As the former mayor of Rancho Palos Verdes in California, I often think back to all the tasks I had to do to get my campaigns off the ground. This inevitably leads me to think that nothing is more important than the offer you have put on the table. Specifically, what is your vision for your community and what will you do for voters in your jurisdiction if they put you in function? Think about what wrongs will you right or even what injustices will you right? What problems will you solve? What are you going to do to improve the quality of life for people in your jurisdiction?
At first glance, I know it sounds too obvious, but it comes down to the most important question voters should ask themselves: why you?
Unfortunately, this first basic task is overlooked by many applicants. And if you can’t communicate this overriding reason for someone to vote you, then nothing else you do will matter. When voters don’t have a good reason to support you and support what you have to offer, you won’t attract support or volunteers, let alone campaign contributors.
Most applicants can come up with some ideas on what they would like to do. Many candidates fail to deliver anything attractive, or they use the same old, easy rhetoric voters have heard before and then wonder why voters don’t seem to care.
Often times voters hear of a candidate running for a local office proclaiming that he is going to balance the budget, run the city like a business, and keep the city out of debt. These might be laudable goals, but a rig like this is about as exciting as watching the paint dry.
Today, I’m going to help you come up with some exciting, original, and creative ideas that you can use to develop the vision you’re going to deliver to voters in your jurisdiction.
Keep in mind that this column is not going to tell you what your exact offer should be. The important point is to tell yourself that investing time in giving voters a reason for your candidacy is crucial in the early stages of your campaign. You should do this before you even announce your candidacy as one of the most important tasks you’ll perform during your candidacy.
So here are the prompts to help you clarify your unique offering to voters in your community.
1). Sit alone with a notepad and pencil, and write down what you would do if you could wave a magic wand and make good things happen in your community, city, state, or country.
What are you passionate about? What turns you on? What moves you? What causes are important to you? Is there a threat you want to mitigate? An evil that you want to overcome? A villain you want to conquer? What makes you happy when you see him? What makes your blood boil? What makes you want to jump off your chair? What kind of newspaper stories are you interested in? What would you do to improve the quality of life for people in your community? When you surf the Internet, what videos do you watch or what articles do you read? If you are involved in a service or charity in your community, ask yourself what made you decide to volunteer?
Spend a few hours jotting down the ideas that come to your mind. You will easily have 15 to 20 ideas and probably double that.
2). Read the local newspapers in your community for 7 consecutive days and write down what you see. Newspapers, by their nature, cover pain, publish stories about suffering, wrongdoing, injustice and issues that affect the plight of ordinary people and their quality of life.
I guarantee it. You will see a lot of things worth your attention.
Newspapers can be a wealth of information about issues in your community that need to be addressed. And having a keen eye for things that may become your cause can be a ticket to power.
3). Get in your car and drive.
Write down what you see. Bottlenecks, dangerous intersections, or larger issues such as troubled neighborhoods, gang activity, dilapidated school facilities, empty storefronts, signs of decay, roads or bridges that need to be. be repaired.
A few years ago, a congressional candidate was driving on a local road and found herself waiting at a level crossing for a train to pass. At this point, the candidate noticed that the train was towing more than 80 black tank cars. She later noticed that she had never seen this before on this railroad.
The candidate later made three phone calls to learn that these wagons were filled with highly volatile Bakken crude, that the railroad he was on passed through parks, playgrounds, schools, and in case derailment, the cars were known to explode and spit out a deadly cloud of gas that would instantly kill anyone nearby.
It was also learned that the tracks on which this train was traveling were in a dangerous state of disrepair. It became a cause in the candidate’s campaign to force the railroad to repair tracks, upgrade dangerous rail bridges, force the railroad to pay the cost of training first responders who might have to evacuate neighborhoods and schools, and to demand that the railroad pay for their equipment.
You can find many causes to advocate just by observing what you see going around in your community or city that you want to represent.
This previous point may relate to a similar source of rich information about what may be confusing people in your community. It is the barber who cuts the hair and the beautician who repairs the hair. Everyone goes through a barber or a beauty salon.
And quite often, they share information with the person taking care of their hair because it’s hard to do anything other than talk when someone has their hands in your hair. Barbers and beauticians might write books about things they have heard.
And quite often, they’re an important point of contact on what’s going on in your community. When you’ve done all of the things I’ve mentioned, you’ve got a notebook full of ideas. You can then start narrowing it down to a few that you find most attractive. Good luck!