PolitiCorps Summer is an intensive ten week political organizing bootcamp. It is designed by the young leaders of the Bus Project, a nationally recognized organization that has been getting young people involved in politics since 2002. PolitiCorps brings together 15 students for a summer of high impact service, training, and life changin’ conversations. Hands-on democracy is our specialty – that means PolitiCorps is a program where you learn… and do.
Fellows spend the first weeks of the program learning the nuts and bolts of effective people-powered politics. During that process, Fellows design their own 8 week mini campaign. Past groups have done massive things: Registered 13,000 voters, knocked on 25,000 doors to support marriage equality, and signed up Oregon children for health care.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll tear your hair out, you’ll have a leg up on your peers, you’ll make incredible friends and drink gallons of coffee.
The program is made up of several parts:
Classes and Speakers
Classes make up the first portion of each day. Local community leaders, volunteers, elected officials, Bus Project staff, national activists and politicos teach classes and trainings throughout the summer on a wide (massive) variety of topics. The first two weeks focus on practical skills including campaign plan writing, voter registration tactics, volunteer recruitment, and a ton more. The remainder of the summer is a combination of hands-on training and theoretical debate/discussion with really smart people.
Another portion of PolitiCorps curriculum is the legislative campaign plan. Each Fellow will write a state legislative campaign plan for a future house race. Plans are revised by local campaign gurus (who will take the quality of the plans into hiring consideration for post-program plans).
You’ll get a chance to engage with incredible folks – and give them your ideas.
Check out a list of folks who have taught classes and workshops in past years.
Intensive Field Work
The field work program takes up (most of) the rest of the summer.
PolitiCorps Fellows spend the first week or so of the program collectively deciding what to focus on from a menu of intensive field options. Fellows write and design their own field program – and then implement it over the summer. Afternoons and evenings are spent doing field work and gaining valuable hands-on experience. PolitiCorps Fellows learn by doing.
In past years, PolitiCorps Fellows have accomplished massive projects: registered over 13,000 voters, knocked on over 25,000 doors for marriage equality, wrangled 4500 pledges to support tax fairness and a balanced budget, and signed up 284 Oregon children from low-income families for healthcare.
PolitiCorps field work takes place in Oregon, but skills gained don’t always stay there. PolitiCorps Fellows graduate with a toolbelt of skills that translates to all different arenas of organizing. Most of our Fellows are from out of state.
Each summer, Fellows participate in several community trainings open to the public.
One training day from 2015: “Affordable Housing BrewHaha”– a community event held at a local bar geared towards bringing light to the housing crisis and housing affordability here in Portland. So many community members attended that it was standing room only–and then the air conditioning went out. ‘Twas very hot, as well as educational! In 2009 we held “Talking About What Matters” – a training that taught effective communication strategies, featuring Parag Mehta (former Clinton speechwriter, advisor on the Obama Presidential Transition Team) and several local gurus.
You’ll have it.
Do you want to join PolitiCorps for the most productive summer in recent memory? Apply today to join their 2015 conquest.
Need even more info? We’ve got you.
ABOUT US: The Oregon Bus Project is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization working to build a more accessible democracy that more accurately reflects and engages the millennial generation. Our goal is to bring young people into the political process through civic engagement, leadership development, and issue advocacy. The Bus Project has registered, educated, and turned out tens of thousands of young voters. The Bus Project has also passed forward-thinking policies that make elections more accessible and make tangible change on issues that impact young people. We’re working to change our state for the better, and we need you to make that happen.
ABOUT THE PROGRAM: Our summer fellowship, PolitiCorps, is focused on training young people to be effective and inclusive community leaders and organizers through daily classroom sessions and on-the-ground fieldwork. Fellows lead and participate in daily classroom sessions designed to give them skills and tools necessary to make positive change in their community. We pair the classroom trainings with serious fieldwork so that fellows can make a tangible impact on their community by utilizing the skills they learn in the classroom.
PolitiCorps has been around since 2005 and we have graduated over 250 fellows that have gone on to be campaign managers, lobbyists, and executive directors. It is a 10-week bootcamp where fellows get to learn the ins and outs of grassroots organizing. Some favorite trainings from previous summers include lobbying & testifying, cultural competency, privilege and oppression, creating your own campaign plan, fundraising, and event planning. Along with these trainings, fellows are given the opportunity to create and manage their own campaign plan with a team of their peers in Portland.
We provide rent, food, and travel stipends. Stipends are need-based and vary depending on if you have your own place to live or if you need home-stay for the 10 weeks you are here.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- Gain valuable leadership skills through a mix of classroom sessions and hands-on fieldwork
- Participate in local and state-level grassroots campaigns
- Recruit and train volunteers to advocate for progressive issues in the Portland area
- Build a strong community of friends and allies that you will work with in the future
- Explore your strengths and weaknesses as a leader
- Grow personally and intentionally through intentional feedback from your supervisor and fellow interns, classroom trainings, and self-reflection
We welcome applications from all and strongly encourage women, people of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, refugees, and members of the LGBTQ community to apply.