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Passionate. Empowered. Fighting for Change.

Tracie Washington, an attorney, community organizer, and adjunct professor in New Orleans, walked into a Campus Camp Wellstone at Dillard University last year and memories came rushing back.

Flashbacks of her four years as a student at a tiny college in Northfield, Minnesota called Carleton.

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Go Blue! Go Wellstone.

Starting a campaign from scratch is never easy. It’s especially tough when you’re new to organizing, without years of experience to lean on. But knowing Wellstone’s got your back sure does help.

This is the story of Wellstone Corps. This spring, we hired 25 emerging organizers, from former teachers to recent college grads , and we gave them an important job: hold five of the most radical conservatives in the country accountable for their actions, and win on November 4th in a way that builds community power for the long haul.

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Melting a Mountain of Ice

When speaking with labor groups, Paul Wellstone loved quoting Wendell Phillips, an abolitionist in the 1840s. At a time when neither political party would take a firm stand on slavery, Wendell would argue that, "slavery is a moral outrage, it should be abolished." Paul would tell the story of the time Phillips finished speaking and a friend came up to him saying, "Wendell, why are you so on fire?" And Wendell responded, "I'm on fire because I have mountains of ice before me to melt."

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Investing in the Courageous

A small group sat around a dining room table, weeks after the 2002 election, just months after a plane crashed, killing Senator Paul Wellstone, his wife, Sheila, his daughter, Marcia, and three members of his campaign staff – Tom Lapic, Mary McEvoy, and Will McLaughlin. They sat, ate dinner, shared stories, and talked about where to go from there, because one thing was clear: there was so much work left to do.

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Finding Our Voices, Living Up to Sheila’s Legacy

Twenty-four years ago, Sheila Wellstone crisscrossed Minnesota.

Her husband had just been elected to the United States Senate, and she was determined to seize the opportunity to make a difference. At the time, domestic violence was reported as a crime, without attention to prevention or solution. It garnered little public dialogue, so Sheila set out to change that.

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“We the people” – In Action

How do you build a national movement, based in the states? And how do you build this movement so that it’s rooted in progressive values?  

Most importantly, how do you make sure that movement is built to win? With real governing power so that politicians are accountable to people, not Wall Street?

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Winning in Georgia, the Wellstone Way

Change is going to come from the states, not from DC. Progress is going to be won by building an enduring movement, state by state. Wondering how we do that? Take Georgia as an example. Take the example of Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams.

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Honoring the Past, By Building the Future

They organize in Cleveland and Youngstown, Columbus and Dayton, Toledo and Cincinnati. They take on issues like student debt, economic and educational justice, and the disenfranchisement of young voters. They lobby, they take direct action, they develop new movement leaders, and they win. They win real change, the Wellstone Way.

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Rising Together

We’ve all had those weeks. Graduations, new jobs, ceremonies, weeks you know will change your life forever. Well, I just finished one of those weeks that I know won’t just change me, but also my community for years to come.

It was powerful. It was inspiring. It was absolutely life affirming.

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Three Times, All a Charm

Leah Olm sat on the L, riding back to her dorm at the University of Chicago after the last day of Campus Camp Wellstone in Chicago.

She remembered the stories old customers told her years earlier during a high-school job at a bakery in Duluth, of a Senator who lifted people up, of a leader who inspired a movement.

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