April 3rd, 2008
Cross-posted on techPresident
Okay, it’s not exactly a robot zombie army, but it might have a similar effect on the world of political action — an email arrived today from the Obama campaign about a training program they’re starting which aims to educate a cadre of activists in the essentials of community organizing. Using Obama’s own organizing experience as a hook, the campaign pitches the Obama Organizing Fellowships as “a program that’s going to train a new generation of leaders — not only to help us win this election, but to help strengthen our democracy in communities across the country.”
The message doesn’t say how many Fellows will be trained or where, but it does give you the opportunity to make a donation, to invite a friend to help or even to volunteer to house a Fellow. Obviously the campaign is investing in this project in order to help get Obama elected, and a Fellow’s most important job will be to help that task along (note that the program is a tool for the general election at this point, not the primaries), but after that they’ll be turned loose to wander the Earth on their own, where some will no doubt use their new-found powers for good or ill.
Seriously, with an unprecedented number of people politically activated this year, and with the campaigns as well as outside groups like my friends at the New Organizing Institute training campaign workers and volunteers in the essentials of political action online and off, I can’t help but think that we’re going to be left with a ton of new people fired up about politics and armed with the tools to put their ideas to work. Some will fail and others will lose interest, but the rest may just start to change the ways things are done locally and up the political chain. THAT would be robot-zombie-army fun to watch.