How to Get Involved with Your Local Political Party
3 min read
With the November election long past and midterms still over 18 months away a lot of people I know have asked me how to get involved with local politics. While there are many ways to seem involved the new way in social media rarely will lead to making the kind of difference you want.
Go To Meeting
The first thing to do if you want to get involved is to join a local group that is affiliated with the party. The best place to find out when they have meeting is to go to a county party site or an affiliated group site. If you do have a problem finding the event calendar or if it is blank look for an email address and ask them about getting involved. The reason why I would avoid the state party is that they are less responsive compared to the local parties and groups, and it’s often the local parties role to organize during none election years.
Volunteer at Head Quarters
Depending on your state you can volunteer at the Head Quarters. This is a great opportunity because even though you start out with stuffing envelopes and answering phones it will give you an opportunity to meet a lot of the people who make the local and state parties run.
Work For A Campaign
Reach out to a campaign they are always looking for volunteers and would be happy for you to join them. The thing to keep in mind you will be spending your first couple of weeks doing voter contact before you get to do more, but everyone has had to do this, and most people who work on campaigns still go out knock doors and make phone calls.
Get Others Involved
After you have spent some time campaigning try to get others involved. Start with your friends and family, and then move on to more difficult places like online and from public club meetings.
Start a State or Local Group
Once you have been involved with the local party look at starting a group that will help them reach out to the community, and have it sanctioned by the state party. One thing to keep in mind is that fundraising is a critical part of any group, along with volunteer mobilization.
Run For Precinct Chair
Precinct Chairs are the lowest level of elected official and are elected in party primaries. Precinct Chairs have varying power depending on county and state party rules, but it is by far the best place to start if you want to be in party leadership. This is because in most countries I have worked in the Chairs are the ones who elect the local party official, and can be the ones who determine what kind of primary you have (.ie caucus, convention, or primary).
Run For Office
The last thing you can do to get involved is run for office. If you have gotten involved and are known in the local party it is relatively easy because you will have the party support to get through the primary and general election. If you aren’t known to the local political party, you can still win with a strong campaign plan, and start with a smaller office. Running for Office is like baseball you have to start in the minors to be able to make it in the majors. So when you look at an election to run in realizing that by starting local you will be able to win larger races in the future.