Green Pages, Spring 2008
How to run and win office - The Green Party campaign school in the Flower City
By Jason Nabewaniec, member of the National Steering Committee and former chair of the Green Party of Monroe County
In the quiet of winter Greens prepared for the busy coming election season at the Green Party campaign school in the “Flower City” of Rochester, New York. Brent McMillan, Green Party of the United States (GP-US) political director, and Scott McLarty, national media coordinator, taught courses on some essential campaigning skills.
Brent McMillan, national political director, talks on the do’s and don’ts of campaigning.
The day’s schedule was completed with additional courses from Howie Hawkins, former Green Party candidate for United States Senate from New York, and Rachel Treichler, former Green Party candidate for New York State Attorney General.
McMillan opened the day with a popular course,What Every Candidate Should Know. “The most important thing I learned was not to water down the campaign by talking about too many issues. Brent stressed the need to pick three main issues and to stick to them throughout the campaign,” said David Doonan, who came to the workshop preparing to run for Mayor in Greenwich, NY. In March, Doonan had an outstanding victory.
McMillan also taught classes on Candidate Fundraising and Get Out The Vote Planning. McLarty taught a two-part course titled Working With The Media, that focused on how campaigns can earn media coverage. Doonan said,“A lot of what Brent and Scott said applied to big races, but I was able to get useful information for my campaign. The main thing was I was able to walk away with a lot of confidence. They let me know that you can run and win.”
“Both Brent and Scott’s knowledge was incredible,” said Deborah Magone-Fragile, co-chair of the Green Party of Monroe County. “I was amazed at the depth in which they answered my questions.”
McMillan and McLarty are also scheduled to teach these same courses at the GP-US Campaign School workshops at the Green Presidential Nominating Convention in Chicago this July.
With some of the participating Greens coming from places as far away as New York City, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh, Craig Taylor, founder of the Green Party of Genesee County said, “The regional diversity allowed for each of us to not only learn from the presenters but to share and learn from the experiences of each other.”
Each of the presenters volunteered his time and expertise, allowing the school to offer value that far exceeded the modest cost. This also allowed the school to be fully supported through donations instead of charging the participants.
The GPUS Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC), which has funds budgeted for supporting regional campaign schools, covered the cost of printing various campaign manuals, allowing every participant to take home with them a binder with over 200 pages of campaign related reference material.
“The CCC also helps Green candidates by providing them with the advice and consultation from experienced Green campaigners, website templates, listing on www.GP.org, and in some cases financial assistance” said Eric Jones, CCC member and former candidate for Buffalo Common Council.
Thinking of running for office but not sure how to start?
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For information on how to run a campaign visit:
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Also campaign resources can be downloaded for free at: www.gp.org/committees/campaign/resources.shtml