Links to past trainings and political education materials are available on this page. This is a great place to start if you’re new to volunteering with the Gallatin Democrats or a seasoned volunteer interested in gaining new skills.
We use the Reach app to help with our canvassing and relational organizing efforts. If you’re new to the app or need a refresher, check out this training by our Organizing Manager, Anja Wookey-Huffman.
Persuasive Communication: Make Your Conversations Less Scary and More Effective
On July 12, 2022, we convened for a training with Gallatin Dems member and geologist Karin Kirk on how to connect and have effective conversations with neighbors this election season. We went in-depth about how really listening to people and finding common ground can often open the doors to more persuasive conversations on hot-button issues like climate change, reproductive justice, housing, etc. Canvassing conversations are a skill, and with practice, they can become less daunting and even joyful.
Race-Class Narrative: Progressive Messaging that Actually Wins
On March 26th, 2022, we gathered for our final Zoom organizing training to learn how to talk about the issues from Gallatin County Democrats Communications Manager, Lucy Hochschartner.
We examined how Republicans have won the message battle and broken the New Deal coalition that Duane covered earlier. Ever since the 1960s, dog-whistles have been used to undermine progressive causes. Dog-whistling is a messaging strategy that conservative politicians used to divide voters with racialized arguments without ever using obvious racial signifiers like “White” or “Black.” In response, the traditional Democratic wisdom was that we must also shy away from talking about race.
We learned that the latest research suggests this was the wrong approach. By explicitly naming our racial and class differences and how we can unite across them, we can speak in ways that not only feel true to our values, but actually win people over.
The Big Picture: Our Government's Role in Our Society
On March 12th, 2022, we convened once more over Zoom to learn from our history with longtime problem solver, change agent, and public-economics expert Duane Catlett. This was the second in a series of organizer trainings.
We learned the story of the New Deal: how collective action embodied in government policy brought this country out of the Great Depression and ushered in an extended period of prosperity. We learned that we have addressed a crisis of income inequality, homelessness, and food insecurity before.
We came away ready to learn from these past solutions and imagine forward to what is possible today.
Across the Divide: Canvassing from the Heart
On February 24th, 2022, the Gallatin Democrats convened over Zoom to learn from organizer Lila Livingston. This was the first in a series of three trainings to prepare us for a season of campaigning.
We asked, “As volunteers who envision a community of care, who want to talk to our neighbors, how do we cross the divide? What are the skills we need, and what internal and external supports will help us?”
We came away grounded in our community and common humanity — ready to talk to neighbors of any political party about our shared vision for the future.