The past weekend, I’ve had the privaledge to attend Wellstone Action!‘s fantastic campaign training, Camp Wellstone. As a longtime admirer of late Senator Paul Wellstone’s Senate and organizing career, I’ve always wanted to attend Camp Wellstone and learn a few of the secrets about how Wellstone was able to continue winning with less money, a staunch liberal record, in purple Minnesota.
First, I want to give a huge thanks to Erik Peterson and the rest of the staff who organized this training. Your passion is genuine, and that is what makes Camp Wellstone special. We can hear it in your voices, and your dedication shows though at all levels – these people cared deeply about Paul Wellstone, and they want us to succeed and bring about Progressive change in America. The ideas about Basebuilding, and using electoral politics to reinforce Community Organizing seem obvious in theory, yet they are rarely practiced in electoral politics, where winning is everything, and once election day passes, the campaign is over.
Yet, if we want to build a base that can sustain itself, and pave the path towards a Progressive governing majority all across America, then we have to build election after election.
At the camp, I attended the Campaign Worker tract, and learned the basics of hands on, campaign organizing, from how to build a fund raising list, how to deal with the media, how to operate a canvass, and other skills that may seem simple but are not, and the tips and advice that I learned make me look back and think how better I could have been in the past. I never properly knew how to persuade while going door to door, now, I feel confident to train others in door to door canvassing. I never had any clue how to compile a list of potential donors, now I have a place to start.
For anyone out there, I highly recommend attending Camp Wellstone. For a list of upcoming dates, click here. Even for those of you who have attended other training, Wellstone Action gives you a unique perspective of organizing that you will never get anywhere else, and will show you that there is more than just winning, that is, winning correctly!