The National Democratic Training Committee will host live trainings in all 50 states to ensure the tools and resources for success are in the hands of Democrats across the country.
To do this, we’ve brought together expert trainers with a wealth of campaign knowledge. Our Trainer Spotlight blog series showcases our wonderful trainers and how they became part of our team!
Today, we’d like to introduce you to Eric Lundy.
Eric on Eric
How/when did you get your start in campaigns/politics?
September 10th, 2007 is what I consider the official start date of my career. That’s the day I boarded a flight from my home state of North Carolina to New Hampshire to become an Intern on then-Senator Obama’s presidential campaign.
In the preceding years, beginning with the days and weeks after 9/11, I had been obsessively following politics and the news.
During those years I went from not having any political opinions, to supporting the Bush Administration’s initial response to the attacks, to disillusionment with the entire political process after no weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq.
In President Obama I saw a leader who acknowledged that we faced complex challenges that needed complex, well thought out solutions. I wanted to do whatever I could to help elect him, even though I had no idea what that actually involved at the time.
What is your current full-time position and what do you love most about it?
I am currently the Program Director at Inclusv, where our mission is to support and advocate on behalf of people of color who work in politics, advocacy, and government.
We were founded in 2015 and in that time we’ve done some groundbreaking work. We played a leading role in getting the Clinton and Sanders campaigns, as well as the DCCC, DNC, and 40 state Democratic parties to publicly release statistics on the level of diversity amongst their staff.
The other core elements of our work are mentoring our members and sharing job openings. If someone goes to our site, Inclusv.com, and becomes an Inclusv member, we will sit down with them and work on their resume, and their interview skills, and share job openings with them on a weekly basis.
There’s no better feeling than having someone tell me that they just accepted a job offer that they wouldn’t have heard about or felt qualified to apply for if we didn’t exist.
Of all the impressive things you’ve accomplished in your career, what are you most proud of?
Nothing will ever top November 4th, 2008 for me.
I was just one of a hundred Field Organizers in Virginia. A small part of the team of thousands across the country who were working to elect Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, and the countless others who came before us who made that day possible.
My memories from that day are so fresh it’s as if they happened yesterday. I remember walking into the office at 5 a.m. in the pouring rain, and running from door to door fourteen hours later with my fellow organizers in an apartment complex in a last minute effort to find one more voter before polls closed (we did!).
Hearing that we won Virginia for the first time since 1964, and moments later learning that Senator Obama was now President-elect Obama is an experience that I’ll never forget, and it’s what powers me through rough days.
Winning is fun.
Eric on Training
What is your favorite part about training with NDTC?
One of the best parts of being a trainer is seeing someone go through the “learner transition.”
At first they are nervous but eager to learn about the subject you are training on. Then you will see the lightbulb go off in their head as they begin to understand the concept. Finally, you’ll see their confidence grow as they practice the skills that you are teaching.
There are so many candidates and activists who want to learn more about how to campaign, but they can’t afford to pay $500 to travel to Washington, D.C. for a training.
It’s an awesome feeling to be able to bring these workshops to them, especially because I know that the difference in many local races is only a few hundred votes. So the training we provide could push these candidates over the top.
What’s one state you’d love to train in and why?
If we can empower local activists, and frankly, people who don’t consider themselves activists but feel that they aren’t getting the same shot at the American dream as everyone else, then we could see gains that were unimaginable 20 years ago.
As someone from a state (North Carolina) that has moved from a solid red state to a battleground state, I’ve seen what investments in local infrastructure can do. I’d love to pay it forward by bringing the NDTC’s great workshops to the folks who are already hard at work on the ground in Texas.
Eric’s Tips for Candidates
What is one piece of advice you would give to someone thinking about running for office for the first time?
I’ll borrow a line from Nike: Just Do It.
Don’t assume that someone else will run, or that you don’t have what it takes to be an elected official.
There are dozens of examples from the past fifteen months of ordinary people who decided that it was time someone like them was on their school board, city council, or legislature, and decided to run. Look to those stories for inspiration and motivation, and know that if you decide to run there are plenty of organizations who will help you get started.
And if you do decide to run–Ask for help early and often. Campaigns are built on successful asks. Ask your friends, ask your family, ask your neighbors, ask everyone for what you need to win.
How do you practice self care?
Honestly, this is something that I have struggled with for years, but I have tried to make a few changes lately. Chief among them are staying in touch with my family because they keep me grounded. Also, eating better because as I get older I realize how important it is to focus on creating healthy habits.
- Coffee or tea? Coffee
- Favorite TV show that’s currently on? Atlanta
- Twitter or Instagram? Twitter
- What are you currently reading? I just finished reading We Were Eight Years in Power and began Eat the Apple
- If you weren’t working in politics, what would you be doing? I’d like to think I’d be a journalist
- Biggest pet peeve? Conference calls that last way longer than they should
- What is the theme song for your life? Outkast, “SpottieOttieDopaliscious”
Learn from Eric at a Live Training Near You
Come join Eric Lundy and some of our other wonderful trainers at one of our upcoming trainings.