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Grassroots Basics: Training for local emergent party committees

DCblogger's picture

danps' post got me to thinking about training for emergent parties.

More Americans than ever are open to emergent party candidates. But unless they are organized, emergent parties cannot take advantage of the current atmosphere. In defense of Jill Stein, she got more publicity than all the other 2012 emergent party candidates combined. She also ran her campaign in areas where the Green Party had candidates running, unlike Nader, she ran her campaign in such a way as to reinforce Green Party local efforts. After the campaign there were two training camps. So the Green Party has done some training. But clearly more training is needed.

So, I am offering my services to any left of center emergent party. I am an experienced activist, with years of precinct operations and GOTV work for the Democratic party until I gave up on them. I can teach your committee:

  • How to analyze precinct voting history to recognize opportunities
  • How to walk a precinct (not the same as door knocking, and necessary to prepare for all other precinct work.)
  • The most efficient way to collect signatures on nominating petitions
  • How to combine precinct work and signature collection for nominating petitions
  • How to identify supporters in a precinct and recruit volunteers
  • How to organize closed communities such as high rises and gated communities
  • Social media for emergent party precinct captains. In legacy parties online communications can be delegated to a few people. Because of the media black out, every emergent party activist must be their own social media activist. I can teach you how to use social media to reinforce the work you are doing on the ground.
  • How to do door knocking
  • How to do phone banking
  • How to identify visibility opportunities in your precinct.
  • How to organize a meet and greet for your candidate
  • How to do voter registration and absentee ballot for emergent parties.
  • How to work a precinct which is mostly renters with high turnover and a rural precinct with low turnover and all points in between.
  • How to organize for election day, the difference between poll workers and poll observers.

I guarantee that in every precinct where these methods are applied you will see and increase of at least 50 votes per precinct. There is nothing magical about this. It is a little like saying if you mulch a garden, water it twice a week, and pull weeds regularly you will see an increase in yield.

I am also offering a seminar in achieving emergent party viability:

  • The responsibilities of the local chair, how to recruit and how to delegate
  • Publicity for emergent parties, how to use public cable access, talk radio, and above all, social media. How to use the old fashioned letter to the editor and press release. How to arrange an editorial briefing and how and when to hold a press conference. Why negative press can be a good thing (hint, it means the establishment is scared of you.) Publicity stunts, why they work for emergent parties.
  • The responsibilities of the field operations coordinator. How to analyze past precinct returns to recognize opportunities. How to identify visibility opportunities. How to recruit and train volunteers, how to make volunteering fun. How to organize petition gathering, door knocking, and phone banking. How to recognize the traps your opposition will set for you and how to protect your volunteers.
  • The responsibilities of the finance chair, even if it is only to organize the annual pasta dinner an auction. Why your annual fundraiser must be early in the year, before April. (Hint, Early Money Is Like Yeast, it raises dough.)
  • The responsibilities of the treasurer, and why an assistant treasurer is a really good idea. Why paying your treasurer, even a small fee, is a really good idea.
  • The responsibilities of the webmaster, and why local committees without the resources to regularly update a website are better off with a blogspot or Wordpress blog.
  • The responsibilities of the data base coordinator and why voter records are essential if a committee is to build on its work from one year to another.

A committee that applies my lessons to its work will see a dramatic increase in support. These methods work, they are what every effective local legacy party committee provides to their candidates. Legacy parties don't win only through tribal loyalty and money. They also win because they have an army of volunteers who are not too grand to do this sort of work. This is what I refer to as the discipline of winning.

Each seminar takes six hours, a nourishing lunch is recommended as grassroots training is hungry work.

My fee is $300 per seminar, or $500 for both seminars if a local committee decides to get both over the course of two days. I also need travel, accomodations, and materials. Travel is a bus ticket for anywhere within 300 miles of DC, otherwise planes and trains. Accomodation is the spare bedroom in a committee member's house, otherwise the cheapest motel within walking distance of the venue (I recommend the local library or any other free venue that is wheel chair accessible). Materials will consist of the training documents that I will email you, somewhere between six and a dozen pages, each participant will need a set.

If you are interested contact me at and I will provide my name and references.

Average: 5 (3 votes)


Submitted by hipparchia on

this is way cool. thanks for making this known.

i'm not the least bit sure that any of the greens in my area are interested in doing any of the work that goes along with real organizing, and i can't offer you a place to crash (my house is full of cats, there's no escape), but i'll put out some feelers anyway....

Submitted by jawbone on

And may you have many takers for this offer.

Just don't get so busy you can't post here...unless that's how it works out.... Or something.

Submitted by lambert on

... "Why it is important to hire a trustworthy consultant early in the election cycle."*

I'm sure it's true, and if you're worried about sounding self-serving, well heck (a) it still happens to be true and (b) self-deprecating humor can also provide full disclosure....

* Might be a good way to organize the materials....