So, I think everyone knows I’m currently a graduate student, online, at George Washington University. It’s been a great experience so far, with only occasional stress.

Well, yesterday I indicated which elective courses I will be taking for the remainder of the program. And I’m pretty excited about it, so I thought I’d share.

State & Local Campaigns – Application of campaign strategy and management principles to electoral races at the state and local levels. Staffing, budgeting, and strategic challenges for what are typically lower-visibility contests that involve state and local candidates. Coordinated campaigns and the impact of the national party’s reputation on these down-ballot races.

Fundraising & Budgeting – Raising and spending money in political campaigns, referenda contests, issue advocacy, and lobbying efforts. Budgeting process, standard controls to check expenditures, accounting procedures, and general strategies for use in effective fundraising.

Digital Strategy – Development of an integrated digital strategy for use in advocacy and electoral campaigns. Introduction to the theoretical concepts, distinctive technologies, applied skills, and managerial challenges associated with digital campaigning. Search engine optimization, GPS, online payment systems, customizing back- and front-end systems to meet strategic goals and budget parameters, working with IT vendors and distance volunteers, legal and cultural considerations in the US and other regimes, site rollout and scaling, security and privacy.

Issues Management – Track, influence, and alter politically significant issue-related discourses and policy developments. Legislative, executive, and judicial venues and processes for policymaking; state referendum, initiative, and recall ballot opportunities; organizational structures, including digital procedures, for issue management.

Campaign Strategy – Orientation to the basic systems and technologies that must be created and managed to produce electoral victory. The campaign plan and campaign budget as the foundation for management of campaigns. Focus on development of a campaign plan.

Grassroots Engagement – Strategies and techniques to build advocacy support among and across general civic populations. Identification of potential supporters through database targeting and individual outreach. Motivation and training of interested supporters for grassroots action in campaigns, at public forums, and before decision-makers. Coalition and protest options; analytics of ongoing efforts.

Cool, right?

These are all the courses I’ll be taking, more or less in order between now and when I graduate sometime early to mid-summer.

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They Might Be Giants (TMBG); a band from my youth that I continue to love. Back in middle school, you could find them in the “alternative” section of the music store, though these days I would struggle to categorize them.

Excellent live, I have seen TMBG in concert more than any other band.

This song, “Dead,” is from their third, but breakthrough album Flood, released in 1990.

They primarily do kids songs now, so if you have little ones, I highly recommend you check them out for your keiki. Fun and intelligent, TMBG are good for all ages.

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Welcome to Music Monday!

It’s a good thing I’ve banked a few of these. I spent this weekend at a Hawaii People’s Fund retreat at the beautiful Camp Paleua. The Board and Grantmaking Committees met to discuss strategically about the organization’s future. And by the time I got home Sunday afternoon I was exhausted. I had no energy to record a video for today.

As a closet romantic, there are a few songs by Train that appeal to me. “Hopeless” is one of them. I have a handful of songs by them, but admit to not liking them enough to invest in an entire album.

Hopefully you’ll enjoy this one and not think less of me for it.

With one more in the bank, I need to start recording again. I also started class again today, so we’ll see when I manage to get to it.

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As promised, I’m back with another Music Monday lip sync video.

Harvey Danger is an alternative rock band I know from the late 90’s. Maybe you remember them, maybe you don’t. Or maybe you’re too young to know them at all (sad). The song, Flagpole Sitta is their one and only hit.

I’ve always liked this song, with its fun hook and amusing lyrics. Hopefully you’ll enjoy it too. Or at least enjoy watching me lip sync it.

Happy Monday!

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