“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson
As you know, I have been passionate about building the Democratic Party, especially here in Florida, so that we can be competitive once again in political campaigns. Throughout our website, I have stressed many ways in which we, as a party, need to improve the way we run things.
One thing that is lacking in our party is an elite candidate training program. This is especially true for the young adults that wish to seek public office. Currently, many of these young adults have the drive and the will to run for public office, but don’t know where to turn, how to run a campaign or present themselves as a suitable candidate for public office.
Instead, we have taken the young adults in our party for granted. Even though they might strive to become political candidates in the future, we force them to put up yard signs, sit at a phone bank, lick envelopes and other tedious campaign work. And while this work is needed to help candidates in elections, it does nothing to motive these young adults to seek public office. Instead, many of them shy away from politics after one election cycle.
We need to get these youngsters motivate and help them become the future of the Democratic Party. The Republicans already have done this, but the Democratic Party has failed to do so. This isn’t just a Florida issue, but an issue throughout the United States.
As of today, I am proud to announce the formation of The National Democratic Scholastic Program, a non-profit scholarship program dedicated to the elite training of potential candidates between the ages of 18 and 24. The goal is to train our youth to become productive, and winning, candidates in the near future.
The scholarship program will hold a weekend event in which sponsored applicants will be selected to participate. The application process, which will only be available once a year, will be highly selective. Those that are accepted have been deemed as rising stars by their local Democratic Executive Committees, College Democrats or Young Democrats organization and have expressed their interest in seeking public office. Here are just some of the things our scholars will learn during the three-day scholastic program:
- Improve speaking skills
- Speech writing
- How to Debate
- Candidate appearance – Looking the part
- Meeting and speaking to important political people and organizations
- Campaign organization – Picking a winning team
- Working with Media
- Additional workshops for female and minority scholars
In addition to teaching our scholars these skills, we intend on making this a motivation event. We want our scholars to leave this experience with the drive and passion to put their names on the local ballot and run for public office. We seek to have our weekend elite training program in a four-star setting with renowned speakers, which will give our scholars addition motivation and let them know we are serious about their future. Also, with teaching our scholars the skills to be successful, these young adults will already hit the ground running and will be effective and well connected candidates from “Day 1” of their campaigns.
We will also be seeking out mentors for our youngsters. Whether local or at the state level, we will seek elected officials to help teach and guide potential candidates to a productive career in public service.
There will be more details about the program in the coming months. We intend on setting up at a non-profit 501(c)(4). The main goal of the program is to recruit and train young adults for a life of elected public service. We will also be doing a fundraising push to help or program off the ground. Since we will be a non-profit organization, we will rely on donations to make this become a reality. We will also seek in-kind contributions, particularly in the legal community, that can help us create our organization.
We intend to have our first Scholastic Training Program in February or March of 2013 in Tallahassee, so that our scholars can truly feel the experience of the Florida State Capitol during a legislative session. In addition, they will be able to meet more people who could become vital to their future campaigns.
This program will help fill a gap that is currently lacking throughout the county. We need to get our young people engaged in elected public service. We will be helping to build a stronger Florida and America. We will eventually need your help to make the dreams of these youngster a reality.
Founder – The National Democratic Scholastic Program.