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WLN Academy

All of the types ot training offered by WLN are collectively known as "WLN Academy."  Although WLN Academy will not earn you an accredited degree or provide credits to be applied toward one, it can provide you with the skills needed to confidently participate in our democratice processes - particularly at the local, county, and state levels.  Below you can download and view a rich selection of resources developed by WLN since its founding in 2011.

​Scope of Training

WLN is dedicated to "Teaching people how to Take Their Power Back" and, in the process, "Re-Weave the Fabric of Our Political Culture."   WLN offers training to individuals and groups who want to be more politically impactful with their limited time and resources.  WLN provides training along these four tracks of instruction:

     1.  How to Run for, Get Elected to, and Serve in a Local Non-Partisan Office.

     2.  How to Manage a Local Campaign or Lead a Grassroots Organization.

     3.  How to be an Effective Volunteer for the Candidates, Ballot Measures, and Projects You Care About.

     4.  How to be an Effective Citizen Lobbyist or Advocate.

Trainees will feel empowered and engage in local politics with increased skill and confidence.  Those elected or appointed to public office will "Take Their Power Back" by performing in office in accordance with their values.  As more and more people take WLN training, talent pools will form along the four lines listed above.  These talent pools will be accessible to new activists who move into their social and political circles.

As a 501(c)3 charitable organization, WLN does not and cannot involve itself in the campaigns launched or participated in by it's trainees.  Likewise, WLN does not advocate or oppose any candidate, ballot measure, or legislation.  Trainees must decide for themselves how best to apply what they learn through WLN.

Companion Training Documents

These documents, though designed to be used as part of a live training session, can stand on their own.  Feel free to print and distribute them as you see fit but remember - these documents nor their contents are meant to be offered as legal advice.  If you have legal questions regarding any of the material contained in these training materials, consult the appropriate public officials or an attorney practiced in the field(s) at issue.  We offer training on the following:

Lobbying Office Holders 1:  The Basics of Lobbying

Lobbying Office Holders 2:  Seeing Things from Their Side

How to Canvas Your Neighborhood or Precinct Door by Door

How to Be Effective in Informal Debates

Components of a Campaign Plan

Building Your Campaign Team

Petition Signature Gathering in Oregon

Petition Signature Gathering in Washington State

The Care and Feeding of Good Volunteers

Effective Campaigning with Little or No Money

Dealing with the Media - Do's and Don't s

How to Get Out The Vote (GOTV) With Your Individualized GOTV Campaign

Developing Your Personal Media Campaign

Becoming an Opinion Leader in Your Group or Community

Basics of the Board/Staff Governance Model

Assessing Yourself as a Candidate for Public Office

How to Testify Before Public Boards, Commissions, and Committees

Basics of Oregon Ethics Laws

Basics of Washington Ethics Laws

Running Efficient and Effective Meetings

The Challenges of Serving as an Organization's Chair

Taking Your Power Back - Interpersonal Relationships in Your Group

Setting Up and Running a Voter Registration Booth

Basics of Oregon's Local Budget Processes

Basics of Washington's Local Budget Processes

Elements of Good Political Messaging

How to Design and Maintain a Campaign Calendar

Download a PDF File Containing All of the Above Training Documents

Weekly WLN Saturday Training Sessions

WLN holds a live, interactive training on Zoom every Saturday afternoon at 1PM Pacific Time.  Topics vary.  Each training lasts approximately one hour and usually features a "guest trainer" who is expert with respect to the topic being dealt with.  These sessions are typically recorded.  Below you will find links enabling you to view past trainings.

To participate in the weekly trainings LIVE, make sure you have ZOOM conferencing software on your computer, phone, or other device.  At 1PM PST on every Saturday, SIMPLY CLICK HERE.  When prompted, the Meeting ID is: "358 890 0478" and the Passcode is: "WLN" (no quotes).  If you need the ZOOM conferencing software, get it free by CLICKING HERE.

December 17th, 2022

Prepare for Your 2023 Election

WLN Executive Director shares ideas on what candidates aspiring to win election to local office in 2023 can do now to prepare for their races.  If you are running for office in Oregon, you will want to CLICK HERE to download the forms mentioned in the video plus a document you can use to assess yourself as a candidate!

October 29th, 2022

Use Social Media to Swing Votes

Greg Burnett, president of the Burnett Media Group digital media firm and WLN board president, leads a training session on how people can use their social media accounts to support the campaigns they care about a week or two before an election.

October 22nd, 2022

Learn to Organize Your Precinct!

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke talks about how precinct "captains" for campaigns, political parties, or independent "wildcat" activists can go about the business of organizing and mobilizing people in their precincts.  CLICK HERE to download the training document on this topic.

October 15th, 2022

Learn How to Be a Poll Watcher!

Janice Dysinger of Oregonians for Fair Elections provides a presentation on how to be a poll watcher or election observer.  Download a PDF version of her slideshow by CLICKING HERE.

October 8th, 2022

Run a Personal GOTV Campaign!

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke shows how activists can conduct personal Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns to augment those conducted by political parties, candidates, and ballot measure campaigns.  Download the training document that went with this session by CLICKING HERE.

September 24th, 2022

Avoid End-of-Campaign Mistakes!

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke goes over some of the common mistakes candidates and their managers make during the last six weeks of election campaigns (and how to avoid them).  CLICK HERE to download the training documents referred to in the session.

September 11th, 2022

How to Persuade in Discussions!

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke offers an approximately 35 minute training on how to actually be persuasive (that is, not just "score points"), when engaged in informal discussions and debates. The session originates from North Bend, OR while Burke is on a work trip.

August 27th, 2022

How to Do Campaign Fundraising!

WLN Exec. Dir. Richard P. Burke offers a training session on how to raise money for campaigns from individuals through phone calls and private meetings plus how to raise money from groups at candidate coffees and similar events.

August 20th, 2022

How to Retain Good Volunteers!

WLN Executive Director Richard Burke goes over some tips to follow and hazards to avoid in order to retain good volunteers.  Download the training document associated with this session by CLICKING HERE!

August 13th, 2022

Dealing with the Media!

WLN Exec. Dir. Richard Burke offers some useful dos and don'ts to keep in mind when working with members of the media. These tips will help any activist become an important and useful resource for media representatives while getting a message out to the public.  CLICK HERE to download the companion training document.

July 30th, 2022

Building Your Campaign Team!

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke describes the makeup of a basic campaign team including positions and responsibilities. Targeted at candidates for small, local, and non-partisan office, the campaign team design discussed is scalable and can be applied to those running campaigns for more highly contested offices.  CLICK HERE to download the training document.

July 23rd, 2022

Parents' Rights Summit Preview!

Suzanne Gallagher, Executive Director of Parents' Rights in Education (PRIE), offers a preview of her organization's second annual conference scheduled for Saturday, August 6th at the Portland Airport Sheraton hotel. PRIE is an "independent affiliate" of the Western Liberty Network which supports school choice and advocates for parental rights.

July 16th, 2022

The Basics of Opposition Research!

Former state representative Patrick Sheehan now owns a political consultancy and has worked for many campaigns. Patrick goes over the basics of opposition research; how activists can do their own and use what they find to help the campaigns they care about.

June 11th, 2022

Robert's Rules of Order!

WLN's Washington State Director Ken Morse offers a primer on Robert's Rules of Order (RRO) in a well-attended session.  You can download his session outline by CLICKING HERE.  Download a RRO "cheat sheet" by CLICKING HERE.  Download a brief summary of RRO by CLICKING HERE.

June 4th, 2022

Design a Campaign Calendar!

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke explains the importance of campaign calendars to candidates, campaign managers, and individual activists and how to design and maintain one.  Download the related training sheet by CLICKING HERE.  Download Oregon's 2022 official campaign calendar by CLICKING HERE.  Download Washington's by CLICKING HERE.

May 14th, 2022

Assuring Election Integrity!

Janice Dysinger, Executive Director of Oregonians for Fair Elections (a WLN "Independent Affiliate") goes over ways in which individual activists can help to insure the integrity of our elections.  CLICK HERE to download the list of things you can do that Janice provided!

May 7th, 2022

Getting Out the Vote!

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke conducts a 35 minute training session showing how individuals can design and execute their own Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns to augment GOTV efforts being undertaken by political parties and candidates.  CLICK HERE to download the sessions training document and worksheet!

April 30th, 2022

The Final Weeks of an Election

E Werner Reschke, a third-term Oregon state representative from the Klamath Falls area in the southern part of the state, offers his thoughts on what activists supporting candidates can do to have the most impact during the final weeks of an election.

April 23rd, 2022

Elements of Political Messaging

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke goes over the components of good political messaging. This is useful for candidates and those responsible for candidate, ballot measure, and issue advocacy messaging.  Click HERE to download the companion training document.

April 16th, 2022

Preparing for Candidate Debates

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke discusses the organizational and argumentative structures of introductory speeches and policy proposals within the context of candidate debates.

April 9th, 2022

Raising Money for Your Campaign

WLN Executive Director Richard Burke discusses attitudes toward fundraising that make it easier to raise money with confidence. Different fundraising approaches and tactics are also discussed. Participants offer additional information.

April 2nd, 2022

Your Personal Media Campaign

WLN Executive Director tells trainees how they can support the campaigns they care about by designing and executing their own personal media campaigns in print, on the radio, through blogs, and even television stations. Such campaigns can generate media worth thousands of dollars for free.  Click HERE to download a PDF of the training document provided.

March 26th, 2022

Organizing Around Local Issues

Tom Cox, business coach and former candidate for statewide office, provides a training session on how to organize around local issues. The training, provided via Zoom, was provided at Western Liberty Network's March 26th, 2022 training conference at the Running Y Ranch in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  Click HERE to download a PDF of the slideshow provided.

March 19th, 2022

How to Campaign on a Low Budget

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke discusses ways candidates and ballot measure advocates can design and execute low-budget campaigns. Elements are touched on relating to the writing of campaign plans, the use of low-cost tactics, individualized media campaigns and individualized Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaigns.

March 12th, 2022

Andrey Illarionov on Ukraine & USA

Andrey Illarionov is the senior fellow at the Washington, DC based Center for Security Policy. He was also president Vladamir Putin's senior economic advisor from 2000-2005 when he resigned because of his believe that Russia was no longer a free country. In this session, Illarionov outlined his view of the Russia-Ukraine war and what he believes the West and regular people can do to fight the aggression.

March 5th, 2022

Forming and Joining Coalitions

WLN Executive Director Richard Burke goes over some of the ins and outs of forming coalitions to accomplish a single goal, pursue ongoing change, and how to tell if joining an existing coalition is good for your organization or not.

February 26th, 2022

Assessing Yourself as a Candidate

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke goes over metrics prospective candidates for public office can use to determine whether to run for office and what to run for.  CLICK HERE to download a self-assessment questionaire and instructional guidelines.

February 19th, 2022

How to Build a Campaign Team

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke discusses the most important roles to be filled in a campaign team, their jobs, pitfalls, and different team designs for large and small campaigns.  CLICK HERE to download a humorous take on this topic from comedian Jon Steward from his book, "AMERICA (the Book), a Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction."

February 12th, 2022

How to Lobby Public Office Holders

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke discusses the basic on how to successfully lobby or persuade public office holders at any level with an emphasis on state legislators.  CLICK HERE to download the companion training document.

January 22nd, 2022

How to Keep Volunteers Motivated

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke discusses how and organization, campaign, or project can prevent volunteers from dropping out.

January 15th, 2022

How to Do Phone Cavassing

WLN Exec. Dir. Richard P. Burke offers a 30 minute training session about how to be an effective phone bank canvasser. This important skill can be easily learned and can help activists become an asset to any candidate or ballot measure campaign.

January 8th, 2022

How to Write a Campaign Plan

WLN Executive Director Richard Burke offers an interactive training session about campaign plans and how to write them.  Download a companion document by clicking HERE.

December 18th, 2021

Becoming a Local Opinion Leader

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke discusses what an informal "local opinion leaders is, how people can become local opinion leaders, and how existing local opinion leaders can expand their spheres of influence.  Download a companion document by clicking HERE.

December 11th, 2021

How to Run More Efficient Meetings

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke goes over a variety of techniques people can use to make sure that meetings are shorter, more focused, and more productive. Formal and informal meetings are discussed along with some basics of Robert's Rules of Order and how it can be used to make meetings run better.  Download a companion document by clicking HERE.

November 13th, 2021

What are a Parent's Rights?

Suzanne Gallagher, national director of Parents' Rights in Education, discusses what the rights are of parents whose children attend government schools. In her presentation she shows how people can get important information from a variety of sources.

November 6th, 2021

Beating the Tactics of Saul Alinsky

Professional leadership trainer and former statewide candidate Tom Cox goes over the tactic developed and promoted by Saul Alinsky in his book "Rules for Radicals" and describes how to defeat them.

October 30th, 2021

Holding a Home Fundraising Event

One of the most effective, and lowest cost, ways of raising money is to hold candidate, campaign, or project fundraising events in a private home.  Learn the keys to success of such events by checking out this training lead by WLN Executive Director Richard Burke.

October 23rd, 2021

Managing Your Online Reputation

When you post something on the Internet, it's there forever.  Be careful and thoughtful about what you post.  There are things you can do to clean up your on-line past, and rules of thumb to use going forward.  This training features Greg Burnett, owner of the Burnett Media Group.  Click HERE to download the accompanying slide show.

October 16th, 2021

Detecting Lies and Liars

Most people give others the benefit of the doubt and take people at their word when. This is a good thing. Still, lies are everywhere, particularly in the political sphere. It is possible to extend the benefit of the doubt to people while acquiring and using tools to detect lies. In this session, WLN Executive Director Richard Burke goes over techniques used by the FBI and airport security consultants to suss out lies and liars.

October 9th, 2021

Neighborhood Canvassing Basics

WLN Executive Director Richard Burke leads a brief training in the basics of how to canvass neighborhoods in support of a candidate or ballot measure campaign. The training contains some basics about precautions to take when canvassing during the Covid-19 pandemic.

October 2nd, 2021

Leading Better Zoom Sessions

Love 'em or hate 'em, Zoom meetings are here to stay. Not everyone enjoys them, but Zoom meetings offer grassroots activists a great tool to use when organizing themselves to take on specific projects and campaigns. WLN Executive Director leads a training session on how to host better Zoom meetings.

September 25th, 2021

A Chat with Andrei Illarionov

Andrei Illarionov, once Vladimir Putin's senior economic advisor until he effectively defected to the United States, he has since worked for the Cato Institute and now is a senior fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC. Illarionov talks about the state of liberty in America and the importance of grass roots activists in preserving liberty. Illarionov also answers questions.

September 18th, 2021

Redistricting Update in Oregon

Oregon state senator Dallas Heard discusses the upcoming special legislative session dedicated to redistricting, where legislators will wrangle over how legislative and congressional districts will be mapped for the next 10 years. Heard also discusses how his faith motivates him and how limited-government grass roots activists can prepare themselves to be successful during the 2022 election cycle.

September 11th, 2021

Live from Gathering of the Eagles

WLN Executive Director Richard Burke conducts a short Zoom session from the third annual Gathering of the Eagles / Rally Around the Flag conference held outside of Turner Oregon. Burke conducts short interviews with exhibitors at the conference including Slavic Vote, Turning Point USA, Turning Point Faith, FreedomWorks and Parents Rights in Education.

September 4th, 2021

Basics of Writing Press Releases

WLN Executive Director, Richard P. Burke, offers a brief training session on how to write and distribute press releases.  Click HERE to download a PDF file containing templates for press releases along with examples of real ones.  The file is shown and referred to during the presentation.

August 28th, 2021

A Chat with Wayne Allyn Root

National talk show host and WLN Board of Directors member Wayne Allyn Root provides an energetic and entertaining perspective on various issues of the day.  Wayne also answers questions from Zoom call participants.

August 21st, 2021

Economic Update w/Stephen Moore

Steve Moore, who works with the Heritage Foundation and FreedomWorks, was president Trump's senior economic advisor.  In this session, Steve provides his assessment of the American economy thus far under the Biden administration, suggests what our nation needs, and answers questions from session attendees.

August 14th, 2021

Getting Involved with Toastmasters

Cleon Cox, a leading Toastmaster at the local, state, and national level, talks about what Toastmasters has to offer you, how it works, and how you can get involved.  Participants describe experiences with Toastmasters. Any activist who wants to be effective should consider getting involved with Toastmasters to improve his or her ability to communicate, inform, and persuade.

August 7th, 2021

Being an Effective Precinct Captain

Richard P. Burke, WLN's Executive Director, provides a training session on how to be an effective precinct captain for a political party, candidate, or ballot measure campaign.  Click HERE to download WLN's outline for the presentation outline and examples of precinct leadership manuals from the Republican Party of Texas and the Democrat Party of Indiana.

July 17th, 2021

Oregonians for Fair Elections

Janice Dysinger, leader of Oregonians for Fair Elections, lead's this week's WLN Saturday session.  Oregonians for Fair Elections, one of  WLN's Independent Affiliates, monitors elections for integrity and works to advance legislation that makes our elections more transparent.  She also discusses vote audits in GA and AZ relating to the 2020 elections.

July 10th, 2021

Being Effective in Informal Debates

In this WLN Saturday session, WLN Executive Director Richard Burke talks about how to actually persuade when engaging in informal discussions and debates.  Click HERE to check out their website.

June 26th, 2021

Information About BLExit

In this WLN Saturday session, we highlight another of WLN's many Independent Affiliates, BLExit - Oregon Chapter.  Janira Brannigan, their Executive Director talks about her organization's mission of bringing Black, Latino, and other minority communities to conservatism and the ideals of limited government.  Click HERE to check out their website.

June 19th, 2021

Information About Slavic Vote

In this WLN Saturday session, we highlight one of WLN's Independent Affiliates, Slavic Vote.  Dmitriy Shashchenko, president of Slavic Vote, talks about his organization's mission of mobilizing the immigrant Slavic community, what they have accomplished so far, and what their plans are for the year ahead.  Click HERE to check out their website.

June 12th, 2021

Dissecting Bad Policies and Ideas

In this WLN training session, you will learn how to dissect and attack bad plans and policy ideas.  The skills you will learn will be useful at many levels including political activism and simple family discussions.  Pick up these skills from WLN's Exec. Dir. Richard P. Burke, who is a trained and skilled debater and who has participated in debates for Oregon governor and other offices.

June 5th, 2021

Legislative Update w/Kim Thatcher

Kim Thatcher is one of the most conservative state senators in Salem.  In this session, Kim provides an update on the proceedings taking place in the current legislative session and answers questions.

May 29th, 2021

How to Make Your Case in a Debate

A lot of limited government activists and candidates have great ideas about how government policy and social change can be achieved for the good of everyone, but don't know how to argue their case.  If you want to get involved in government policy, want to be a citizen advocate, or wish to be a candidate, this training will show you how to make your case!

May 22nd, 2021

Effective Citizen Lobbying

The training outlined in WLN's beginning course on citizen lobbying offers information on skills needed to be successful.  By focusing in on perspectives held by the policy makers you are lobbying, you can be even more successful.  This training covers this important information.  Click HERE to get the companion training document.

May 8th, 2021

Successful Get Out The Vote Efforts

A candidate can have a great election campaign, but it is all for naught if voters don't vote.  Join WLN's Exec. Dir. Richard P. Burke as he describes how activists can design and execute an individualized Get Out The Vote (GOTV) campaign from their own homes.  Click HERE to get the companion training document designed to go with this training!

May 1st, 2021

Becoming a Local Opinion Leader

If you are running for public office, are considering a run for public office, or if you are a local activist, you will value this session.  Bob Terry (former Washington county, OR commissioner and former Hillsboro, OR Chamber of Commerce president) offers this training session on how to become a local opinion leader.   Click HERE to download WLN's companion document that goes with this training topic!

April 24th, 2021

Oregon's Local Budget Processes

Scott Jorgensen describes Oregon's local budget process used by local, county, and municipal governments across the state.  Jorgensen is the City Manager for Rainier, OR, a former legislative aide, a former award-winning newspaper reporter, and radio personality.  Download the companion document on this topic by clicking HERE.

April 17th, 2021

How Board/Staff Governance Works

Mark Knudson, former CEO of the Tualatin Valley Water District, which serves more than 250,000 people, describes how decisions are REALLY made in local and county governments by offering a training on the board/staff governance model used all over America.  Download Mark's accompanying slide show by clicking HERE and WLN's document on this topic by clicking HERE.

April 3rd, 2021

Winning Informal Discussions

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke provides training on "How to Win Informal Discussions and debates"  Download the companion training document by clicking HERE.

February 27th, 2021

Campaigning with Little/No Money

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke provides training on "How to Campaign with Little or No Money."  Download the companion training document by clicking HERE.

February 13th, 2021

The Oregon Citizens Lobby

Bill Dewey of Oregon Citizens Lobby (OCL) offers information about how people can work with OCL, and use online tools, to monitor and impact the 2021 Oregon legislative session.  Go to the OCL website and get involved by clicking HERE.

December 12th, 2020

Becoming a Skilled Citizen Lobbyist

Oregon state senator Kim Thatcher leads a Zoom training session on "How Activists Can Become Effective Citizen Lobbyists."  You can download her slideshow by clicking HERE and the companion training document by clicking HERE.

January 9th, 2021

Basics of Working With the Media

WLN Executive Director Richard P. Burke leads a Zoom training on the "Do's and Don'ts of Dealing with the Media.  Download the companion training document by clicking HERE.

January 23rd, 2021

Organizing Around Local Issues

Former GOP and Libertarian statewide candidate Tom Cox leads a Zoom training on "How to Organize Around Local Issues."  Download Tom's slideshow by clicking HERE.

The Western Liberty Network (WLN) is a charitable non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization.  WLN offers training to activists at the grass roots level on how to successfully engage in the democratic process at the local level.  WLN does not support or oppose any candidate, ballot measure, political party, or legislation.  For more information about WLN, check out the "Organization" page on this website.  Contributions to WLN are tax-deductible.  To make a contribution, check out the "Support" page on this website.

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