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    Campaign school: learning the electoral ABCs




    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 San Francisco. 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 successful campaigns." 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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    Published on: 2005-02-24 (745 reads)

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