#VASummit The Democratic Party of Virginia, in connection with Organizing for America and the Virginia Young Democrats, is providing practical and policy training for Democratic activists and candidates at VCU in Richmond this weekend. Chairman Moran, state party and OFA staff, and the organizers, including Gaylene Kanoyton, Mike Signer, Sanda klassan, Fred Hudson, and Craig Fifer, have clearly put a great deal of effort into a very professional conference. Materials and video will be available at the DPVA website. Some of the highlights thus far:
- Friday focused on practical training for candidates and political professionals – over 150 people, including a number of new candidates, attended sessions addressing personal issues, advisors, field, finance, and communications, and video training.
- The highlight of the Friday night reception was an address from Congressman Bobby Scott.
- Mudcat Sanders got the day started with a call for new Democratic populism and advice on how to reach rural Virginia (respect their culture and be genuine).
- The US Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra spoke about President Obama’s Open Government Initiative and innovative uses of technology to change the world – e.g., making government data available to entrepreneurs and activists to solve problems and www.challenge.gov asks people to provide ideas and solve problems. A lot of very cool initiatives that people (or at least me) did not know much about.
- Communications – Brian Coy of DPVA and Marianne Van Nordeck of OFA provided guidance on messaging, including the importance of specific objectives and targeted approaches to help candidates and activists and candidates develop and spread the party’s message. They discussed accomplishments of Virginia Democratic governors and the Obama administration and personalizing that message.