Founding Director of Wellstone Action, Jeff Blodgett, to Deliver Carleton College Convocation

February 4, 2011
By Emily Snyder '11

Jeff Blodgett, Carleton Class of 1983 and the Founding Director of Wellstone Action and Wellstone Action Fund, will deliver the weekly convocation at his alma mater on Friday, Feb. 11 at 10:50 a.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. His presentation, entitled “Working for What You Believe In: Leadership and Political Change the Wellstone Way,” will address Blodgett’s efforts to achieve political and social change through the Wellstone Action center and its programs. This event is free and open to the public.

Founded in January 2003, Wellstone Action's mission is to ignite leadership in people and power in communities to win change in the progressive tradition of the late Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone and his wife, Sheila. Wellstone Action is a national center that trains activists in the areas of grassroots organization, voter engagement, political advocacy, and leadership development. The center strives for progressive political change, and extends its training to candidates, non-profit leaders, union members, and students by offering a variety of resources and tools through schools, conferences, and camps.

A professor at Carleton from 1969-90, Wellstone taught courses like Social Movements and Grassroots Organizing and the Politics of Reindustrialization. As a student of Wellstone while studing at Carleton, Blodgett began his political career as a community organizer, working with struggling farmers during the 1980s farm crisis. After graduating, he worked for 13 years as a senior aide, advisor, and campaign manager to Senator Wellstone, running all three of his election campaigns. He has worked on numerous election campaigns since, most recently as Minnesota State Director for the Obama Campaign. Blodgett’s political advocacy further extends to his initiation and work in Faces and Voices of Recovery, a national effort to engage the recovery community in policy debate about drug and alcohol addiction treatment.

Blodgett received his B.A. from Carleton College in 1983, was a Bush Leadership Fellow, and earned a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1998. He currently teaches in the Masters of Advocacy and Political Leadership program at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and has helped write two books, Politics the Wellstone Way (University of Minnesota Press, 2005) and Winning Your Election the Wellstone Way (University of Minnesota Press, 2008).

The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on the Carleton College campus on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield, Minnesota. For more information regarding the convocation and disability accommodations, please contact the Carleton Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4309.