May 21, 2018/Blog

Why We Train | Our Movement Monday

In our series Our Movement Monday, we talk with Texas Democrats across our state about their work and the challenges facing their communities.

Laura Bray is the Outreach Manager and Trainer for the Kendall County Democratic Party. She coordinates volunteers and their efforts; she also plans and conducts training sessions so party volunteers have the knowledge they need to work effectively.

 


 

Thank you for taking your time to chat with us today and it’s a pleasure meeting you Laura! If you could please share a little about you, your background and how you got involved originally in politics.

Laura Bray: I’m a writer and editor, and I’ve been politically active my entire life. I worked extensively on Democratic campaigns in 2014 in San Antonio. Last May, we moved to Boerne, and I joined TX21 Indivisible Hill Country (in Kerrville). I was the campaign manager for Kevin Henning’s successful campaign to become the Kendall County Democratic Party Chair. My first “Progressive Views” editorial appeared in the Boerne Star (our local paper) on May 11.

Wow that’s great! Why did you become a Volunteer Trainer?

Laura Bray: I enjoy learning new things and teaching what I learn to others. We will need *lots* of volunteers to make the #BlueWave happen, and they need certain skills so they can effectively plan their efforts and get the most out of the time they spend in various activities, such as phone banking, block walking, working with VAN, and more.

Based off of your own experiences, why do you think others should become Volunteer Trainers?

Laura Bray: The more Volunteer Trainers we have, the greater our reach. I can’t personally connect with all the Democrats in Kendall County. The larger our network of Volunteer Trainers, the more activists we can meet and train, growing our footprint continuously.

How did you recruit volunteers for your training?

Laura Bray: We had our first County Executive Committee meeting in early May, and Kevin and I felt a training session on the basics of “Get Out the Vote” would serve the committee well, as nearly all of them are new CEC members.

After the recruitment process, what were the steps you took to organize and facilitate the Volunteer Training?

Laura Bray: I gathered a variety of resources on Get Out the Vote, including presentations to TX21 Indivisible, material from the Texas Democratic Party, and the GOTV presentation by Sharon Reed-Miller of the Hays County Democratic Party at a recent Boerne Area Democrats meeting. I consolidated all this material, then slimmed it down into a 15 minute training session.

What were the main challenges you faced when organizing your Volunteer Training?

Laura Bray: I had *way* more information than I could use, so it was a challenge to pare it down to just the essentials.

How could you overcome some of those challenges moving forward?

Laura Bray: Using the feedback and questions from the training session to fine-tune it and make it better the next time.

What was your favorite thing about the training?

Laura Bray: Meeting the CEC members and getting a better idea of their level of expertise. We have everything from experts to beginners.

What advice do you have for other Volunteer Trainers or for someone who might want to become a Volunteer Trainer?

Laura Bray: Standing up in front of a group of people is great experience for talking to voters in your community. You’ll learn a lot while researching your topic, putting together your presentation, and actually giving it. All those facts will then be at your fingertips when you run into potential voters and volunteers who want to know more about what they can do to create change this November (and beyond).

 


Want to become a volunteer trainer? Sign-up today: