We have two goals at Campaign Greenhouse. At a lofty level, we want to help build a democracy where everyone (no matter what age, race, gender identity or expression, sexuality, physical ability, path to citizenship, education, employment, income, religion or lack thereof, parental status, relationship status, housing status, language spoken, et cetera), EVERYONE has access to the tools, resources and help they need to run a viable campaign for elected office. We believe that knocking down roadblocks and making pathways to power more accessible is a progressive goal in and of itself.
In the more practical world, we’re focused on building a massive farm team of Democrats and progressives who have run for office before and who have experience and wisdom and tools and resources and teams and who are willing to run for office again. This is the way we change the balance of power – by making our candidates better from the ground up. So every single campaign needs to have access to the tools, resources and help it needs to run a smart and strategic campaign through Election Day and beyond.
We think about campaigning a little differently than the traditional establishment, and it’s important to us that all the tools, resources and advice you get from Campaign Greenhouse honor these four principles.
- Losing is a great way to learn. You may have noticed that once you started talking about running, you hear the same question over and over: “Can you win?” Winning is great, but it doesn’t have to be your only goal. At Campaign Greenhouse, we believe that it’s okay to run even if you’re not going to win. And it’s both okay and important to plan for a loss, and plan a career trajectory that includes a few losses along the way. Building losses into your plan will help you make smarter decisions about personal resources like time and money, and will help make sure you’re building for the future, not just laying it all on the line once. We’d like you to be planning for a career in public service, not just one election, and we’ll help prompt you to do that at every step of the way.
- Just start. There will never be the perfect time to run. You will never be at the exact right place in your life, you will never have 100% of the people on the ground supporting you. It will always be hard. But you will learn something new every day on the campaign trail, and every day you’ll be wiser and better than the day before. Get that started now.
- The view is usually better on the ground. Lots of political advice-givers have lots of opinions about what works and doesn’t work on campaigns. Professional operatives particularly love to hate yard signs, but there are a few races around the country where yard signs are a really key tactic. Our job at Campaign Greenhouse is to be the experts in good campaigning generalities. And we’ll try hard to make sure all of our coaches and experts never forget that when it comes to YOUR community, YOU are the expert.
- You are enough. Be human. Be you. You don’t need more training, more education, more income, more time, a better wardrobe, a better haircut, whiter teeth or smaller earrings in order to be qualified to run for office. Plenty of the advice that gets handed out, (especially to women of color), about being more “electable” is racist, sexist and a steaming pile of garbage. The only thing anybody knows about “electability” is what’s happened in the past, and we all know what’s looked “electable” in the past. But you’re not running in the past, you’re running in the future. Nobody knows if you’re “electable” until you’re elected. Don’t spend one hot second worrying about being more “electable.” Spend your time listening to voters and sharing your vision. You are enough, just the way you are.