The Kenney campaign is looking for a few good community organizers. Or, to be accurate, a few good community organizers-to-be.
"We want to have anchors in all parts of the city," said Lauren Hitt, spokeswoman for Democratic mayoral candidate Jim Kenney. "We want people who believe in Jim or who believe in their community or who just want a voice in city government."
To that end - and to help register new voters - the Kenney campaign is looking for volunteers to take part in its "Summer Organizing Fellowship for Jim Kenney."
To be run by Steve Preston, the campaign's field director, the program is designed boost voter registration in the city while training those interested in the art of community activism.
"We are training people who want to make to change in their community," he said. "If they want to go into community organizing as a career, we are also training to that as well."
Preston, 25, knows the drill well. A Pittsburgh native and Duquesne University grad, Preston had spent time as a manager with Target before he found his passion as a field organizer with the 2012 Obama campaign.
"I feel like I'm doing a lot more good now," he said. "This is much better. I can look back and say I had a part in making a change, in electing a president."
As Kenney's field director, Preston gets credit for being part of the team that secured Kenney's extraordinary primary win over five Democratic opponents.
Kenney still faces Republican mayoral candidate Melissa Murray Bailey in the November General Election. Kenney benefits from his party's 7 to 1 registration edge over Republicans. The voter registration drive Preston is spearheading should increase those odds for Kenney.
But, as importantly, it will offer a classroom for those who volunteer to learn more about community organizing.
"This is something to organize around," Hitt said. "Hopefully, they will make contacts in their neighborhoods and communities that they can utilize going forward."
Preston said the campaign was looking for about 20 volunteers of a range of ages for the unpaid fellowships.
"We want people from all walks of life, not just college students," he said.
Over the course of the summer, Preston and others on the campaign will provide instruction.
"They're being trained in 'community organizing,' so all the tips and tricks of how to get a community engaged and working communally towards a cause," Hitt said. That includes how to successfully press someone for support, how to canvass a neighborhood and how to run a phone bank.
Preston said his hope is those who volunteer will find the work as rewarding as he has.
"If they want to go on to a career in organizing, I would love to help them," he said. "But if they just want to learn how to organize in their community, that would be a success too."
Anyone who might be interested should e-mail the Kenney campaign at firstname.lastname@example.org.