For the past three years Progressive Majority of Washington has been bringing Camp Wellstone to Seattle, a three-day candidate, activist and campaign manager training program conducted in cooperation with Wellstone Action. And during that time, twelve Camp Wellstone alum have gone on to win public office in Washington state:
- Island County Commissioner John Dean
- South Prairie Mayor Peggy Levesque
- State Representative Marko Liias (21st LD)
- Tacoma Parks Commissioner Ryan Mello
- State Senator, Eric Oemig (45th LD)
- Shoreline City Councilmember Cindy Ryu
- Issaquah City Councilmember Joshua Schaer
- Shoreline City Councilmember Terry Scott
- Snohomish County Councilmember Dave Somers
- Seattle Port Commissioner Gael Tarleton
- Kent City Councilmember Elizabeth Watson
- Shoreline City Councilmember Janet Way
I attended that first, Seattle-area Camp Wellstone back in June of 2005, and I recognize the names of at least two camp mates from the list above: State Rep. Marko Liias and State Sen. Eric Oemig. It was also there where I first met Darcy Burner, who clearly learned an entirely different lesson out of the inspiring session on campaign fundraising. (I learned I didn’t have what it takes to raise the money to run for office. She learned that she did.)
I can’t recommend Camp Wellstone highly enough, but this year Seattle area prospective candidates and campaign managers have an even better opportunity to hone their skills, when Progressive Majority brings Wellstone Action’s Advanced Candidate and Campaign Management School to Federal Way, April 25-27. Slots are limited, so in order to be considered, hurry up and send your resume and/or a letter explaining why you wish to participate, by March 15 to dkelley at progressivemajority.org.
A nominal fee of $150 helps cover the cost of a hotel room and meals during the training; a small number of scholarships are available to low-income or unemployed participants.