Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Obama Fellowship

Here's an odd one;

But I also want to let you know about an exciting project that we'll be kicking off in all 50 states this summer. It's called the Obama Organizing Fellowship. When I was a young man, I was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement and the idea of people working at a grassroots level to bring about change. I got my chance on the South Side of Chicago, as a community organizer, and it was the transformative experience of my career. It allowed me to put my values to work and to see that real change comes not from the top-down, but from the bottom-up, when ordinary people come together around a common purpose. The experience changed the course of my life -- and I want to share that kind of opportunity with you. That's why we're introducing 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. If you apply and are selected, you'll be trained in the basic organizing principles that this campaign and our movement for change are built on. You will be assigned to a community where you'll organize supporters. Assignments will begin in June, and you'll be required to work a minimum of six weeks over the summer. This program is designed to give you real world organizing experience that will have a concrete impact on this election.

The big question is whether this is simply about mobilising people to campaign for Obama, or is it genuinely about building a new progressive generation of politicians? A bigger question, is all of this community work sustainable should Obama win the Presidency and if not what will the impact be on engagement in US politics?

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