Too often, campaigns do not live up to their progressive values, especially when making BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) staff feel heard, affirmed, and empowered on campaigns. As such, the progressive talent pipeline loses talented staff each cycle.
Two Fellows, Taré Suriel and Santiago Rosales, spent six weeks crafting a survey, conducting interviews, and compiling findings and recommendations for future campaign staff and managers.
The tools we linked out to here are recommendations and resources for campaign staff to help navigate life in campaigns.
- Research Summary
- Getting Started as Staff on a Campaign
- Job Search
- Week One
- Thriving on Your Next Campaign
- One-on-ones with Your Manager
- Organizing & Advocating
- After the Election
- Talking about and Embracing Equity and Inclusion
In Arena’s workplace survey, 75% of participants who advocated for workplaces improvements—such as schedule changes or training resources—did not advocate for them alone. In Arena interviews, we found one very practical reason for this: Advocating for workplace improvements takes up time, and campaigns are very busy spaces. When folks described advocating for changes with peers, they described splitting the work of scheduling meetings, preparing for those meetings, and brainstorming other solutions if their first ask didn’t gain traction.
Have a regular communication channel with your peers and discuss challenges you are seeing. In Arena interviews with campaign staffers, we found that discovering a shared complaint was a catalyzing event in which staff came together to ask for the complaint to be remedied. Alternately, there were cases where staff guessed that their peers were likely facing the same issue but never explicitly talked about it, so the issue was not brought up to management. These were issues like COVID-19 safety early in the pandemic, inconsistent one-on-ones with management, or connecting with other first-time staff in their positions and region through third-party support. Make talking about the challenges you are facing in your workplace and collective problem-solving , regardless of whether they are challenges to the rest of your peers, part of your workplace communications. More importantly, establish a group chat or other line of communication with your peers.