Frequently Asked Questions:
Who can participate? Democracy Summer welcomes all high school and college-age young adults (ages 16-22) who want to participate in social change and help take back Congress! If you care about progressive politics, this is the program for you.
Where does the program take place? We are currently determining the locations for 2020. Check back soon or sign up to be notified when the locations are known and the 2020 application is up.
Can I apply to a city away from home? Yes! However, Democracy Summer unfortunately does not provide housing. We encourage Fellows to participate in their home regions, learn the issues, develop networks, and become powerful political actors in their own communities. That said, we welcome out-of-state participants.
Is this a paid fellowship? Fellows are volunteers and are paid a travel stipend to defray the cost of food and travel to and from our programming. Details about the stipend can be found on the application.
We are grateful for your commitment and work hard to invest in your professional development by giving you a first-class education and experience in electoral organizing and political advocacy. We are certain that you will form professional relationships and friendships that will propel you on your academic, political and professional journey.
I am not interested in participating but I would like to financially support the program. Can I sponsor a Democracy Summer Fellow who otherwise could not participate? Absolutely! Many participating families, political clubs and Democratic donors have contributed generously to pay for modest scholarships for young people who could not otherwise afford to participate. Please click here if you are interested in contributing or financially supporting the program.
How long is the program? How many hours a day? How many days a week? There are two summer sessions. Each session is five to six weeks. Session I and II dates vary in each region. Please see the locations page for session dates in each region.
The program is designed to be a full-time fellowship with approximately 30 work hours from Monday to Friday. The exact hours and schedule vary by city. On days we are participating in phone banks or door-knocking, the program will likely start and end later, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. for example. We will also have regular weekend activities such as voter registration, fundraising events, and political canvassing.
Our goal is to provide a weekly schedule with as much advance notice as possible.
What if I have to miss a week due to family plans? Can I arrive late or leave early due to work obligations? What if I can’t make the start date or can’t stay until the final week due to school requirements? Ideally, everyone is fully present. But life is complicated and plans can change – we get that. We’re operating under the assumption that everyone is making a good-faith effort and that everyone is in this to make a difference and do good work. We can work together to figure out how to allow you to participate in the program as fully as possible while accommodating your schedule.
What do we do all day? What’s the program like? You’ll be busy and you’ll be challenged! The program is a deep dive into everything about electoral organizing and making progressive social change. You will meet with policy experts; debate the merits of different candidates; partake in skill-building workshops from fundraising to public speaking; and be called upon to put these skills into practice. You will become a serious participant in multiple competitive congressional campaigns and may even get job offers as a result! But imagine also an intensive crash course in a political incubator with like minded students and world class speakers – you’ll share the experience and the challenges with a group of thoughtful, energized, and committed peers, all working together to change America and the world.
Can Independents, Greens and Libertarians apply? We’re working to elect Democrats up and down the ticket to defend democracy in the U.S. as we know it. If you sincerely share that goal and want to advance it, you can participate even if you are registered as an Independent or something else. Please explain in your application if you are not a registered Democrat but still wish to participate.
Have more questions? Please email us with your questions. We look forward to hearing from you at firstname.lastname@example.org.