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News :: Elections & Legislation
A Letter From Camp (Wellstone) Current rating: 0
08 Mar 2004
Wellstone Action and America Coming Together put on a political action training program called Camp Wellstone this past weekend, March 5-7, at Rockhurst University. In an email invitation broadcast by Moveon.org Voter Fund, Camp Wellstone was billed as “training for anyone who wants to learn effective grassroots political and organizing skills, and particularly for people looking for jobs in politics in 2004.”

America Coming Together (ACT) is an organization of progressives supported by unions, environmental groups and others who are concerned about the direction the country has been taking and want to have a strong voice in the 2004 election.

Pam Costain of Wellstone Action told me that Wellstone Action was an organization formed shortly after the death of Senator Paul Wellstone to carry on his legacy of progressive politics. Costain says that they ask participants who sign up for Camp Wellstone to think about what emphasis they want to focus on and choose one of three tracks: Citizen Activism, Advocacy and Organizing, Grassroots Campaigns and Elections for Candidates, Workers, and Volunteers, or Campaign Organizing: Working with ACT to Change America. Experienced campaign managers, organizers, and others conducted training sessions in each of the tracks. Topics included fundraising, budgeting, recruiting and mobilizing volunteers, setting up phone banks, and “GOTV”, Getting Out the Vote.

The over 100 participants ranged from college-age to retirees, and “looked like America” in terms of gender and ethnicity. Everyone I talked to after the camp, including some who drove from St. Louis, felt it was a worthwhile experience.

America Coming Together’s website says that close elections are won on the ground, and that the 2004 presidential election figures to be a close one. In addition to helping train activists at Camp Wellstone, ACT has a plan to win in November by focusing on the 17 battleground states, including Missouri, that decided the election in 2000. That plan included mobilizing millions of voters in those states with a focused strategy of reaching out to “the exact voters who believe in change but don’t vote, in key counties, key precincts, and key neighborhoods and we will bring the issues right to their front doors.”

In addition to asking for resumes from participants, they handed out flyers for $8/hour canvasers to go door-to-door with palm pilots to recruit voters and track numbers and strategy. For more information on the canvassing jobs, call ACT in Kansas City at 816-531-6803.

Camp Wellstone Chicago is in the works for March 19th-21st, and there is a Camp Wellstone St. Louis planned for the first week of April. For more information on Camp Wellstone, go to www.Wellstone.org. For learn more about ACT, go to www.AmericaComingTogether.com.
See also:
http://www.wellstone.org
http://www.americacomingtogether.com

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Waking Up the Vote
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"She asked the kids to make a "Vote for Me" poster or bumper sticker. All were different and all were beautiful, creative, surprising. We presented these treasures to their parents with the message that the adults are indeed voting for their children when they vote, and that they are voting against them when they fail to vote."
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Re: A Letter From Camp (Wellstone)
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http://www.goodgovernment.org/swingstate/
The Swing State Project
The Swing State Project is organizing volunteers throughout America to get a jump-start on the 2004 Presidential and Congressional election season.

Volunteers in states where the electoral outcome is assured --for good or bad-- can vote by absentee ballot and go work in states that hang in the balance. Volunteers who live in the swing states will work closer to home.

Volunteers from all states have signed up. This fall they will begin their work door-to-door in their own neighborhoods and in neighboring states to inform people about important issues affected by the coming election: civil liberties, Social Security, Medicare, jobs, environment, and more. Informative, balanced pamphlets on these vital issues, penned by some of America¹s most trusted voices and printed in several languages, will assist this work.

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