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Registration for the program is now open.

All sessions are on Tuesdays from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

Registration is $125

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2021 Schedule

PROGRAM OVERVIEW - February 9, 2021

Making the commitment to public service begins with an understanding of the process, the challenges, and the personal sacrifice required in becoming an effective leader. This session will lay the framework for the upcoming sessions and provide the opportunity to ask questions of successful public servants. We will present a list of upcoming races. The session will end with a panel discussion where local leaders will share their stories that started their political careers, their successes and failures while in office.

GETTING ON THE BALLOT - February 16, 2021
​The first campaign you need to win is the one that gets you a party designation (or a successful primary) and on the ballot. Recently enacted laws have made major changes to the political calendar.  Major benchmarks are now months earlier than before.  Potential candidates need to win the weighted voting by committee people or caucus process designating you to be the party’s candidate. If you are not successful, there are more options open to you, like running a primary or seeking another line on the ballot. Did you know that some local races don’t require you to declare a party affiliation? Also, you may want to run on more than one political “line.” The good news is that there are people within each party and the local Board of Elections to help you through every step.  They also have important information you will need during the nomination process. This session will introduce you to the leadership of the major and other parties, and the election commissioners. Learn about the additional lines that are available. Not yet a candidate? There’s a lot for campaign team members to do during this part of the process, too. Hear first-hand how to work with the committee people, leadership opportunities within the parties and how to actively support the candidate of your choice, especially if that person is you!

BUILDING A TEAM - February 23, 2021
Understanding the roles and responsibilities of both the candidate, and of the individual campaign team, is critical to a candidate’s success. This session will outline the roles and responsibilities of the key leaders within the campaign team, including an extensive overview of the Campaign Manager, Treasurer, Fundraising Chair, Volunteer Coordinator, Sign Coordinator, Media Coordinator, and the Candidate him/herself. We will discuss the highs and lows of the campaign process, roles of, and impact on, the candidate’s family members, and provide real-life examples and stories designed to help candidates and their volunteers be successful in their run. The session will include some key “do’s and don’ts” to consider when selecting volunteers for these critical roles, and provide valuable insight into the varying roles for volunteers interested in helping with a campaign.

Finance and Fundraising are critical components of every political campaign. In this session, you will learn tips on budgeting for a campaign, understanding who can donate and how to approach them, setting up your campaign committee and learning how candidates raise money. The session will cover fundraising tips and techniques refined through numerous campaigns. The session will also cover the details behind campaign finance rules including fundraising and expenditure limits, recording and filing transactions with the Board of Elections, and the duties of a Treasurer. 

MESSAGING - March 9, 2021

Once you publicly announce your intention to seek office, the public will be watching and listening to hear what you have to say. One of the most important things you’ll have to develop is a series of Key Messages that define why you are running and what you believe in. This session will focus on some practical ways to approach the preparation of your message, and the ways in which you will ultimately get that message out. In addition to learning a couple of exercises that you can do with your closest advisors to hone your message, we’ll consider who the audiences are (and there are more than you think!). In addition, we’ll talk about all the ways that your message can be disseminated – including speeches, advertising, palm cards, lawn signs, billboards, radio and TV.

SOCIAL MEDIA/MEDIA - March 16, 2021

 The session will include an overview of how to attract news coverage and run damage control when things don't go according to plan. Speakers will offer tips on topics including being on camera, interviews, press conferences, successful advertising, and more. Area reporters will also be present to offer their perspectives on coverage of politics and campaigns. The session will include a discussion of media bias and the effects of media on campaigns. Participants will walk away with resources on writing successful press releases and developing successful Web sites and social media efforts.

GOTV (Get Out the Vote) - March 23, 2021

 You spend months and months campaigning, trying to get your message out to the voters and then what happens? What happens if you do all of that work and the voters you’ve identified as supporters don’t bother to vote? As important as the campaign itself is, how effective you are at identifying your supporters and making sure they go to the polls during early voting and Election Day. This session will teach you the essentials of how to Get Out the Vote, or GOTV as it’s called. Learn about the importance of this critical element of the campaign and hear a discussion from an exciting panel of experts on different strategies to manage an effective GOTV campaign.

Wrap-up Celebration and Reunion - April 6, 2021