What is the New Organizing Institute?
From their website: The NOI runs the only progressive advocacy and campaign training program focused on cutting-edge online organizing techniques (e.g. writing effective emails, engaging bloggers, leveraging social networks, utilizing video), political technology (e.g. using data effectively, progressive technology infrastructure), and the intersection with field and management of these areas of new organizing.
What is BootCamp?
This July 4th, NOI will invite 60 bright, diverse graduating college seniors, recent campaign staffers, and career-change professionals to Washington, DC for an intensive week-long, all-expense-paid training. BootCamp will cover everything there is to know about campaigning, new media, online organizing, technology in order to work in the progressive movement. Participants, drawn from a highly competitive pool of applicants, will learn from the top practitioners in their field by day, then apply the lessons learned in the context of a simulated campaign in the evenings.
The group of 60 participants is very impressive indeed, and this year NOI has them working on a simulated mayoral campaign. This year’s theme is Superhero Vote! There are 8 teams and each team has a different superhero candidate. There’s Cyborg, Superman, The Atom, Green Lantern, Wonder Woman, Spiderman, Batgirl, and Batwoman in the race. The teams are currently conducting outreach and organizing, and on Friday from 7am – 6pm Eastern time, you can vote on which candidate you’d like to elect. The teams’ efforts this week are already paying off with earned media – blogger DCist has already covered the competition. (I love the comment about the candidates being carpetbaggers – I guess DC doesn’t have any indigenous superheros.)
Heather Cronk, NOI’s training director, said “This year’s BootCampers have taken the campaign simulation and training to whole new heights. They’re building websites, designing/launching email campaigns, doing blog outreach, targeting voters, creating a GOTV plan, and recruiting/mobilizing volunteers — in the course of a week. They’re the cream of the crop, and progressive politics isn’t going to know what hit them when these folks join political and nonprofit campaigns.”
With trainings and results like these, it’s no wonder that new media and online organizing has vaulted to fill such an important role in political campaigns, as well as a crucial ongoing function for nonprofit organizations. And I’m partial to Batwoman, myself – I like her stance on the issues. But don’t let my opinion sway you – check out the candidates’ websites, explore their platforms, and vote tomorrow. Good luck to all the candidates!