Southland Friends of Labor – Labor Friendly Political Training Recap
By Wei Luo, @DuPage_Dems
On June 24, I joined fellow Democrats for a labor friendly political training workshop in Chicago Heights. Having recently returned to the greater Chicago area after graduating from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, I was looking for ways to support progressive candidates and issues in my community going into the 2018 elections. The workshop, hosted by the Southland Friends of Labor, ILDCCA, and National Democratic Training Committee (NDTC), provided the tools I needed to do just that.
Natasha Smith of the NDTC and Dan Kovats of ILDCCA gave a detailed explanation of how political campaigns work, from messaging to fundraising to field operations. They emphasized the importance of conducting systematic, data-driven campaigns and talking sincerely about the issues we care about. I was surprised by the diverse backgrounds of the other attendees. Some came from Kankakee County, while others came from Cook or Will County. Some were union workers, while others were attorneys or local elected officials. Some planned to run for office, while others planned to volunteer as activists or campaign staff. Despite these differences, everyone shared a common goal of advancing progressive, labor friendly policies in Illinois using the tools taught in the workshop.
As I headed home after the workshop, I continued to mull over ILDCCA President Doug House’s remarks at the start of the session that all politics is retail, and we must be willing to go door to door to persuade our neighbors and fellow citizens. That’s the lesson I intend to bring home with me, and given the enthusiasm I saw at the workshop, I know that Democrats across the region will not be alone in that journey.