The National Mentoring Program

Our movement has been able to secure precious few wins at the ballot box when our rights and dignity are put to vote, so the LAB team works year round to hone the tools and pioneer the new approaches that the next campaigns will need most. Offering both long term support and intensive help in the heat of election season, we work side-by-side with campaign leaders and organizers to help turn the tide.
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On top of our extensive collective experience on past campaigns, the LAB’s ongoing organizing work enables us to maintain a seasoned team of staff and volunteer leaders. As a result, we’re able to develop and consistently teach practical approaches to:

Volunteer Recruitment and Motivation – Connecting the dots between peoples’ desire and need for change and the path to taking action and making a difference, particularly when the emotional stakes are high.

Grassroots Leadership Development – Dramatically scaling up a field program’s capacity through people power by helping volunteers take ownership of the work and realize how much they’re capable of.

Voter Persuasion – Having direct, profoundly personal conversations with unsupportive or undecided voters about LGBT rights and guiding those voters to reassess their underlying concerns and vote for equality.

Training – Conducting effective group and one on one trainings that allow a wide variety of volunteers to feel empowered and confident when taking on challenging work.

Staff Development – Helping managers and organizers build and maintain highly productive relationships that ultimately foster independence and self-sufficiency in the teams they’re leading.

Messaging – Understanding the kind of messages and messengers that can withstand and overcome the opposition’s overwhelmingly successful campaign ads and producing and executing strong spots to match.

Some of Our Recent Work

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Minnesotans United for All Families The entire LAB staff re-located for two months to Minnesota to support Minnesotans United’s battle to defeat what would have been the nation’s 31st state vote banning same-sex marriage. Our organizers became part of the campaign structure in a host of roles, from regional field directors in the Twin Cities and Michelle Bachmann’s Central Minnesota district to helping lead the campus operation at the 50,000 student U of M. By the campaign’s account, we were able to make game-changing contributions to the field program’s approaches to volunteer recruitment, leadership development, and voter persuasion statewide.

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Fair Pocatello In the spring of 2014 the LGBT citizens of Pocatello, Idaho faced the repeal of their new non-discrimination law at the ballot box. With vital protections for gay and trans people hanging in the balance, and the opposition deploying its most transphobic messages, the LAB was thrilled to offer the campaign all the support we could muster. 115 LAB volunteers rallied to have conversations with 1,188 Pocatello voters about who LGBT people are and why these protections are so vital. And our callers, equipped with months of experience persuading voters on trans rights, were able to tackle a deeper universe of moveable voters who our side was in danger of losing. On election day, the Fair Pocatello campaign prevailed by only 80 votes.

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One Anchorage In April, LAB staff worked on the ground with the One Anchorage campaign, supporting their volunteer recruitment and messaging work as they worked to defend a trans-inclusive non-disrimination law.

When we needed to train our volunteer leadership team in how to do effective grassroots organizing, we turned to the leadership LAB. They took the time to listen to what we needed, created a training that met those specific needs, and came to Anchorage to work with us. The result was a campaign bootcamp that, for many volunteers, was one of the highlights of the whole campaign.

Jeffrey Mittman Executive Director, ACLU of Alaska One Anchorage / Yes on Prop 5, Campaign Leadership Team