In my real job, as I have mentioned here before, I work for an organization called Wellstone Action. Our mission is:
“Wellstone Action ignites leadership in people and power in communities to win change in the progressive tradition of Paul and Sheila Wellstone.”
That is all nice and everything but what does it mean? For WA it means that we go around the country and train people to work in three areas – the three areas that Paul as Senator said were the ways to create power and attain power – in creating good progressive public policy, working in building strong grassroots programs and in the electoral political arena to both elect those people who will help implement that good public policy and hold those people accountable who are already elected.
Yesterday we released our annual report for 2009. We usually print it and send it out but in an effort to be conscious of costs and washing paper we chose to only produce an online version. It details all of the amazing work that has been done over the course of the last year. Take a look and let me know what you think.
We do this work in a list of different programs; we have a program called the Sheila Wellstone Institute that works with survivors of domestic violence and abuse, the Native American Leadership Program which works with people in Indian country, Campus Camp Wellstone which focuses on students and a younger populations, Camp Wellstone which is our trademark program that serves people who want to work on campaigns, who want to run for office and community activists, The Movement Builders Project which partners with organizations long term to help with strategic planning and long term development, the Advanced Campaign Management School which is a week long program that trains people to run campaigns, and the Labor Program which works with national partners to train union members to access their power in the political process (that’s the program I do the most work with).
I am done trumpetting our work. I will end with this: In 2009 we trained more than 9000 people and since we began we have trained more than 35,000 people; The average age of one of our participants is 39; 56% of our participants make less than $40,000 a year.
In case you don’t know why we call ourselves Wellstone Action and who Paul Wellstone was (or why you should care) I want to share this short video we have done to explain. Paul was a teacher long before he was a US Senator, and Sheila was a strong advocate for women who had suffered from domestic violence.