You have thought about making a difference. You have some good ideas about what needs to be done. As a registered Green-Rainbow voter you support a living wage, excellent public education, health care for all, and equal rights for people regardless of their gender identity. You want to see an end to the corrupt effects of big money on elections, mass incarceration, and systemic racism. Moreover, you understand the underlying imperative: we all need a livable planet now and for future generations. But besides writing letters, or going to marches and demonstrations, what can you really do?
If you run for public office, you will learn how to better express your voice and develop a much broader repertoire of talents. Candidate questionnaires, radio interviews, canvassing door to door, and meeting regular people at community events gives you the opportunity to listen to and learn from your constituents. You gain a deep appreciation for the diverse communities whom you would hope to serve, as well as practice in bringing exciting ideas into broader public awareness and respectability, which is an essential step towards making positive change happen.
As a candidate, you get to assemble a talented and vibrant team. A campaign manager helps you plan your calendar and strategy. A treasurer helps with raising and keeping track of donations. Getting to know familiar comrades even better through these shared efforts can be a lifelong gift.
When you win an election, you get to work in a position of public trust and responsibility. There is no substitute for the thrill of debating, negotiating, and implementing policies with a Green-Rainbow perspective and the cumulative personal reputation for integrity as you advocate critical approaches and fair solutions that no other political party representative could or would achieve without your being at the table.
Sure, but is being a candidate all work and no play? If you ask some of our more experienced friends and colleagues about campaigning for office, they have great stories to tell of unexpected personal growth and many moments of fun that they had along the way. “Running Statewide was invigorating... I met like-minded people all over the state and enjoyed building community, finding new friends, and forming coalitions and relationships with inspiring activists on important issues that resonate with Green-Rainbow values.”
Service to the party as a candidate can change the course of the future for the better … and there is nothing like being a part of history in the making. “My kids were so proud of me. My daughter was learning about voting in school. When they gave her a sample ballot with my name on it, she told the whole class, ‘That’s my stepmom!!!!’”
If you or someone you know might be an excellent Green-Rainbow candidate for some public office in Massachusetts, please visit https://www.green-rainbow.org/run_for_office to find out more. Fill out the Candidate Recruitment form on that web page so we can follow up with you. Experienced/past candidates are willing to talk with you as you contemplate this possibility. Remember, you can also use the form to put us in touch with other folks who you think would be an excellent Green-Rainbow candidate.
David Spanagel, Male Co-Chair of the GRP’s Candidate Development and Legal Committee (CDLC)