Milwaukee Socialist Organizer Class — Apply by February 2!

Are you interested in becoming the best organizer you can be? Do you want to expand socialism here in Milwaukee, but are unsure of where and how to start? Have you been involved but feel like the project did not go anywhere? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the Milwaukee Socialist Organizer Class is for you! 

 

This nine week program will focus on holistically teaching you to be an unstoppable organizer who builds socialism, changes hearts and minds, and impacts our city. You will learn direct action organizing, as defined by Organizing for Social Change: Midwest Academy Manual for Activists, in which we organize actions, campaigns, and tactics to “1) win real, immediate, concrete improvement in people’s lives … 2) Give people a sense of their own power … 3) Alter the relations of power.” 

 

Interested individuals will apply (Click here, which is due by 11:59 p.m. on February 2, 2024), be interviewed, and enter the program if selected. DSA membership is not required to participate, but is encouraged. 

 

This education program will be a combination of in-person events with virtual events if necessary. Each unit will be roughly a week, with a week break in the middle of the program. Each unit will consist of classroom-style instruction in the unit topic (no more than 2 hours, which will be in-person), field work in organizing (which will be at least 3 hours and consist of having conversations, moving people to action, and building infrastructure for a strong socialist movement involving several types of campaigns), and time for personal reflection. Each participant must commit to the entire program and, unless excused, attend every unit instruction, and field work session. Missing more than two classes and field work sessions may result in removal from the program.  

 

This is the fifth time this program has been offered, and it is back by popular demand! The two instructors have updated and revised the course to make you even more prepared to lead in socialism.  

 

 

Time commitment per week: 

Unit instruction: 2 hours 

Organizing work: 3 hours 

Miscellaneous tasks: 1 hour 

Total time per week: 6 hours

 

 

Weekly Schedule 

Class will be conducted on Tuesday evenings from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. and held in-person at Zao MKE, located at 3219 E Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, 53211.  

 

Field work will be held at regular intervals over the week, with options to organize at several points during the week (tentative schedule, subject to change):  

Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m.

Sundays 12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. 

Mondays 5:30 until 8:30 p.m.

 

 

Program Timeline: 

February 2 at 11:59 p.m.:

Application deadline – apply here

 

February 6:

Start of nine week program (class held, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.), held at Zao MKE, located at 2319 E Kenwood Blvd, Milwaukee, WI 53211

 

February 13:

Class will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

February 20:

Class will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

February 27:

Class will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

March 5:

Week Break

 

March 12:

Class will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

March 19:

Class will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

March 26: 

Class will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

April 2: 

Class will be held from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

 

 

April 5: 

End of class party (tentative) 

 

April 16:

Completion of program

 

 

Units

Each unit helps to answer the question: what is organizing? 

 

Welcome: what is organizing?

  • Get to know participants and instructor
  • Define scope of class and intentions
  • Determine goals and desired outcomes


Organizing is one-on-one Conversations

  • Learn the 7 point organizing conversation
  • Practice the conversation and its elements


Organizing is building the committee and the campaign

  • The importance (or not) of the committee
  • Power Mapping the campaign
  • Strategy Chart


Organizing is holistic productivity

  • Traction versus distraction
  • Time management and its importance
  • The Reverse Calendar
  • Overcoming blocks to action


Organizing is a mindset

  • Acknowledging hurdles and setbacks
  • Failure is a great option
  • Develop a practice to keep you going


Organizing is raising money and managing it

  • Why money is OK
  • How to bring energy and money to your campaign
  • The basics of campaign budgeting and finance


Organizing is communications

  • What does “messaging” mean?
  • The power of media
  • Writing workshop


Organizing is bringing it all together

  • You’ve got momentum – now what?
  • Recap of unit themes

Reviews

Here is what previous students have to say about the Milwaukee Socialist Organizer Class: 

 

“[Before the class] I had no idea about the actual work of organizing. Now I feel confident that I would be able to become a leader in a campaign setting.” 

 

“I loved the practical application of socialism … [and] I loved the far-reaching application of some of the class content.” 

 

“This is a great way to move into the world of socialism … thank you so much for offering this course.” 

 

“This [class] is a great first step for anyone looking to start organizing.” 

 

“I radically grew in my comfort around being upfront and simply being able to approach a complete stranger with a potentially controversial topic.” 

 

“New organizers and experienced organizers can benefit from this class.” 

 

“Generally speaking my confidence level just interacting with people about socialism has gone through the roof. I have been given a phenomenal overview of how to organize and I feel confident that I can find out what works best for me in the future.”  

 

“It was great to grow as an organizer within the confines of a welcoming community/instructor.” 

 

“I feel more confident organizing outside of an electoral context.”  

 

 

Meet your instructors:

Alex Brower

Alex Brower is a labor leader, socialist organizer, and the chapter co-chair of the Milwaukee Democratic Socialists of America. Professionally, Alex is the Executive Director of the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, which organizes union retirees.  In his organizing work, Alex has saved jobs from privatization, helped workers win a union voice on the job, defeated a temp agency, organized against a proposed iron-ore mine, helped bring comprehensive sex education to Beloit Public Schools, and won workplace healthcare for many uninsured MPS Substitute Teachers. As an MPS substitute teacher and former Milwaukee Rec. Department instructor, Alex brings a host of experience teaching others. Alex has also been a candidate for Milwaukee City Comptroller and School Board, running both times as a socialist.

 

Autumn Pickett

Autumn Pickett is a union organizer and Communications Director for American Federation of Teachers – Wisconsin. She helped win back voting rights for 20,000 students while attending college in Indiana, protect 100’s of custodial and grounds crew jobs from privatization across Wisconsin, sink billionaire Howard Schultz’s 2016 presidential run, use organizing tactics that garnered national headlines, and mentor dozens of YDSA chapters across the country that continue to make real wins for working people. She has served on the National Coordinating Committee for YDSA, as Milwaukee DSA’s Education Officer, and currently represents Milwaukee DSA on the statewide Socialists in Office committee. Autumn is excited to bring her years of experience mentoring new socialist organizers over to the Milwaukee Organizer Class for the first time and help build a people powered movement in Cream City alongside each of you.

 

Any questions? 

Contact Alex Brower at 414-949-8756 or milwaukeedsa@gmail.com 

 

Apply now!

Apply here, or copy and paste this URL into your web browser: https://forms.gle/L7QCtowhrBhNm4xM7