Demand a Seat
About Demand A Seat
Together, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, make up one of the largest grassroots advocacy and political volunteer networks in the country with highly engaged volunteers that have successfully changed the political calculus on gun safety.
Demand a Seat, an Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund program launched in 2021, is training grassroots volunteers and gun violence survivors to take the next step in their advocacy by running for office and working on campaigns to elect Gun Sense Candidates.
In the 2021-2022 campaign cycle, a record-breaking 275 Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers ran for office. Demonstrating their political power, nearly 160 volunteers across 30 states were elected to school boards, city councils, state legislatures, and Congress!
Demand a Seat is building a pipeline of gun safety candidates by providing opportunities for mentorship, networking and high quality educational training to encourage even more Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action grassroots volunteers and gun violence survivors to run for office up and down the ballot. Since the launch of Demand a Seat, we have provided training to nearly 400 volunteers, survivors and candidates for office.
Teska Frisby, Trenton New Jersey City Council Member
“With Demand a Seat, I realized the importance of empowering volunteers and helping people to find a place in building my campaign. I also learned about how to build my plans for outreach to voters. I ran for Trenton City Council because I wanted to fight for policies to make my city safer and to put an end to gun violence. I won my election, and now I am ready to push for policies to combat gun violence in my community. Demand your seat, run for it and be the change you want to see!”
What does Demand a Seat offer?
Demand a Seat provides in-depth training on building and running winning campaigns. Training focuses on key topics including:
- Building a campaign
- Recruiting volunteers
- Communicating with voters and media
- Paid, digital and social media tactics
- Gun safety messaging and polling
How do I join?
Demand a Seat is open to anyone who is interested in running for office as a Gun Sense Candidate, as well as anyone who is interested in working or volunteering for campaigns of Gun Sense Candidates. All Demand a Seat participants are required to volunteer with their chapters in order to be eligible for graduation from the program.
If you have questions about your eligibility, please email [email protected].
Interested in being part of the next cohort?
The next Demand a Seat cohort will kick off in September 2023. If you’d like to be the first to learn more about applying to the next round of training, please submit this interest form today. We will be opening up the application process over the summer.Sign Up for Updates
Lisa Reynolds, Oregon State Representative
“There is a straight line connecting my training and work with Moms Demand Action to my decision to run for office—and subsequent victory. Moms volunteers fueled my campaign and now support my efforts to enact gun safety measures in the Oregon state legislature.”
Demand a Seat: Students Edition
Students and young people are a powerful political force who are essential to building and expanding the pipeline of gun safety candidates across the country. This fall, Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund will launch its first-ever Demand a Seat: Students Edition designed specifically for young people who want to run for office or work on campaigns.
Demand a Seat: Students Edition is a three-day in-depth, in-person training that will focus on preparing young gun safety advocates to become candidates for elected office and to support campaigns for Gun Sense Candidates. The inaugural Demand a Seat: Students Edition training, led by seasoned campaign experts, will be held in October 2023 and will equip participants with fundamental knowledge and skills-building that will prepare them to build and run winning campaigns. Key topics will include:
- Organizing and building campaign teams
- Campaign budgeting and fundraising
- Crafting and honing your campaign messaging
- Voter Contact Strategies
- Role of campaigns in creating social change
- Digital organizing tools
Frequently Asked Questions
Who can participate?
Demand a Seat is open to anyone who is interested in running for office as a Gun Sense Candidate, as well as anyone who is interested in working or volunteering for campaigns of Gun Sense Candidates.
Do I have to be a Moms Demand Action or Students Demand Action volunteer in order to participate in Demand a Seat?
Individuals who have not previously served as volunteers with Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action, and the Everytown Survivor Network may be accepted into Demand a Seat. Please note that individuals who have not previously served as volunteers will be expected to participate in at least 3 events or actions in support of local chapters between February – June 2023 in order to be considered eligible to graduate from Demand a Seat.
What does Demand a Seat’s training cover?
Training will focus on key topics including:
- Building a campaign
- Recruiting volunteers
- Communicating with voters and media
- Paid media
- Digital and social media tactics
- Gun safety messaging and polling.
The program generally consists of seven sessions (two-hours each) that are offered virtually over the course of 4 months. Additional optional sessions will also be offered as an opportunity to meet and network with cohort members and to practice skills that are taught during the training sessions. Check out the Spring 2023 Demand a Seat Curriculum and Schedule for more information.
What if I cannot make all of the training sessions?
The more you attend, the more you will get out of the training. We understand that you may not be able to make every session. To participate in the program, there is an expectation that you will be able to attend most of the sessions in real time. All trainings are recorded and made accessible, along with other training tools provided over the course of the program, on our private Demand a Seat training portal so that participants can refer back to them anytime. If you have questions about this, or would like to connect with our team about potential accommodations, please email [email protected]
Can I join Demand a Seat if I am not yet sure if I will run for office this cycle?
Demand a Seat is not only intended for those considering running for office during the current cycle- it is open to volunteers who are considering running for political office at any point in time, or those l those who would like to work on campaigns or in support of gun sense candidates. If you are not sure if you are going to become a candidate or work on a campaign, you are still welcome to participate in the Demand a Seat program. Our hope is that learning more about the process will help you to make more informed decisions about running for office or working on future campaigns.
Can I join Demand a Seat if I think I want to be a campaign manager and not a candidate?
Yes! Demand a Seat is also open to volunteers who may be interested in becoming campaign managers or campaign staff. Our hope is that participating and learning will help people make more informed decisions about running for office or working on campaigns for future gun sense candidates.
Is there a deadline to sign up for Demand a Seat?
Applications for the Spring 2023 Demand a Seat cohort are due on February 15th. Sign up here to learn more.
What does Demand a Seat provide for participants?
The program will provide educational training on the nuts and bolts of building and running successful campaigns. Training will focus on a range of topics, including: organizing, messaging, and fundraising best practices. A key feature of the program is exposure to a powerful network of potential candidates and mentors from across Moms Demand Action and Everytown volunteer networks who will be available to share best practices and provide support as participants navigate the electoral process.
Demand a Seat does not provide tailored training or resources for any specific campaign or race, nor does it provide any other monetary or in-kind support to candidates. Everytown organizations may separately provide support to candidates where possible, including making campaign contributions and providing other resources, but participation in Demand a Seat does not guarantee any such support or an endorsement.
What level of office does Demand a Seat cover?
This program is open to individuals interested in exploring all levels of elected office.
What if the seat I am seeking is nonpartisan?
The Demand a Seat program is meant to provide tools and training to volunteers considering a run for any elected office where they intend to govern with gun safety in mind.
I want to join – how do I sign up or learn more?
Please fill out this form and we will email you when the application process opens up.
Additional questions? Email [email protected]
Have more questions? Email us at [email protected].
Demand a Seat is Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund’s program to recruit and train Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action volunteers to run for elected office up and down the ballot.
Paid for by Everytown for Gun Safety Victory Fund, gunsensevoter.org. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.