About

Democracy Summer is a one-of-a-kind political Democratic Fellowship that teaches high school and college students the nuts-and-bolts of political organizing, the arts of electoral mobilization, the critical issues of the day, and the history of progressive political change. Our mission in 2019 is to deploy Democracy Summer Fellows to help Democratic candidates win key elections in swing districts, especially to take back Virginia’s state legislature and help call voters in pivotal special elections like North Carolina’s 9th U.S. House District. Apply now!

Democracy Summer 2019 Fellowship Description:

In the summer of 2019, Democracy Summer will train over 100 college and high school-age participants during two six-week summer sessions in two regions: Silver Spring, MD and Richmond, VA. Democracy Summer is a political training fellowship with a structured curriculum and a graduation certificate ceremony.

In Richmond and in Silver Spring, Fellows will work to flip the Virginia House of Delegates and State Senate blue! They will also call voters to turn out the vote for candidates in other competitive elections taking place around the country in 2019, including special elections for Congress and other state legislative elections.

Fellows will devote 30 work hours a week to the program. Fellows will divide their time evenly between engaging with critical policy analysis and discussion in a classroom setting and participating in electoral work, including but not limited to voter registration, phone-banking, canvassing, donor research, and campaign research. Fellows will receive practical hands-on training in all of the key areas of political organizing and Democratic campaigning.

Democracy Summer consists of an interactive curriculum on the history of progressive Democratic politics; daily guest speakers on policy issues and practical political campaign organizing and strategy; hundreds of hours of well-designed campaign organizing projects and deployments; and a mix of popular social and political events.

Fellows will:

  • work with Democratic Congressional and state legislative nominees and join forces with resistance groups of local activists to win key elections to take back the Virginia legislature and preserve the U.S. House Democratic majority to build on the progress of the blue wave
  • participate in canvassing, phone banking and online organizing efforts locally and across the country
  • work fundraisers, marches, and events in support of progressive causes and candidates
  • learn from progressive policy experts, elected officials, candidates and campaign staff
  • participate in skills-building workshops with leading organizers and activists
  • learn about the non-profit sector, public policy, and electoral politics and career paths in these areas

Fellows are paid a stipend. More details about the stipend can be obtained by applying and emailing paul@democracysummerpac.org. Fellows also receive a first-class political education, grow a network of friends and compatriots, can request recommendation letters for college or graduate school upon completion and free lunch at some events.

Here’s what we’ve been up to the past two summers:

Democracy Summer 2018:

In the summer of 2018, approximately 140 Fellows across four states–Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Iowa–canvassed or phonebanked for Democratic nominees for U.S. House in 17 of the most competitive U.S. House races to take back the House.

In 13 of the 17 districts, the Democratic nominee prevailed, flipping 12 seats and holding 1 tough seat for the Dems. Democracy Summer’s infusion of grassroots volunteer energy from local activists propelled the Pennsylvania Fab Four women, along with women candidates in Virginia and Iowa and the first openly LGBTQ+ member of Congress from New Hampshire to a sweeping blue wave that crashed down on Capitol Hill.

The group includes more than one quarter of all the seat flips that made up the margin of the new Democratic majority. Canvassing trips stretched as far south as Henrico, VA; as far west as Winchester, VA, and as far north as Nazareth, PA.

Democracy Summer 2017:

In the summer of 2017, 52 Fellows — drawn overwhelmingly from Maryland’s 8th Congressional District — spent 6 weeks partaking in remarkable seminars with economists, environmentalists and union leaders; participating in trainings on public speaking, media messaging, campaign strategy, and fundraising; and visiting the DNC and the DCCC in meetings with Members of Congress including Nancy Pelosi, Diana DeGette, Gerry Connolly, Donald McEachin, Don Beyer, Pramila Jayapal, and Keith Ellison.

Fellows boarded a bus and deployed to Georgia for Jon Ossoff’s important grassroots campaign for Congress, to Virginia on weekends to help the Democratic statewide ticket sweep to victory and to propel numerous progressive Democrats to upset incumbent Republicans and win key state legislative races, and also to major voter registration and canvassing drives in Maryland.  Beyond knocking on doors and phone-banking, they participated in protests on Capitol Hill about threats to the ACA and acted as a rapid deployment team for the Dreamers and other Democratic causes throughout the Mid-Atlantic.

Sound exciting?  The political experience you’ve been looking for? Apply now!

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