, TX      March  3-4
Columbia, SC      March 17-18
Cedar Rapids, IA      March 24-25
Jackson, MS      March 30 – April 1
Columbia, MO     April 14-15
Austin, TX      April 21-22
Knoxville, TN      April 28-29
Bloomington, IN        May 12-13
Baton Rouge, LA      June 2-3
Salt Lake City, UT      June 16-17
Albany, NY      June 23-24
Tampa, FL      June 30 – July 1
Frankfort, KY      July 7 -8
Sacramento, CA      July 14-15
Orange County, CA      July 21-22

Originally posted to Arshad Hasan on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 12:39 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  You might consider OHIO given the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ninepatch

    08 stakes

    -4.63,-3.54 If the people will lead the leaders will follow

    by calebfaux on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 12:47:32 PM PST

  •  I did this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bink, AlanF, Ninepatch

    in Illinois last summer.  Well worth the time and expense - more than worth the time and expense.  

    I'd been working on the Laesch campaign for months before this training and had picked up a lot - and knew a lot about PR even before then.  But the DFA training provided both fundamentals that made random pieces of things "click," and further development of skills I had used professionally for years.  Not to mention the practical advice for specific campaigns and situations from very astute and helpful instructors.

    Oh, and Arshad is very amusing.  

    If you ever intend to work on a campaign, this training is simply a must.  Go.

  •  Recommended (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ninepatch

    Highly recommended.

    I recommended your comment. And then I un-recommended it.

    by bink on Mon Jan 22, 2007 at 12:56:47 PM PST

  •  Has anyone else here been to a campaign training? (0+ / 0-)

    I'm curious to see how many Kossacks have been to a Training - either DFA, Wellstone, Emily's List, CPL, or others.

    •  Yes . . . (0+ / 0-)

      I've attended the 21st C. Dems and DFA training in Columbus, OH, in 2004.

      Several of us from Democracy for Cincinnati put together a framing workshop.

      •  Amazing. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ninepatch

        That's definately the way to go. Spreading your own training through your own contacts. I can tell you that training organizations are still not able to meet the demand for progressive training.

        The grassroots solution to not having enough training is to take what you learn in a professional training, and spread the love.... And by "love" I mean "training"...

  •  Please Recommend! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Downtowner

    As many Kossacks as possible should know about and attend these trainings!

  •  "GOP"? Is this DFA protocol (0+ / 0-)

    to refer to the Republican Party as a "grand old party"?

    •  Cheap shot, ticket punch (0+ / 0-)

      Yeah, I know the Republican spinners love refer to us as Democrat party, so the word ends in "rat."  

      But in my book there's nothing wrong with using GOP as a short reference to Republicans. We don't always have to refer to them in insulting terms. Their own behavior is taking care of that nicely right now. And I doubt that's Arshad Hasan's style, anyway.

      Who cares how we refer to them? Is that really the kind of distraction we need to occupy ourselves with?

      •  Cheap shot? No, a needed reboot. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ninepatch

        GOP is the Republican Party's preferred nickname. I will not be a fluffer. Don't you be one either.

        Why does it matter? Because here's another thing the Republicans "got" a long time ago: Once you get your opponents to adopt your terms, the battle is half won.

  •  DFA Training (0+ / 0-)

    fills a huge need that exists for grassroots Democrats.   I haven't been able to attend (none near me) but have done Night School Several times and found it excellently presented and the materal was relevant and very useful.

  •  Highly recommend DFA training (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlanF

    I went to a DFA training in Gettysburg, PA and thought it was great.  I can't compare it to any other organization's training.

    Arshad is a wonderful trainer.  There was another person, not sure if I remember her name correctly ?Sandra Ramos? maybe who was also excellent.  She had been a campaign manager for several state legislative races in Colorado and won most of those races, as I recall.  I don't know if she is still doing the training, but whoever is, I trust the quality will be excellent.

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