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 2018 is to deploy Democracy Summer Fellows to help Democratic candidates win key elections in swing districts across the country and elect a true-blue Democratic Congress in 2018. Apply now!

Democracy Summer 2018 Fellowship Description:

In the summer of 2018, Democracy Summer will train more than 200 college and high school-age participants during two five-week summer sessions in four regions: Silver Spring, MD; Charlottesville, VA; Des Moines, IA; and Philadelphia, PA. Democracy Summer is a political training fellowship with a structured syllabus and a graduation certificate ceremony.

Fellows will devote approximately 30 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 nominees, Indivisible, Do the Most Good, and other activist groups to win key elections and take back the House
  • 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 not paid but they 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 get a free lunch most days of the week (and sometimes dinner!).  Scholarships are available for young people who cannot otherwise participate.

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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