Grassroots Organizing Training-Birmingham

Friday, March 27, 2015 - 6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 8:30 a.m. - 5:45 p.m.

Memory Leake Robinson Hall 

Samford University's Cumberland School of Law

Birmingham, Alabama


Building a progressive infrastructure and winning elections in the South requires year round commitment.  The foundation for an effective campaign electoral or issue based advocacy is organizing on a local level.  Whether your goal is building a robust local party organization or developing your individual organizing skills in order to make a difference for an issue or electoral campaign, South Forward is pleased to offer this Grassroots Alabama Organizing Training as a way to enhance your talents and skills. This training is a great opportunity for party activists and leaders, potential and current candidates, and issue based groups and advocates.


Each attendee will be provided resource materials useful to your long-term organizing efforts.  Refreshments and lunch will be provided.  Registration begins on Friday, March 27 at 6:00 p.m. and again on Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 a.m.


Register today for $35 per person. If it is more convenient for you to pay by check the day of the training, please type Alabama Training in the subject line and register by emailing Training@SouthForward.com










South Forward Trainers:

Michael Cook

Michael Cook is a longtime veteran of public policy, public relations and politics with experience in dozens of political campaigns and state government. Cook managed Bill Halter’s successful campaign for Lt. Governor in 2006, the first time in 16 years that a Democrat won that seat.  Cook then served as Halter's Chief of Staff for almost 4 years.  Cook is currently the President of Cook Consulting, a strategic communications and public affairs firm. 


During his tenure as Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Arkansas from 2001-2005, Michael helped revitalize and reorganize the state party.  Michael’s work at the state Democratic Party earned him recognition by the National Journal's "Hotline" as one of  Arkansas's Rising Stars in 2003, and the Arkansas Times proclaimed him the "Wizard of Voter Turnout" during the hotly contested 2004 campaign season.


Michael writes for Talk Business and his work has been featured in numerous national media outlets. He often serves as a political commentator for various Arkansas radio and television stations. Michael also reviews movies every week for television station FOX16. 


Michael was named in 2009 by Arkansas Business as one of the state’s emerging leaders for their prestigious “40 Under 40” list.  In 2013, his blog, Cook's Outlook, was named by the Washington Post as one of the best political blogs in Arkansas.  


He is a veteran of the US Army Reserves and holds a degree in history from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.


Helen Strain

Helen Strain is a native Floridian who has worked in progressive politics for over 30 years.


With Planned Parenthood of North Florida as the VP of External Affairs and the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood’s Field organizer, Helen developed and implemented public policy and advocacy programs, organized community and statewide coalitions. Lobbied on the local, state and national levels as well as developing 501 C3 and C4 electoral campaigns throughout Florida. In her work as a Campaign Manager and Consultant she was the House Victory 2000 Regional Manager for North Central Florida, the Campaign Manager for the only non-incumbent State Senate race to win- Dave Aronberg, Field Director for Janet Reno for Governor’s campaign, Campaign Manager for Lois Frankel for West Palm Beach Mayor, and Field Manager for the Angela Alioto for San Francisco Mayor.


As the Program Manager for The Clinton Group, Inc she developed 100’s of candidate/issue phone programs throughout the US and a Presidential race in South America.


Helen has served as Vice Chair of Florida Democratic Party, a DNC member, a Chair and State Committeewoman of Alachua County Democratic Party, a board member of PP of North Central Florida, North Florida AIDS Network, SPARC Domestic Violence Network, Children’s Miracle Network, and Human Rights Council of North Florida.


Jay Parmley 

Jay Parmley is the Executive Director of South Forward.


Jay spent 12 years as working in state Democratic party organizations. In 2001, at the age of 30, Parmley was elected Chairman of the Oklahoma Democratic Party. He served two terms in the full time position and did not seek reelection in 2005. At the time of his election he was the nation’s youngest chairman of a State Democratic Party. During his chairmanship he also served Oklahoma Democrats in the dual role as Executive Director.


Jay has also served as the Executive Director of the North Carolina and South Carolina Democratic Parties. From 2005-2008, Parmley worked for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), first in Mississippi before moving to South Carolina as part of DNC Chair Howard Dean's 50 state strategy. From 1999-2001, he served as President of the Young Democrats of America. Parmley is a former member of the DNC Executive Committee. He was appointed by DNC Chair Howard Dean as an At-Large member of the DNC and a member of the DNC Budget and Finance Committee and served from 2005-2009.


Parmley earned a bachelor and masters degree in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma where he served as student body president during his undergraduate senior year.  From 1993-2001, Parmley worked in the Oklahoma higher education system. Jay is originally from Wyandotte, Oklahoma.


March 27, 2015 at 6pm - March 28, 2015
Memory Leake Robinson Hall at Samford University's Cumberland School of Law
800 Lakeshore Dr
Birmingham, AL 35229
United States
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