The New Organizing Institute, “a unique grassroots program that trains young, technology-enabled political organizers to work for progressive campaigns and organizations” which is sponsored in part by Beaconfire and a bevy of other progressive organizations, is training organizers at this very moment in Washington. And while the students are spending their day in lecture and discussion sessions, as with most trainings, at night they put their skills to the test running the internet departments of their own Presidential campaigns.
So which campaigns are the next generation of organizers behind? Did they come up with Clinton’s Sopranos video or Obama Mobile? Maybe Dodd’s “Change the Debate” YouTube or even Gravel’s infamous “Rock” ad?
Not exactly – NOI participants are running cartoon characters for President. 60 trainees have been divided up into teams and are running online operations for six fictional candidates. Check out the websites for Homer, Maggie, Lisa, Mr. Burns, Apu, and Family Guy’s Stewie. While they’re obviously rough, given the time constraints on the candidates, there’s a lot to appreciate here: Mr. Burns has a blog featuring his YouTube hit piece, Lisa has a clean and crisp design focused on capturing signups, Homer’s use of an issue quiz to list build, Maggie’s Facebook group, and Apu includes a Spanish version of his homepage.
The campaigns are competing to see who can get the most email signups by the end of the training, and they promise to scrub their lists at the end of the event. So check out the sites and sign up for the lists of your favorite candidates. And while you’re at it, check out the campaign posts on the NOI blog – it’s pretty entertaining.
Best of luck to all the NOI participants – and no matter who wins, don’t blame me, I voted for Kodos.