Are you candidate material? Or somebody who can get somebody elected?

Two things I want to flag for you, both on the Rutgers campus; Ready to Run campaign training and new training for young adults.

Last night, I attended a panel discussion called Running For and Holding Local Office, hosted by Camden County Progressive Democrats, featuring people with experience repping their NJ town or city. Great meeting, thoughtful questions, and a full room – with many people very close to making the decision to run. [Watch it at Citizens Media TV]

Since Hillary Clinton lost, so many people new to politics have jumped in (or jumped back in), with many activated by the daily assaults by Nazi-comfortable, golfing-lazy Donald Trump. And the Republican Congress eager to help him do his worst. That’s powerful. But the truth is, that sometimes it’s even more effective to create change by taking a bigger role in a smaller place, by running for local office where you live. Some of the people leading the rallies outside congressmen’s offices, running rapid response operations with resistance groups, or sitting in the seats at activist meetings itching to do more, are exactly who we need leading our towns, school boards, county offices. And one of the great things about programs like both these below – a women’s campaign Training by the outstanding Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers Eagleton Institute of Politics and one focused on young adults also via Eagleton – is how many people leave convinced that they’re candidate material. Here are two offerings at Rutgers:

RU Running? February 15, 2018 
A joint project of the Center for Youth Political Participation and the League of Women Voters of New Jersey’s Young People’s Network, RU Running? is a free training for politically interested Rutgers students considering running for office or working on political campaigns. You can expect to hear from young adults now holding elective office, and opportunities for getting involved in campaigns, plus the basics of how things work; fundraising, media training, internet strategies etc.  Register here (light dinner is included)

Ready to Run® March 9-10, 2018
This is a bipartisan program focused on women who want to run for office, work on campaigns, get appointed to office, or learn more about the political system. I’ve done this training, on a scholarship thoughtfully provided by several members of NJ Democracy for America (thanks again!). I will tell you the enthusiasm level for women’s participation is high, but I’d caution you that both panel members and your fellow classmates are from both parties. If you’re close to running, I’d just be a little cagey about discussing your specific strategies or campaign materials. Just saying. Early bird discount ends this week, February 9th! (Please note there are also scholarships available). Of special interest: Diversity Initiative for Women of Color. Register here


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