The Portland Alliance, October 2003
The Pacific Green Party of Oregon hosted its first Pacific Northwest
Campaign School September 5-7 at Portland State University. Greens from
Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California came together to learn
effective campaign strategies from some of the nation's most successful
Green Party members and activists. Professionals in media strategy, campus organizing and
fundraising came together to share tips gleaned from years of
experience working on progressive causes. The school was organized by
the Portland Metro Chapter of the Green Party of Oregon with the help
of Mamie Glickman, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and
former Finance Director for Ralph Nader's presidential campaign. Other
influential Greens who shared their knowledge in a series of 3hour
workshops were General Counsel for the Green Party David Cobb and Matt
Gonzalez, the first member of the Green Party to win elective office in
Classes were held covering the usual aspects of campaigning,
like fundraising and media strategy as well as a few more pointed
seminars concerning campus organizing and the use of technology in
politics. The importance of keeping a specifically green focus on
lessons in Green Party campaigning was addressed in classes titled
"Building Diversity" and "Developing a Green Message." The weekend also
provided a rare opportunity for Greens from diverse backgrounds to meet
each other and become more aware of the pressing issues facing each
other's communities, a constant concern for statewide party building
across urban and rural lines.
News of the Pacific Northwest Campaign School reached Pete
Karas, a Green Alderman from Racine, Wisconsin, who made the trip to
Portland in order to attend. "We're going to be running a campaign
school in December, so I wanted to check this out. The people I've met
here are pretty dedicated and I'm impressed that they're teaching
realism. We can wave as many picket signs at them as we want, but the
only way we are going to change the system is by getting elected."
Gearing up for the big election in 2004 but mindful of less
publicized local elections, the Pacific Northwest Campaign School was
conceived to inspire Greens and guide them towards wanting to play a
larger role in building the party.
"The Pacific Northwest Campaign School represented a
much-needed step on the road to helping the Green Party become a major
party contender," said Jeff Cropp, Co-chair of the Portland Metro
Chapter of the Pacific Green Party. "This Campaign School and its
successors are excellent opportunities to help local Green candidates
and campaign staff develop the confidencc and skills they necd to run
Due to the success of Portland's first Campaign School, the
organizers arc considering another weekend's worth of campaign classes,
possibly in Spring or Summer 2004.
S.M. Berg is an activist, cyclist and writist in Portland.
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