Social Question

talljasperman's avatar

How to get into politics?

Asked by talljasperman (21866points) June 3rd, 2010

where does one start? council, board member, making lots of friends…being rich…having a good job….

Basicly what do you do before you run for office…other than make coffee and set up chairs at meetings?

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6 Answers

anartist's avatar

As a staffer or run for office?
You can start local and run for small things and work your way up.
For preparation, your work experience maybe, plus very visible volunteer work especially at an organizational level [not just for campaigns]—work your way up from stuffing envelopes. Other things that have a mildly political flavor, offices on your homeowner’s association/condo board. Do community things like coaching sports, boy scouts etc, blood drives, and always, fundraising and volunteering for candidates you support—the more you work your way into existing political campaigns, party affiliate organizations, etc, the more you will get to know incumbents well. If they like you they pull you along.

Coming to DC???—if young enough try to be a page on the hill. if older an intern. if it is in your blood, when you are ready come to DC and there is no other way, wait tables, volunteer on campaigns, and try for staffer jobs — or get yourself here [DC] through grassroots development as described in first paragraph.

good luck.

marinelife's avatar

One way to start is to become involved in local politics. Affiliate with a party and go to party events. Work on local campaigns. Express interest in running for office.

Going to law school doesn’t hurt either.

filmfann's avatar

My friend Jerry began by working with a group trying to slow down local development. He learned the process, and ended up as councilman and vice-mayor. He resigned due to his father’s illness, and has recently begun working in a soup kitchen in Berkeley, which I see as a sign he will run for local office in Oakland soon.

mattbrowne's avatar

Have a different job first and become involved in local politics in your spare time.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

Don’t mind the sulfur smell; there’s a lot of it where I come from. Here, take this pen. No, you have to prick your finger, then dip the pen in it. That’s it. Just sign on the dotted line there. Good. That’s it! You’re a politician.

But don’t forget about our bargain.

lilikoi's avatar


.attend city council meetings.

.go to party events.

.campaign for incumbents.

.testify at hearings.

.run for city council and work your way up to state or fed.

.get your law degree.

.make the news and get free press/air time.

.write letters to the editor or perhaps have a regular column in well circulated local newspapers / publications.

.get your name out there in a good way – it is all about name recognition. if you want to be a public figure get out in the public.

.pick up an issue that you are passionate about and make change happen (involves petitioning people currently in office to introduce legislation, creating a following to submit testimony on this legislation, and getting the votes to pass it).

.get good at fundraising.


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