Every four years, the American people get bombarded with campaign ads and constant talk of the upcoming presidential election. It’s easy to get swept up in the country’s big government and want to follow the election of one of the most powerful individuals in the world. But what you may not pay as much attention to are the political right in your backyard. Local elected officials are just as important and are often much more accessible than the federal government’s executive branch. If you’re looking to make a real difference in your community, you might consider running to become a local politician.
Everything from the school board to the state senate directly influences the families in your city or town. As a local politician, you have the opportunity to get to know the people in your community, hear their concerns and joys, and make an impact on their lives. However, this isn’t like any other job. You don’t just apply online and cross your fingers that you get an interview. Running for elected office takes years of dedication, building a platform, and the best tools to eventually take office. But if you feel called to a life in public service, this can be an exciting path for you to walk. Here are just a few pieces of advice for you as you begin your journey to becoming a local politician.
Get involved in the community.
When you decide you want to become a local politician, don’t expect it to happen overnight. It’s hard to walk directly on the scene without first making a name for yourself and showing you care within the community. No matter what office you think you may want to inhabit down the line, start getting involved right away. It would help if you showed the people in your town that you are committed to them, you are involved in service, and you are looking for ways to improve your little corner of the world. Volunteer for local organizations, attend current city council meetings, or get involved with the schools. This is the best way to garner name recognition and introduce yourself to the community before announcing your official run for office.
Put together a great campaign plan.
Once you announce you want to run for public office, you are already preparing for election day. The first step is putting together a campaign team and a plan. This usually happens a few years before anyone will even cast a ballot. If it is your first time running in a local election, it may be a good idea to find a guidebook or some game plan to base your campaign off. Look up how to run for local office to find ways to get involved, how to raise funds, to prepare your family for public life, advertising tips, and the basics of signing up to run.
Usually, your campaign staff should involve a campaign manager who has done it all before. This individual can help walk you through deadlines and the nuances of joining the local government. They understand what the residents of your town want to hear and how you can appeal to voters. A great campaign plan involves all sorts of ways to get your platform and testimonial out there. Whether through canvassing, TV ads, or local town halls, trust an expert to help you effectively run your local political campaign.
Make security a top priority.
With a lot of sensitive information passing around within your campaign, you need to be sure you consult a cybersecurity expert to keep that information protected. The last thing you want is for another candidate to steal your ideas or strategies or hack your email address. Check MonsterCloud reviews to see how well that organization can help you and your campaign committee stay protected from cyberattacks. Give yourself the peace of mind that your information is secure.
Get the word out about your platforms.
If you want to run for local government, that means you deeply care about your community and are called to public service. Your candidacy is all about your platforms and what you believe in. A successful campaign is all about communicating what you want to do for the community and how you plan to achieve it. Sure, qualifications are an important thing, but your constituents want to feel seen and they want to know what you’re going to do for them. So get out on the campaign trail and knock on doors or give speeches where you can share all the ways your choices will impact and better the lives of your residents.
Understand the rules and regulations.
The world of politics and campaign finance is particular and nuanced. It would help if you had nomination papers, a certain number of signatures, and financial regulations. Be sure you understand all the rules and restrictions involved in a political campaign. You don’t want to get in trouble as a potential candidate because you didn’t do your research. Stay on top of it and cross every “t” and dot all the “i”s.
Fundraising is a huge part of any local political campaign. You need to raise enough money to run TV ads, employ campaign staff, and get the word out in general. Make sure you have an area on your website where people can go to donate. A great incentive for donations is selling campaign merchandise for people who really want to represent your political party or campaign slogan. If you are going to do an online store, make sure it is as efficient as possible by maximizing your Shopify checkout page. If you can make everything easy for each new customer, you’ll have a better chance of retaining loyal supporters.
Believe in something.
Getting into local politics isn’t for everyone. If you decide this path is right for you, there is one last step. You need to believe in something and stand for it. Actually, fight for the community you are serving and work to make everyone’s lives better with each day that passes. Do that, and you’ll be a great local politician.