So I went down to DC last weekend for the latest edition of Rootscamp, the self-described “un-conference” where all the planners provide is food and a bunch of rooms for seminars, discussions and presentations that are announced at the beginning of the weekend by the participants. Great people came, including the man who shaped a large part of what I did in the last campaign cycle: Marshall Ganz, Kennedy School professor and Camp Obama trainer.
My overall impression is that this was a very well done weekend conference. For my $10 registration fee I got two breakfasts and two lunches, a party Saturday night, access to some awesome people from the progressive side of campaigns from this cycle, and a job fair. I was not at a loss for a session to go at any point, in fact I wish that I had been able to hear more of what was said over that weekend. It was also fun to see some friends from the Oregon Bus Project, including newly elected Oregon State Representative Jefferson Smith.
Here are some of the notes and impressions I wrote down on paper from that weekend:
Session 1: Progressive Organizing in 2009
This session was an open discussion about what was best to do now that it isn’t a campaign year, in what ways could people best expand progressive influence without the attention a campaign year brings. Training became the focus of the discussion, and I felt compelled to say that investing in youth training bears fruits for a long period of time, citing my PolitiCorps experience as exceedingly valuable. Discussion of training led to what made for good trainings, from having really good trainers to meeting people where they are in terms of not only geography but also interest and ability level.