21st Century Democrats
Introduction For the past two decades, 21st Century Democrats has been an organization with a long term mission to train progressives and build the network of populist Democrats who stand up for America’s working families and lead the Democratic Party at the local, state, and federal levels. We focus particular attention to training field organizers and on building the farm team of Democratic leaders who can move up to higher office at every level and who represent the tradition of Democrats like Jim Hightower, Tom Harkin, Barbara Boxer, Raul Grijalva, John Lewis, Al Gore, and Paul Wellstone.
Our Mission The mission of 21st Century Democrats is to develop leadership at every level – from training new generations of field organizers and campaign staff – to helping progressive candidates win campaigns – to building a broad network of progressive Democratic leaders who will shape the direction of the Democratic Party and enact progressive public policy which transforms this country to be a just, fair and equal society for all people.
Our Vision and Values We are committed to leading the way toward a bold and progressive agenda that will improve the quality of life for all Americans. Our goal is to elect genuinely progressive Democrats who believe the government has a positive role to play in our country and will fight to enact public policy which reflects the core values of equality, opportunity, compassion, justice and fairness that 21st Century Democrats believes in, stands up for, and works towards on a daily basis.
Our Strategies Cultivating Leadership at Every Level We develop the leadership of young people to move into successful careers in the progressive movement. We train people who have shown a strong interest in politics and idealism about the future in grassroots organizing and field work. We have trained thousands of high school and college students, college graduates, and party activists and have placed hundreds of them into their first political job in support of the progressive leaders we endorse. These results speak for themselves as many of these alumni go on to manage higher profile campaigns, become leaders in the progressive community, or even become elected officials themselves.
Supporting Candidates Who Will Make a Difference In each election cycle, we endorse a diverse array of candidates who exemplify our values and show unusual promise to advance our progressive goals. We invest in some of the most competitive races as well in some of the most challenging, in which the candidates are outstanding but the traditional Democratic supporters are most reticent. We support candidates in primaries as well as general election races. We focus the bulk of our resources on electing challengers and protecting vulnerable incumbents.
Building a Powerful Network of Progressive Leaders In a world in which social networks are the key to continued progress, we continue to support our team of field organizers and elected leaders after Election Day. Through our alumni network, we help our former organizers develop their skills, find their next job, keep in touch with their peers to foster relationships, and build the infrastructure of the progressive movement. We provide support and recognition for the members of our 21st Century Leaders In Action network to share ideas and collaborate to implement bold progressive policies at the local, state and federal levels.