Tips For People With Disabilities Who Are Ready to Run for Office

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lady in wheelchair looking out the window

by Ed Carter (image: Pexels)

Is it time for you to weigh into the political arena? The truth is that people with disabilities are sorely underrepresented in the world of politics, but you can be a part of changing that. Read on for information that will help you get your campaign started out on the road to success.

Start Small:

If you’re a newbie to the world of politics, keep in mind that there is a learning curve. Beyond establishing yourself as a viable candidate, you should take time to become familiar with the people and wheelings and dealings that are involved with a successful campaign.

For your run, you’ll need to assemble a team, fundraise, attend events, and so forth, so candidates often find it behooves them to start with smaller steps. The Art of Manliness explains that one comfortable segue into politics is through volunteering. This is basically as straightforward as it sounds. Select a candidate with whom your ideals closely align, then ask what opportunities are available. Think about what might be interesting to you and would give you a taste of what to expect. You could help with organizing events, passing out literature, door knocking, or any number of actions to support your candidate while getting your proverbial feet wet.

The first time you run for an office, you might once again aim a little lower than your ultimate aspirations. For instance, if you would some day like a seat in Congress, chances are you will do well to run for a local office now that will keep you in the public eye and ensure you have a voice in local happenings. With that in mind, you might run for a city council opening, as opposed to a role that is more limited, such as a school board opening. Frame your steps with the end goal in mind.

Team Players:

When it comes time to make your run, even if you’ve pretty well learned the ropes, you’ll need a handful of specially qualified people on your team. As Campaigns & Elections explains, your top hires are your campaign manager and an attorney. Choose people with appropriate experience, and make their competence your priority—as opposed to their ideologies and how well they like each other (which they very well might not).

Also, given the day and age in which we live, you should hire a social media influencer. Again, look for someone with experience working with political campaigns. Also, seek potential hires with insights into whatever channels you will target, and whose reviews are exceedingly positive. Any of these key hires can be found through online job boards, which at least makes that part of your process much easier.

Platforms and Positive Vibes:

One of the most important tools of your campaign will be your platform. This is where your message needs to be clear and concise, fit with the office you seek, and should reflect the priorities of your campaign. Think about what sort of slogan uniquely suits you, and make it an integral part of your personal branding strategy.

When it comes to developing your campaign slogan, you should select something that is positive and personal. Perhaps you intend to make your downtown area more accessible; be ready to show voters how this will improve life for everyone. Maybe it will boost traffic to local businesses, encourage better general health, and enhance tourism. Think about how your plan applies to the area’s growth and well-being, review whatever demographics you can find that apply, and be ready to convince others how they will reap the benefits.

It’s time for people with disabilities to have a stronger voice! Think about what your first office should be, select a great team, and consider how your message will benefit the community. While breaking into politics might not be easy, it’s a worthwhile venture, and we need more good people involved.

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