The Victory Institute team was in Denver this past weekend at our third and final Candidate & Campaign Training of 2017. The training convened 49 LGBTQ candidates (and future candidates) for an immersive four-day boot camp where they learned how to run an effective political campaign as openly LGBTQ people. Eleven trainees who attended the Denver Candidate & Campaign Training are currently running for office, another dozen are running within the next 3-5 years, and the rest are preparing to work on a campaign for other LGBTQ people in their region.
Trainees were addressed by Colorado State Representatives Leslie Herod and Paul Rosenthal, Colorado State Senator Dominick Moreno and Congressman Jared Polis, who shared with the cohort their own experiences with the Victory Institute Candidate & Campaign Training and implementing the skills they learned there in their path to becoming elected LGBTQ legislators.
This training was our largest yet – a diverse convening of LGBTQ people – 43 percent people of color, 33 percent women and 10 percent trans or gender non-conforming. They were from more than 20 different states – showcasing that LGBTQ people are ready to step up and lead their communities throughout the country.
Andrea Marra, a trainee from New York, said: “Victory Institute’s Candidate & Campaign Training is incredibly vital for combating attacks against LGBTQ people and other communities under fire. I walked away from the training feeling energized and equipped with the tools to succeed in running a powerful campaign.”
Victory Institute has also re-dedicated itself to connecting with former elected officials who are alumni of our programs. The trainees were treated to remarks from former Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives and current CEO of Denver Public Schools, Mark Ferrandino.