By Mary Wright
The coronavirus crisis has plunged us all into a global health crisis and an economic downturn. It has dramatically redefined what a normal life means. So, what do we do in times like this, when we do not know where to start and what to do? Truth is, every crisis, while deeply unsettling, also contains the seeds of opportunity.
For me, that opportunity presented itself through my participation with Emerge South Carolina. I learned of a program being launched by the Democratic National Committee and ASDC (Association of State Democratic Committees) Best Practices Institute, called the Train the Trainer (T3) Program, designed to expand the political skills of activists and volunteers.
The T3 program is offered annually and is a six-week, 12-session webinar, covering several aspects of grassroots campaigning. It is offered all over the country, seeking to expand the political skills of activists and volunteers, and do this by ensuring that comprehensive training is free and accessible for Democrats. To be certified in the program, participants are required to complete all sessions and associated skills testing.
As a graduate of the class of 2020, it has been well worth my investment of time and effort. I have gained additional political skills to assist in building our Democratic Party infrastructure at the grassroots level — whether that is by volunteering, training, or even running for office.
Everyone comes to this program with their own unique background, skill set, and experiences, but once completed, it provides many opportunities to pull together and put the knowledge to use in helping to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. T3 students learn and sharpen skills in organizing, technology, communications, fundraising, and strategic planning.
Even in the face of a pandemic, there has been a new sense of urgency for many of us to roll-up our sleeves and get to work if we are to prevail in November and take back the White House, win the Senate, and elect more candidates locally. Make no mistake, this will take all the hard work and skill we can muster.
As for my part, this has been an excellent opportunity to put my life work and experience as a Management Consultant to good use. As a part of my work, I delivered management seminars and training in a corporate setting. With enhanced learning from the Best Practices Institute, I can bring political skills and address the needs of grassroots campaigning, organizing, and training.
As a member of the Democratic Party, I have learned more than ever, there are programs and opportunities to serve and support one another. Most of all, Democrats are committed to building a strong, united party that pulls together for the greater good of our country.