The third incarnation of Campaign Academy began two days ago. Mark Strama commenced with a welcome speech that defined one of the fundamental elements of campaigning: the elevator speech–a project of expeditiousness. Each academician was given 20-30 seconds to introduce themselves and their (life, momentary, and otherwise) objectives, allowing for a quick getting-to-know-you session and also serving to demonstrate one of the many pressures politicians face while vote-seeking.
My favorite speaker of the day arrived shortly after intros. Rafael Anchia, a Dallas-area Texas state representative, shared a few anecdotes that informed his policy interests and understanding of democratic practice. Son of Mexican and Spanish immigrants, Rep. Anchia offered a refreshing perspective on labor, immigration, and constituent (whether citizen or no) representation issues. His lecture, despite its straightforwardness, presented a sophisticated and nuanced narrative of his negotiation between issues constituted by past, present, and future. In terms of party advancement in the region, he certainly appeals to the shift in demography and its concomitant policy concerns.
Ian Davis, our noontime speaker, introduced us to the Turn Texas Blue Campaign and explained what we’ll be doing with it. The campaign, as its name implies, is a project to get democrats (back) into office. Ian established one big objective for the TTBC: 2010 is, in effect, the not-so-distant bull’s eye marking a sweep of Texas state democratic victories.