Uniting Your Town: How to Get Started in Local Politics

Posted by Brian Neese on October 13, 2014  /   Posted in Political Science News

Local politician standing at podium giving speech.

If you’re wondering how to get started in local politics, a lot of it will depend on your ability to get acquainted with your community. You’ll need to make connections, get involved and learn the political landscape as much as possible to progress.

Small steps are needed to get started in local politics. Here are some tips to help you begin.

Passion

If you want to make changes in your community and pursue something that involves spending a lot of time on detailed issues, you need to have passion that makes it all worth it.

Illustration of businessman reading newspaperIt’s that drive that will help you influence others and leave an impression. And it’s that special something that will drive you to become a better citizen, volunteer and leader.

Make an effort to learn what’s happening in your community. Find local bloggers that you like and read the local newspaper. This will help you not only become more knowledgeable about key issues in your community, but it’ll help you develop your passion for what you can add or do in response to what’s happening.

Merge your passion with knowledge of local politics. You’ll be able to come up with solutions and enhance your interests.

Explore Your Community

What’s that first step to getting involved in local politics? It may be as simple as attending a board meeting that’s open to the public.

Whatever it may be, you can identify and follow through to get acquainted with your community and the political scene. You might go to weekly or monthly school board meetings. Or you could get involved with local political groups; for instance, in Owensboro the Daviess County Republican and Democratic headquarters are located in the city.

Locate something of interest and explore it to see what’s going on in your community.

Volunteer

Every campaign, regardless of the context, is in need of people with a passion and work ethic to help.

Not only will you be able to impact the next tip on our list, but you’ll get what may be your best and earliest look at what it really takes to run a successful campaign.

Network

Illustration of two businessmen shaking handsAlong with passion and education, networking is a common denominator when you get involved in politics at any level.

Make an effort to get to know the people you meet. When you’re volunteering, meeting leaders in your community, talking to citizens and even when you’re reading blogs, there are opportunities to network with people. Building relationships and contacts are a powerful way to progress in your political ambitions.

Consider a Training Program

There are candidate training programs that are designed to help people running or looking to run for political office. These programs can give you the skills you need to run successful campaigns at the local level.

You can look at Candidate Project for more information, which contains a listing of these programs across the county.

Run for Office

Once you’re ready, you can think about running for office. You can start small and run for a seat on your local town council or school board, for instance.

If you’re interested in enhancing your political career at or beyond the local level, a formal education can be a strong asset. Brescia University Online offers an online bachelor’s degree in Political Science that’s convenient and can help you reach your career goals.