Making the Decision to Run
Running for office is a big decision. It is a life changing event that not only affects the candidate, but their family, friends and community. Any level of government is only as good as those people who are willing to get involved and this is especially true at the local level. The decisions made by local elected officials directly impact the constituents they represent - that means one day the local elected official can be the hero and the next the worst enemy.
Making the decision to run can be a difficult one. Family obligations, job responsibilities and the fear of putting yourself out there may persuade you to make the easy decision not to run, however if we do not have people willing to be leaders, willing to make the tough decisions, then the very basis of what our country is based on ceases to exist.
Local campaigns can be a lot of fun and as a candidate you can learn a lot about your community and about yourself. You can learn how much you enjoy meeting new people; learn how to overcome your fear of public speaking and how to advocate for yourself as you ask your friends, colleagues and neighbors to financially support your campaign. When you ask most candidates, even those who have lost, about their experiences on the campaign trail many will list the positive things they took away from the experience.
Serving in elected office can be one of the most rewarding experiences. You may not make a lot of money, it may infringe on your free time and there may be moments when you wonder "why did I do this," but when you see a project from beginning to end, when a constituent stops you at the local coffee shop to thank you for a job well done, when you leave a board meeting and knowing you and your fellow board members made decisions that will provide greater opportunities for your community it is all worth it and you will know that you are making your community a better place to live!