Everytown’s Demand a Seat
Training the next generation of Gun Sense Candidates
In 2021, Everytown for Gun Safety — one of the country’s largest groups fighting for gun safety — launched Demand a Seat, a program to recruit and train their grassroots volunteers to run for office or work for campaigns focused on a gun safety platform. In August 2021, they turned to 50+1 Strategies to lead the program’s content design, curriculum development, and training facilitation.
50+1 Strategies worked with Everytown to develop a comprehensive curriculum to train volunteers and candidates on the nuts and bolts of running for office: fundraising, organizing, digital, communications, paid media — and specific content on gun violence prevention messaging. We served as the primary facilitators, recruited guest speakers, and developed presentation decks, detailed speaker manuals/annotations, and supplemental worksheets and templates. After each cohort, we facilitated an intentional review and reflection process in order to improve the content and programming going into the following cohort.
We worked with Everytown to strategize the best ways to keep alumni engaged and support graduates as they declared their runs for office or looked to support fellow gun safety advocates’ campaigns in the 2022 cycle. We are building off Everytown’s success by expanding the program’s offerings to the Students Demand Action network with the goal of recruiting more young people to run for office.
In the 2022 cycle, Everytown for Gun Safety had 279 Moms Demand Action volunteers run in 40 states, and more than half of those individuals won their election. Forty-six percent of the candidates first-time candidates. We’re currently working with our fifth — and largest ever — cohort of trainees, an in-person Students Edition, and have also conducted one-session bootcamps.