CHARLESTON, South Carolina — Working on a political campaign is notoriously one of the world’s shittiest jobs. It’s long hours, for low pay and little thanks.
But a handful of big Democratic establishment groups think they have a solution. They’re funding ARENA Academy, a program to teach political newbies how to win elections without sacrificing their souls.
“Campaign culture is, ‘We’ll sleep the day after Election Day. We’ll eat after Election Day,’” said Savannah Drake, a 22-year-old aspiring politico who participated in ARENA’s second staff training last month. She’s new to politics and worked just one statehouse campaign cycle in her home state of Alabama.
“When it’s all done, then you can take care of yourselves,” Drake added.
At ARENA’s training sessions, there’s a lot of talk about work/life balance, diversity, and making sure everyone feels safe. The goal is to create a much-needed pipeline of hard-to-find, qualified workers to help candidates win upcoming races.
This segment originally aired May 3, 2019, on VICE News Tonight on HBO.