My Virtual Candidate and Campaign Training Experience

Guest post by July Virtual Candidate & Campaign Training Attendee: Jer Adrianne Lelliott (she/they)

I came to the Victory Institute Candidate & Campaign Training as an experienced nonprofit leader and complete campaign novice. By the end of the first morning, I had an outline for a well organized campaign. By the end of the last day, I was part of a tight-knit community of LGBTQ campaigners and had a detailed plan for my own campaign.

The training was remarkably thorough and truly intensive. My team worked late into the night and got up early each morning to prepare for the marathon sessions. We were given practical tools and resources for campaigning, role play opportunities to practice stump speeches and call time, firsthand guidance for running as openly LGBTQ candidates, and unfettered access to the leaders who have done it successfully.

When Mayor Parker was introduced, I expected a short pep talk to kick things off. But she stayed and observed the entire training, commenting often and interacting with us directly. The experience was inspiring, exhaustive, slightly surreal, and completely foundational to my future in politics.

Training alongside other LGBTQ leaders who are working with Victory Institute to further equality was an invaluable experience that I will never forget