By Jill Zipin, cofounder of DJOP and member of DJOP’s Leadership Team
We were very fortunate to have Congressman Jamie Raskin and Congressman Dwight Evans speak at our recent event. We were happy to see so many old and new faces. Both Congressmen spoke of the importance of grass roots organizing efforts to get out the vote. They agreed if we do not have people working to mobilize the voters then the Democrat’s message will not be heard, even if it is a good one.
Congressman Raskin spoke about his efforts to mobilize high school and college students in the upcoming Congressional races. He noted all progressive change has come from the bottom up—the civil rights movement to LGBTQ rights. His program, Democracy Summer, will immerse students in the history of progressive change, train them in the skills and issues critical to grassroots organizing and deploy them in key Congressional campaigns. Many of those key congressional campaigns will be right here in the Philadelphia suburban region. This program turns the passion of our youth into action, which will help the Democrats take back the House and the Senate.
Raskin’s Democracy Summer 2018 Seeking Applicants
Democracy Summer is a formalized political fellowship experience with a comprehensive structure and a beginning, middle and end, including a graduation certificate ceremony. But the relationships participants form are deep and enduring. While benefiting from the students’ idealism and energy, the program invests in their intellectual growth and the development of their political skills.
Fellows will receive practical training in all of the key skills of political organizing and democratic campaigning. They will participate in readings and discussions with leading policy experts, progressive leaders, and organizers. Each six-week session will explore a range of issue areas, such as climate change, reproductive freedom, tax policy, immigration and refugee policy, redistricting and gerrymandering, and voting rights and the spread of voter suppression tactics. Fellows will devote at least 50% of a 35-hour work week to direct electoral work including but not limited to phone-banking, canvasing, donor research, and campaign research.
If you know a college or high school student who wants hands-on political experience, encourage them to apply for the 2018 program. Applications are due March 18. To apply, visit; there is a link on the page to the online application.