ATLANTA — Organizing for Action, the successor to Barack Obama’s presidential campaign that has been rebuilding itself as a Trump-era resistance machine, is launching a new effort to train more activists by connecting progressive groups with newly-trained organizers.
After training 1,000 fellows since the start of the year, OFA will work with Wellstone Action, the woman-focused Emerge America, Run for Something, the African American-focused Collective PAC and the millennial-focused New Leaders Council to place fellows with the relevant causes.
“OFA couldn’t be more excited to launch this partnership program and work with these influential organizations to help elevate the next generation of progressive leaders — leaders who reflect the youthful, diverse population at the heart of progressive movement,” said OFA spokesman Jesse Lehrich. “Now is the time to invest in the future, to encourage talented young activists to take the next step and run for office, and to provide them with the training and support necessary to be successful.”
The progressive group’s six-week fellowship program, created by veterans of the Obama campaigns, has become an under-the-radar asset for activists who plunged into politics after the 2016 election. The free program has been turning out organizers for special elections, voter registration and protest campaigns — especially the sustained protests against the Republican effort to repeal the Affordable Care Act.
The surge of interest in such protests, and the parade of resistance groups launched after the election, has turned OFA into one of the left’s more senior, mainstream political outfits. Viewed suspiciously by Democrats during the Obama years, OFA loomed during this year’s race to chair the Democratic National Committee as an example of how Obama had failed to resolve divisions within the Democratic Party.
Six months later, OFA has settled into the firmament of the progressive movement — and by connecting other groups to fellows, it’s trying to build a farm team that the Obama-era DNC never could.