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MA Dem Party, Democratic Campaign Institute - workshop on how to elect Dems in 2018

  • UMass Lowell Inn & Conference Center 50 Warren St Lowell, MA 01852 USA (map)

The Massachusetts Democratic Party's Democratic Campaign Institute offers a unique opportunity for campaign managers, candidates, town committee members, and activists from across the Commonwealth to come together and hone their skills in political strategy and grassroots organizing.

Participants will learn from top political operatives based in Massachusetts and from across the nation. This two-day program offers training on all elements of successful campaigning, including campaign plan development, strategic messaging, fundraising basics, and more. There will be something for everyone and those from all experience levels are encouraged to attend.
Below, please find our agenda. Friday will begin with a reception and registration. Programming on Saturday will run from breakfast at 8:00 am to 5:30 pm with a convening at the UMass bar until 9:00 pm, and Sunday will run from breakfast at 8:00 am until 1:30 pm.

You will notice three tracks:
- “Candidates” for those who have run or hope to run for office
- “Campaigners” for those who have worked professionally on campaigns or hope to work professionally on campaigns
- “Activist and DTC members” for those who want to continue engaging effectively with their activist organization or Democratic Town or Ward Committee

You may sign up for a track here: DCI Track Selection

Many of you have booked a room at the UMass Lowell Inn and Conference Center. The Center is currently fully booked. There is a Courtyard Marriott near the Center where rooms may be booked by calling 1-800-916-1392.

We have also secured free parking for event attendees. There is a garage attached to the Center. Free parking is available on floors 1 and 2. You must enter the garage by preceding down the driveway towards the center to enter floors 1 and 2 for free. If you enter the garage on Warren Street rather than preceding down the driveway, you will be charged up to $8.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided on both Saturday and Sunday. Vegetarian options are available.



6:00pm - 8:30pm:    Reception & Cocktails

Saturday and Sunday:


You’re Running – Now What?
Saturday, 9:15am – 10:30am: This session will focus on how to kickstart your campaign. Topics will include: best practices for exploring a potential run, building a strong kitchen cabinet of advisors, surveying the political landscape, establishing yourself as a viable candidate, and understanding the legal requirements of your candidacy.

Show Me the Money: Fundraising 101
Saturday, 10:30am – 11:45am: Fundraising is essential to any successful campaign. This session will focus on how to build your fundraising program, how to properly manage call time and your donors, and how to take advantage of key fundraising tools, like ActBlue.

Read All About It: How to Work with the Press and Talk to Your Voters
Saturday, 1:15pm – 2:30pm: Getting your message out to the press and voters is critical for success. This session will focus on how to develop relationships with reporters, how to work with local press, and how to hone your message to reach your voters.

Hi, I’m Running for Office: Field for Candidates
Saturday, 2:45pm – 4:00pm: Candidates need to directly connect with their voters and this session will focus on the fundamentals of a good field plan and what to look for in a field team.

Getting Them on Your Side: Endorsements and Recruitment
Sunday, 9:15am – 10:30am: This session will focus on what organizations and elected officials look for when they go to endorse a candidate. Learn best practices on how to go about getting an endorsement and learn more about the process. 


From the Ground Up: How to Build a Campaign Plan
Saturday, 9:15am – 10:30am: Every good campaign starts with a good campaign plan with clear directives and paths to victory. This session will focus on how to build out a strong campaign foundation that is flexible but goal driven.

Training and Sustaining Volunteers
Saturday, 10:30am – 11:45am: A solid campaign hinges on volunteer recruitment and retention. This session will focus on how to build a volunteer network, how to keep energy high throughout the campaign for your volunteers, and how to keep your network engaged for your next election.

Everyone’s Favorite F Word: Finance
Saturday, 1:15pm – 2:30pm: This session will focus on how you can build out a strong finance plan for your candidate and stick to it.

Doors, Phones, and Carrier Pigeons: Field for Campaigners
Saturday, 2:45pm – 4:00pm: As a manager, you need to know how to oversee a strong field plan. This session will focus on how to build out the plan, how to begin your operations, and how to strategically manage your team through Election Day.

Come Together: Connecting with Progressive Allies
Sunday, 9:15am – 10:30am: Massachusetts leads the nation in its progressive values and ideals. This session will provide you with insight into how to best work with progressive groups and leaders at the local and state level.


All Politics is Local: Building the Base
Saturday, 9:15am – 10:30am: We’re riding on the crest of a new wave of activism. Now, we need to come together to build upon and harness that energy. This session will focus on the fundamentals of organizing, how to build a sustainable coalition, and how to engage with local and state Party officials.

What’s Next? Mobilizing in 2018
Saturday, 10:30am – 11:45am: Join local leaders from activist organizations working throughout the state for a discussion on what we’ve learned in 2017 and how we can move forward and continue to engage and mobilize in 2018.

Where do we go from here? After the Marches
Saturday, 1:15pm – 2:30pm: Recognizing the anniversary of the marches last January, activists discuss the impact of their organizing and how they are maintaining their momentum.

Direct Connections
Saturday, 2:45pm – 4:00pm: This session will help you with best practices on how to engage directly with voters.

How to Win Locally with Democratic Issues
Sunday, 9:15am – 10:30am: Join the Public Policy Subcommittee as they discuss ways to spread the message of Democratic issues and causes in your community.


If Trump Can Tweet, So Can You
Saturday, 4:15pm – 4:45pm: Social media is a vital tool to speak directly to voters and our base. This open session will focus on ways you can maximize your reach on social media and how to stay connected with key stakeholders.

Action Hour honoring the March
Saturday, 4:50pm - 5:30pm: Join Solidarity Lowell and Karen Cosmas, Executive Director of March Forward, to engage in activities supporting progressive causes in honor of last year's marches.

miniVAN Training
Sunday, 8:00am – 9:00am: Join us during breakfast to walk through miniVAN, which will be used extensively in 2018.

Everybody Does It: How to Ask for Money
Sunday, 8:00am – 9:00am: All candidates need to ask for money and, yes, it’s hard to do. This session will help you practice your “hard ask” for funding and will shed light on other fundraising tips and tricks.


Networking Lunch
Sunday, 12:00pm - 1:30pm

We also have a fantastic team of trainers, facilitators, and speakers who have agreed to join us, including:

  • National Democratic Training Committee
  • Katie Belgard, SEIU 32BJ, District 615
  • Jordan Berg Powers, Director, MassAlliance
  • Karen Clawson Cosmas, Executive Director, March Forward
  • Senator Paul Feeney, D- Bristol and Norfolk
  • Emily Fitzmaurice, Communications Director, MassDems
  • Representative Solomon Goldstein Rose, D - 3rd Hampshire
  • Stephanie Houghton, Deputy GOTV Director, Doug Jones for Senate
  • Kim Kargman, Organizing Manager, Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts
  • Veronica Martinez, Executive Director, MassDems
  • Paul McClory, Grassroots Campaign Deputy, Massachusetts Teachers Association
  • Bonnie McGilpin, Director of Communications, Boston Planning and Development Agency
  • Stephanie Noguera, Community Outreach Director, Congressman Joe Kennedy III
  • Chelsie Ouellette, Campaign Director, Field First
  • Ryanne Olsen, Executive Director, Emerge MA
  • Dana Rebeiro, City Councilor, New Bedford
  • Deborah Shah, Field Director, Committee to Elect Maura Healey
  • Nigel Simon, Director of Community Affairs & Outreach, MassDems
  • Michael Sullivan, Director, OCPF
  • Representative Andy Vargas, D - 3rd Essex

To register and for more Information, visit the: MA DEMS WEBSITE

Earlier Event: January 9
Info session on Dem caucuses