EDF Action Campaign Academy

Winning campaigns for a better world.

Purpose

Today, more voters than ever believe elected officials should protect our air, water, and climate -- but there are not enough champions in our city halls, state legislatures, and the U.S. Capitol fighting for strong action. Across the country, too many candidates are missing an opportunity to use environmental values and climate action as a winning issue. That’s why EDF Action has designed a first-of-its-kind course to give candidates the tools they need to connect the environment to their local campaigns -- and win.

What You'll Learn

Through the EDF Action Campaign Academy, you’ll hear from some of the brightest and most successful political minds in the country. They will give you the insight and skills you need to become a stronger environmental advocate and a winning candidate or campaign staffer. You’ll learn about current public opinion surrounding environmental issues, how to craft a values-driven message, the best ways to deliver a consistent message through all aspects of your campaign, and how to respond to attacks on the environment and your campaign.

Facilitators

Meg Ansara

Meg Ansara is a political strategist who served most recently as the Battleground States Director for Hillary for America. She was previously National Regional Director for the 2012 Obama for America campaign, where she oversaw the grassroots and public engagement programs in the Midwest and southern states. She serves as an advisor to multiple foundations, advocacy and direct service organizations committed to improving public schools and ensuring all children have the opportunity to succeed in college and in life.

Rick Davis

Rick Davis is a Republican strategist that has a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sector. Mr. Davis served in three Reagan Administration Cabinet Agencies. President George H.W. Bush appointed him as Deputy Executive Director for the White House Conference on Science and Economic Research Related to Global Climate Change. In 2000 and 2008 Mr. Davis served as Senator John McCain’s national campaign manager leading all aspects of the campaign. Mr. Davis currently serves on the Boards of The McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University, Allied Minds, and The Environmental Defense Action Fund.

Hari Sevugan

Hari Sevugan has played a leading role on some of the most-watched races in the country over the last decade. In the 2008 cycle, Hari served as a senior spokesman for Obama for America, where he helped lead the effort that worked to define primary opponents and later John McCain and Sarah Palin for the press corps. After the Obama campaign, Hari was appointed national press secretary at the DNC where he oversaw national rapid response operations for legislative, electoral, and political efforts. Hari is sought after for his political analysis and has appeared on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC and other major news outlets.

Mitch Stewart

Mitch Stewart is a longtime political activist who has played leadership roles in some of the most groundbreaking organizations in American history. As battleground states director for the 2012 Obama for America campaign, he oversaw the strategy that garnered victories in nine of the 10 battleground states. Mitch has held a number of positions critical to President Obama's success — including Iowa state caucus director for the first Obama presidential campaign. Mitch also served as the national director of Organizing for America, where he led a team that drove grassroots momentum for high-profile legislative victories including the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Wall Street Reform, and the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell."

Lynda Tran

Lynda Tran is a public affairs strategist who most recently served as director of communications for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration during the Obama administration. Over four presidential cycles, she has worked as both an organizer and a communications lead on political campaigns in Texas and the key battleground states of Virginia and Ohio. Lynda has developed public engagement strategies for a variety of campaigns, companies, and causes across the globe, including Ready for Hillary, OneVoice, Ro Khanna's campaign to represent California's 17th congressional district, and the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Lynda is a CBS News Political Contributor and frequent commentator.

Module 1

Support for environmentally friendly policies is at an all-time high. Mitch Stewart guides you through public opinion polling about the environment and shares the most effective messages to use when talking about the environment so that you can incorporate locally-relevant, pro-environmental messages into your campaign.

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Module 2

Winning campaigns speak to values, not just issues. Rick Davis and Lynda Tran team up to teach you how to connect your environmental platform to your campaign’s core values. They give you the tools you need to address the most pressing envi ronmental issues in your district.

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Module 3

Your core message is only as effective as your campaign’s reach. Meg Ansara shows you how to build a campaign that amplifies your core message across every department -- from organizing to fundraising -- and gives you examples of campaigns that have coordinated their own core messages across many platforms.

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Module 4

In today’s political climate, it can be hard to keep up with an ever-changing news cycle and a new brand of divisive politics. Hari Sevugan gives you the guidelines you need for considering when and how to respond to political attacks. He also gives rules for setting up a rapid response organization that can be applied to campaigns at every level.

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