Earlier this month we hosted our third Candidate & Campaign Training of 2018 in the Chicago suburb of Oak Brook, Illinois. The four-day training brought together a skilled and experienced training team to help the 57 people in attendance gain the skills and tools necessary to run for office. Twenty-nine of the participants are considering a run for office in the near future and ten are currently candidates.
The participants spent the weekend exploring what constitutes a successful campaign. They went through sessions regarding how to write a campaign plan, calculate a vote goal, build a budget, fundraise, target voters, craft effective messages, secure earned and paid media, conduct field work, engage in voter contact, and get out the vote. They participated in trainer led sessions, interactive simulations, and group work that forced them to tackle real life campaign scenarios.
Attendees were spoken to by Representatives Kelly Cassidy and Daniel Hernandez Jr., of Illinois and Arizona, and by Commissioner Debra Shore of the Chicago Water Reclamation District. These three officials are out and in office and they provided perspectives to the attendees that are crucial in their own paths to office. Lamont Robinson, candidate for Illinois’ 5th House District, spoke to trainees about the realities of the campaign trail and the amount of work required to be successful. His stories brought to life many of the concepts the trainees learned at the training. Crystal Patterson, Government and Politics Outreach Manager at Facebook, also came to the training to speak to trainees about the use of their platform in campaigning.
The Chicago cohort was diverse and dynamic featuring openly LGBTQ future candidates from Florida to California to Texas to Massachusetts. The training was the third and final one for 2018.