Sign up to be a Rust Belt Rising leader: Run a Strong Campaign in Our Region, Spring 2022 course
We are looking for our region's most promising candidates to join our network of more than 600 Democratic leaders. Sign up below to become part of Rust Belt Rising’s spring cohort.

Our spring 2022 sessions will allow leaders to learn from top practitioners on the different elements of a strategic campaign today. Rising also provides individual coaching and support focused on helping you cultivate your own authentic, resonant message and effective campaign strategies to get your message out.

In weekly Zoom sessions, participants will learn from presenters with approaches to make your campaign stronger. By sharing the best ideas and insights across our region in these trainings on political strategy, leaders will improve their approaches to winning voters and seats.  

If you are or are considering running for office, helping a campaign, or bringing new insights to your local involvement, sign up.

If you have been in previous Rising courses, we hope you will continue signing up.

Joining allows you access to some of the best leaders in this region, our messaging, polling research, e-library of effective Midwest communication examples. We provide examples of what is working across our states from standout campaigns for you to draw on.

Rising works with candidates and those who are assisting them at any level (local, state, or federal) in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois.

Weekly hour-long training sessions on Zoom begin in April and run through June.

Applications due April 4 but are accepted on a rolling basis afterward.

We encourage diverse candidates of all backgrounds, and particularly of nontraditional paths into politics, to apply so we can support your candidate development.

Our goal is to help participants improve their campaigns so Democrats can win up and down the ticket.

What Rising participants say:

“I had the privilege to be invited to several candidate leadership training forums and Rust Belt Rising has been the most helpful resource.  RBR has given region-specific content that is relevant to leading as an elected official in the Midwest. Their one-on-one advice was invaluable towards securing a win in my election.  I will draw on their content for as long as I have the opportunity to be a public servant.”  
—Jyl Hall, Kettering, Ohio City Council member-elect.

"As a candidate, finding networks that can help you hone your messaging, better run your operations, and find community are essential. While national organizations are great, the political landscape can look very different from community to community across the country. Rust Belt Rising provided information, resources, and a network that is focused on Democrats in the Midwest, and helping to build and re-establish Democratic strongholds in our communities. I would strongly encourage Midwestern candidates to connect with and benefit from Rust Belt Rising!"
—Amanda Qualls, 2020 Indiana House of Representatives District 49 candidate

"I have been inspired and informed by Rust Belt Rising.  It can strengthen and enlighten candidates of all calibers. I promise it will be worth your time."
—Ohio State Representative Kent Smith.

“We know that candidates have a look and frankly a robust educational background — we’ve been told that is the mark. However, today’s politics asks for a more inclusive bold look into the path forward for our communities. Those who write policy should have been impacted by policy; those who fit the bill should also be the ones that the bill fits. We have to wrap our arms around candidates who rise up against all odds to run for office, they are the light our democracy needs in this moment. That is what Rust Belt Rising has meant to me—always there to encourage me in my campaign, to answer questions and provide ideas, as part of a movement of leaders with these values to change the Midwest."
—Chokwe Pitchford, 2020 Michigan House District 79 candidate, 2022 candidate for Berrien County Board of Commissioners

"As a novice candidate with very little money, I was attending every free seminar on campaigns that I could in 2020. I was getting very confused. Then I attended my first Rust Belt Rising meeting. The advice from RBR and their guest speakers on messaging and running a campaign was clear and helpful. It simply made a lot of sense to me. I was able to use a lot of it in my campaign. They were always available to answer my questions and give me valuable feedback. Since then I have sent several other candidates to Rust Belt Rising and they agree with me that it has been time well spent. I am planning on running for Congress in 2022. One of my first calls after I made my decision was to Rising to get their advice and ideas. As usual, they came through for me."
—Alan Darnowsky, 2020 Ohio House District 65 candidate, 2022 candidate for Ohio’s Second Congressional District

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