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That Person

I was never going to be that person.
 
The most senior person on staff.
 
And yet here I am – 10 years, 1.2 million miles, and 384 trainings later – I’m that person for Wellstone Action. 
 
Ten years ago I wasn’t even sure I wanted to work here. It was personal – I’d lost friends and comrades on the plane and nothing could bring them back. Working every day surrounded by this fact worried me. I suspect that I also feared we wouldn’t live up to Paul and Sheila’s legacy.
 
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A Professor and Organizer. Sound Familiar?

Nicky Gonzalez Yuen, a student at Carleton College in the late 1970s, stood in the campus center, frustrated and tired. As the South Africa divestment campaign of that era morphed into a broader fight to move the college towards more ethical buying and investment policies, Nicky had spent the day being pushed around by a college administration that was skeptical of student organizers and slow to change. 

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Here's What's Coming Up

Last year was big for us. We celebrated our 10th birthday by leading over 130 trainings in 29 states, preparing thousands of the nation’s top progressives to win the Wellstone Way. So I wanted to take a second to give you a quick update about what we have planned for 2014, and let you know a few ways you can stay connected with us.
 
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Empowering a Movement as Big as Texas

This might be the understatement of the year, “Texas is a big state.” Yep, Texas is big: big geographically, big population, big economy, and big by the countless numbers of cultures, communities, and traditions that make up the people of the Lone Star State.

So if you want to organize the state, to build progressive power over the long-haul, to work towards a state with elected officials who better represent the state’s quickly shifting demographics, you’ve got a big job to do.

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Governing Through a Politics of Conviction

If you’ve attended any Wellstone Action event, you know that we empower progressives to take on tough fights and win. We travel the country, teaching progressives the hard skills that make a difference, like leading an effective one-on-one organizing conversation and creating a winning campaign plan. We also spend a lot of time talking about something more fundamental: our values, and what it means to run and win and, yes, govern, through a politics of conviction.

What are we talking about? Meet Joe.

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ACMS. Awesome.

This past week I had the opportunity to help run the on-the-ground logistics for our Advanced Campaign Management School (ACMS) in Columbus, OH – an in-depth, intense, campaign and leadership training for progressive operatives that Wellstone holds once every two years. There are many words I could use to describe those five days, but if I had to choose one it would be “AWESOME.”

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You're the Best, Patty

Last week, we said goodbye to Patty – after 10 years volunteering with Wellstone Action and many years of campaigning with Senator Wellstone, Patty’s going to be spending more time with her family, including a new grandchild!

Yes, we’ll miss all the work Patty put in helping to process credit card donations. But, much more importantly, we’ll miss her joy, her positive spirit, and we’ll definitely miss her stories.

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Celebrating Wins, the Wellstone Way

The day or two after Election Day are always my favorite at Wellstone Action. Not to say I don’t love the excitement and heading to my polling place on Election Day, but in the days following, we track the races of our alumni to see if they won. What that typically looks like are spreadsheets full of data and lots of time spent searching results online hoping for Ws instead of Ls. I guess you have to love data like I do to truly appreciate that aspect of our work!

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A Whole New Toolbox

Put yourself in these shoes: you’re part of a vital statewide organization advocating progressive change. You fight for critical progressive policy solutions that will have an important impact on people’s lives across your state. And you want to take that fight where it leads, whether through direct action, like picketing, or through holding elected officials’ feet to the fire after bad votes.

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Crystal Stands Out

Crystal Lagrone stands out.

In deep red Oklahoma, she’s a fiery progressive, passionately fighting to win change for her home state.

 

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