If You Are Considering Running for Office These Organizations Can Help
March 13, 2017
So you're thinking of running for office, a lot of us are starting to think about it given our new political climate. A lot of people who never thought they would want to get into politics are realizing that the only way to get power is to put it in their own hands.
While I'm still on the fence about running, I do know that I want to help people that do. I also am enjoying learning about the process and getting informed by organizations that are making it easier for minorities and marginalized people like us to run. There are several organizations and political action committees (PACs) that have been formed with the express intent to help specific underserved groups like women, POC, and LGBTQ people. I will list them below and invite all of you to check them out:
VoteRunLead is a great organization founded by Erin Vilardi through the White House Project. Its mission is to inform women how to run for office through workshops, events, online webinars, and more. What I love about their website is that there is a wealth of free online tools to get women started. They have hours and hours of videos with detailed interviews and webinars given by diverse women. They are also nonpartisan so whatever party you might be affiliated with, you can get informed on how to serve your community the best way that you can. I highly recommend checking out this video to start and get inspired.
She Should Run is similar to Vote Run Lead in its mission but has different tools. They provide an online training course you can sign up for, for FREE, called the She Should Run Incubator. I signed up for it and it's a great resource for just starting out. They also have a Facebook group where women can talk about their experiences running for office.
Emily's List is an organization that helps elect progressive, pro-choice women to the government. They have helped nominate and fund campaigns for 900 elected women over the last 30 years, women like Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Rep. Tammy Duckworth and Rep. Rashida Tlaib. They have a commitment to getting diverse women elected and if you want information on the resources they provide, go to this page and sign up.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is an organization committed to empowering the LGBTQ community to run for office. They have offered guidance, training events and financial support for people since 1991. They helped Sheriff Lupe Valdez get elected as the first openly gay sheriff in Texas, and Sen. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly gay U.S. Senator. For more information on their training opportunities, visit this page.
The New American Leaders Project is an organization devoted to preparing first and second generation immigrants to run for office. They provide regular training workshop opportunities throughout the year. Sayu Bhojwani started NALP to empower the immigrant community to take power into their own hands. You can watch her amazing TEDtalk about her story and mission here.
Democracy In Color is a new multimedia platform aimed at multiracial, multicultural and progressive America. It was started in 2016 by Steve Phillips, who is also the co-founder of PowerPac+ (A PAC that was instrumental in setting up online voter registration and helping President Obama get elected in 2008). They offer resources like articles, newsletters and a podcast to get informed on what they call the "New American Majority."
So there you have it, a list of useful organizations doing great work to empower marginalized communities underserved by the government. While each organization may not fit your identity, I highly recommend looking at the resources each of them provide to get informed and help others. Each organization has something to offer.
Do you know of any other organizations I haven't mentioned here? Please tell me about them in the comments.