Skip to content
Do you have adblock enabled?
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Fark)   I would like to get involved in my town government, but I have no idea where to start. How do I find out which offices in my town are up for election? How do I get my name on the ballot?   (fark.com) divider line
    More: Dumbass, New England town, Town meeting, Local government in the United States, Local government in New Hampshire, New England, City council, town government, good way  
•       •       •

1465 clicks; posted to Discussion » and Politics » on 27 Sep 2022 at 2:50 PM (9 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



74 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2022-09-27 1:19:30 PM  
Start on one of the boards.  Most towns have everything from Planning and Zoning to Parks and Rec.  You apply for vacancies, and are appointed by the town council if selected.  It's a good way to learn about the town, and how things really run.  Then you can work your way onto other boards, or elected office.  .
 
2022-09-27 1:20:25 PM  
I'm pretty sure you're way late to register for this election, but you're best bet is going to be to go to your state's election website and seeing what's up there. Every locale is WIDELY different, so outside of that there's not much advice I can give.
 
2022-09-27 1:32:16 PM  
When considering a course of action, I generally do my best to manage expectations and do a sanity check before I commit myself. Something like, "Why don't you learn something about political science before you take your inexperienced ass out there and f*ck it up for everyone else?" comes to mind, especially in these days of rabid moronic fascists crawling out from under their rocks. But hey, that's just me.
 
2022-09-27 1:35:35 PM  
Declare yourself a white supremacist, anti-union, fascist in a letter to the Kochs; receive tens of thousands of campaign donations.
 
2022-09-27 1:39:11 PM  
It's pretty easy in many New England towns that have a town meeting form of government.  You can caucus in that day and be good for a year.

I'd say if you don't know enough about town government your first step should be to learn and see how it operates, then find committees that you can volunteer for and go from there.
 
2022-09-27 1:49:29 PM  
You don't say how big the town is... but generally if you're really interested, start going to city council meetings once in a while.  See how they work, see what kinds of issues they deal with.  Meetings are open to the public.

Then check with your local County Clerk's office to see which council seats are up for election - terms are usually staggered, so there's probably an election at least every 2 years for a council seat.

Like someone said earlier, it's too late to get on the ballot for this year, but if you do some research and see whether or not you'd like the position, then you'll be ready to go in 2 years.
 
2022-09-27 2:01:36 PM  
First thing you need to do is to gain name recognition. Best way to do that these days is by attending school board meetings and shrieking about Critical Race Theory and Social-Emotional Learning. Bonus points for accusing the board of grooming children.
 
2022-09-27 2:07:18 PM  
 
2022-09-27 2:24:22 PM  
The best advice is getting covered pretty quickly. The only thing I have to add is that it's not too late to volunteer this cycle. It's a start to a start.
 
2022-09-27 2:26:30 PM  
Hi, have you accepted QAnon as your personal Lord and Savior?
 
2022-09-27 2:29:31 PM  

Shostie: First thing you need to do is to gain name recognition. Best way to do that these days is by attending school board meetings and shrieking about Critical Race Theory and Social-Emotional Learning. Bonus points for accusing the board of grooming children.


Also, seek out the craziest Mo-Fo politician in town - a real nutjob.

Then ask yourself: "How can I be worse than that?"
 
2022-09-27 2:42:48 PM  

OdradekRex: Start on one of the boards.  Most towns have everything from Planning and Zoning to Parks and Rec.  You apply for vacancies, and are appointed by the town council if selected.  It's a good way to learn about the town, and how things really run.  Then you can work your way onto other boards, or elected office.  .


I might consider a county board.
At least where I live, the county boards get update for all the smaller community boards.
You can get more general knowledge that way.
But it would be a lot more work and reading
 
2022-09-27 2:51:19 PM  
Frist, does your dad own a car dealership?
 
2022-09-27 2:52:20 PM  
I wanted to be a Ron Swanson but, I think i'm closer to a Tom
 
2022-09-27 2:52:51 PM  
fark all this noise about "watch and learn". Any part of government that is at all difficult wouldn't be run by politicians.
 
2022-09-27 2:53:34 PM  
I'm too late this round but I think when my country has local body elections next time I'm gonna run on all the uncontested roles I can find, or roles where there's only one candidate. If I'm accidentally elected to something, well I'll cross that bridge once I've pissed off it.
 
2022-09-27 2:54:25 PM  
Somewhere there is a lonely librarian who would tell you everything you all you need to know.
Cost you a big salad.
 
2022-09-27 2:55:41 PM  
Step 1: Join your local PTA board. Drive down to your local elementary and high school, and ask to volunteer and join the PTA.
Step 2: ???? For 4 years
Step 3: Get elected Mayor because all the kids that know you are now voting adults.
 
2022-09-27 2:56:36 PM  
You're not progressive enough and if you are the DCCC will primary you!

You never stood a chance!
 
2022-09-27 2:56:53 PM  
You start by going to meetings, even as just a member of the public. Observe and learn. See which of your neighbors know what is going on. Say hello and meet officials. Volunteer. Join boards. Get to know people and look for openings. The larger the town, the more opportunities for you to find something to specialize in. On the other side, the smaller town the fewer volunteers there are so you may have a much better opportunity to move up. Depending on the town, party affiliation may not matter as much (at least until recently, haven't seen anything for the next school
Board elections). On the local levels, I vote for the person.
 
2022-09-27 2:57:47 PM  
If you're asking Fark for advice then you may not be qualified to fill a serious role. If you're running for town drunk on the other hand, welcome. Welcome to Fark.
 
2022-09-27 2:58:22 PM  
Start with volunteering on boards and with local civic organizations to get known and "vetted".

Be nice and helpful and take a leadership role when it comes up. Try to be one who is positive and gets things done. It's really better to be as non-political so as possible to gain acceptance by a wide variety of people.

Then build a coalition and run.

That's how you get started.  If you are a partisan at heart, as you get more powerful and understand how things work, you can take on stronger stances.

This helps keep you from being a Boebert-like newbie that steps in poop every 5 mins.
 
2022-09-27 2:59:29 PM  
I don't know how people sit on local political boards without a very specific cocktail of uppers & downers to ensure that you have the patience for the public's 5-minute manifestos yet stay awake through the 2-hour description of possible handrail colors. And you've gotta do this multiple times per week. Now when I hear "I'm a local politician" I hear "my pee will let you speak with God."
 
2022-09-27 3:00:33 PM  
First you need to pick "Fascism and late-stage capitalism" or "Late-stage capitalism." Choose your side.
 
2022-09-27 3:01:17 PM  
Ask yourself, what are you good at, and what do you have to bring to the table?

Passionate about roads infrastructure?  Run for the school board!  Want to be in charge of banning books?  Maybe the zoning board would be right for you.  Do you imagine the fine folks of the town will give you dictatorial powers?  Then maybe sign up to volunteer for the strawberry festival.
 
2022-09-27 3:01:28 PM  
Might be easier to spread some cash around then start blackmailing the existing officials.
 
2022-09-27 3:01:29 PM  
It's pretty easy to get your name on a ballot in certain places.  Just go to one of the hundreds of small towns where Democrats don't even bother fielding candidates for county and municipal roles.  You aren't going to win unless the incumbent R does something really stupid like getting a DUI while knocking up a minor and in possession of methamphetamines.  Always a chance!
 
2022-09-27 3:01:36 PM  

OdradekRex: Start on one of the boards.  Most towns have everything from Planning and Zoning to Parks and Rec.  You apply for vacancies, and are appointed by the town council if selected.  It's a good way to learn about the town, and how things really run.  Then you can work your way onto other boards, or elected office.  .


I would second this. Get appointed on a city/town board or commission overseeing something you care about. That will get you familiar with the workings of the town, and allow you to work with the elected officials you'll report to (e.g. planning board makes recommendations to city council). In some cases, if there's a vacancy on the council, it may be filled by appointment by the rest of the council, and you'd then have an inside track to get your way in there. It's always easier to run as an incumbent.

There are also other ways to work your way in, such as running for school board or any other elected office (in my hometown, the library board is elected) that gets little attention. Also keep an eye on which races in any given year are unopposed; those are ways in as well.

As others have said, it's likely too late to get on the ballot for this year; if you want to know which municipal positions are elected, call them up and ask. Or just vote every year and watch your ballots to see which offices appear.
 
2022-09-27 3:02:11 PM  
long established tradition of killing people for political gain but you probably didn't study history by watching GoT like I did so maybe try being someone's spawn
 
2022-09-27 3:03:05 PM  

UltimaCS: I don't know how people sit on local political boards without a very specific cocktail of uppers & downers to ensure that you have the patience for the public's 5-minute manifestos yet stay awake through the 2-hour description of possible handrail colors. And you've gotta do this multiple times per week. Now when I hear "I'm a local politician" I hear "my pee will let you speak with God."


felt this truth in my soul
 
2022-09-27 3:03:53 PM  
I thought about this but I found out I needed to fill out some financial forms that were so well hidden  I couldn't find them and kind of gave up
 
2022-09-27 3:04:45 PM  

Soup4Bonnie: UltimaCS: I don't know how people sit on local political boards without a very specific cocktail of uppers & downers to ensure that you have the patience for the public's 5-minute manifestos yet stay awake through the 2-hour description of possible handrail colors. And you've gotta do this multiple times per week. Now when I hear "I'm a local politician" I hear "my pee will let you speak with God."

felt this truth in my soul


imagine having to deal with the average person in your district.... then remembering roughly half of your constituents are even DUMBER!
 
2022-09-27 3:05:19 PM  
First thing's first:  Do not get involved in your town's local politics if it is important to you that you like the place you live.  You will not after you get involved in local politics.  Everything will bother you all the time, and you will know weird shiat that's happening that 99/100 people in your community have no idea is even possible let alone happening.

Onto what you should do:
1.) If you align with a political party there are probably vacancies on the local committee, you can often just ask to be appointed and the chair will appoint you.  That's it, you're a local representative.
2.) If you don't like the way things are bring friends with you, what typically happens in my experience is that much of a committee is not overly active, this leads to a situation where your chair will often be holding like 10 proxy votes regularly cause people don't come to meetings and give their proxy to the chair who appointed them.  This leads to most votes being decided by what the chair votes for.
3.) Don't get involved if you aren't going to be vocal, most people on committees do not have strong opinions and whoever talks the most and the longest will get their way quite often.
4.) Push whatever group you have to create an identity.  "We're the democrats" doesn't give you any metrics or ideas to work with, or more importantly things to DO in the public eye that make you leaders in pursuing material improvements to people's lives.  A committee that isn't undertaking regular action outside of election season is pointless, it doesn't have goals other than electing people of X party.  Push people to brand the group with a defined set of principals everyone believes in
5.) Be bold.  People will talk terribly about you no matter what so you might as well represent your actual values instead of trying to "split the difference."  Nobody likes a wuss, even if they say things that are more "in line" with heir beliefs.  Someone who is genuinely about X is better than someone who is wishy washy about everything.
 
2022-09-27 3:06:19 PM  
I think you walk into City Hall with a jar of mixed change and jingle it. Any office holders who come running you can subdue in a 3/5 wrestling match, and you can challenge them in a by-election.
 
2022-09-27 3:06:37 PM  
Anyone can do it.  Make sure you get your payday when you exit.

The Gang Runs for Office - Best Scenes!
Youtube LDfMO2PyhXQ
 
2022-09-27 3:06:42 PM  
I hope you like meetings and Robert's Rules of Order.

I'm on two township boards and it's mostly reviewing proposed lot changes and environmental impacts.

Seriously though, most towns/cities that rely on volunteers are dying for people to help as long as you aren't a total nutter and have a modicum of brain power.

Don't go in thinking that you'll be able to make crazy changes, I love the fools that run for school board thinking they can slash teacher pay.  It's always fun to see them realize those are multi year negotiations.  You gotta be in it for the long haul if you want to see changes.
 
2022-09-27 3:08:09 PM  
Don't do it, subby. Your political enemies will find your Fark account and everything you've ever said here. You'll be doomed! Doomed!
 
2022-09-27 3:09:22 PM  
There are two kinds of people who run for office: those who want to be somebody, and those who want to do something.

The world is full of people who want to "be somebody" who decide to run for Mayor (or POTUS) because they're so very sure that they have special leadership skills or are called by Jesus or what have you.

Don't run for office to be somebody. Run for office because you want to do something.

People who want to do something generally start volunteering on boards, getting to know people in the community, and figuring out what the community's needs are and how their skills can help before loudly proclaiming they have the solution.

TL/DR Version: If you don't know what offices are open or electable, I humbly submit that you're not connected, insightful or knowledgeable enough to run for town leadership. Start off by trying to do something, and see where that leads.
 
2022-09-27 3:11:05 PM  
Also -- don't get into politics to be loved or respected.

That only happens after you're dead, if then.

Run only if you have shiat that you want to get done, have a plan for how to get shiat done, and don't care if people hate you for getting that shiat done -- because they will.
 
2022-09-27 3:11:55 PM  

patrick767: Don't do it, subby. Your political enemies will find your Fark account and everything you've ever said here. You'll be doomed! Doomed!


never leave a trail longer than a few years anywhere online.
 
2022-09-27 3:12:38 PM  
Look into neighborhood and city councils and school boards. Volunteer. Check social media. If you're brave, get Nextdoor and find out what people are talking about, what issues are in your area. Then go do something about it. Make connections. Network. Build community. Then think about running for office. You'll need people behind you before you can run a campaign. Volunteer for campaigns too, so you know how they are run.

Good luck!
 
2022-09-27 3:16:03 PM  
1. Go to meetings. Council, certainly, but if there's a board that covers one of your interests start going to them as well. Listen. Get to know the issues and especially the people.

2. Reach out to your local party chair/organization. This isn't always an option, especially if you're getting into politics because someone in this chain is adversarial or operating in bad faith. But you won't know until you try.

3. Keep up on local news. There's always an issue that isn't getting enough attention or a cause in need.

4. Volunteer. Take everything from tips 1-3 and when there's a call for help, go for it. You'll make connections, allies, even friendships.

5. Be genuine.

If you can do all that, then when the time comes they'll be the ones asking you to run for office.
 
2022-09-27 3:16:31 PM  
You do not want to enter local politics. There are three types of 'local politician'.

1.) I have a pet project/agenda and will turn every meeting into a referendum on that issue. i.e. Those goddamn stray cats all over the place.
2.) I have inside knowledge on how to make land use approvals very financially beneficial to me and my family/associates.
3.) I genuinely care about the community and want to improve the quality of life. They last about one term before the insane public wears them down.
 
2022-09-27 3:17:24 PM  
The National Democratic Training Committee trains runs candidate training as well as campaign staff training sessions.  Your state or local organizations may partner with this organization or have similar offerings.

https://traindemocrats.org
 
2022-09-27 3:17:28 PM  
Maybe a good place to start helping your community is signing up to work on election day for your local Board of Elections. It's a great way to network with people working in the municipality and learn some of the inside baseball. Probably a good starting point if you want to help but don't already know immediately of an elected position that you are imminently qualified for.
 
2022-09-27 3:21:06 PM  
You say Fark user image, I say Fark user image. More candidates & more voting is the way out of this shiat.
 
2022-09-27 3:25:58 PM  
Oh man, no thanks. I have friends who do that shiat. They are honorable kind people who can take so much verbal shiat at meetings. I'd be like go fark yourselves I'm out of here. It's good there are people who can do that stuff.
 
2022-09-27 3:27:55 PM  

OdradekRex: Start on one of the boards.  Most towns have everything from Planning and Zoning to Parks and Rec.  You apply for vacancies, and are appointed by the town council if selected.  It's a good way to learn about the town, and how things really run.  Then you can work your way onto other boards, or elected office.  .


I did this with my town Rec board. At least got me involved. Other place I'd check is with your local town political party. They may need people to run for stuff.

I did that as well and that's how I got to be a delegate to the state convention.
 
2022-09-27 3:30:47 PM  
Depends on what you consider politics.   Let's say it's a choice between ideas and people.

If people are part of your politics, work for a party.  Get to know people in politics, see how they fund raise, how they find and treat constituents, what they think of when they're eating rubber chicken at a "get to meet your elected ..." event, what they think when they're having sex (if there's any difference).

If its ideas, show up where politicians have run out of good ideas.  Help out.  Sweep the floor, get coffee, get them to try something, develop wins.

Depends on whether you want to prove you can "do politics" or whether it will become a lifelong activity, win or lose, rain or shine or whether you plan on either making a ton of money through connections or control the lives of millions.  You might want to consider how long, and what kind of politician you want  be.
 
2022-09-27 3:32:46 PM  
Also rule #1 : learn to hide your loathing for the people you would represent.  (and almost every politician is great at this but, look at TFG.  He's amazing, incredible, unparalleled in his ability to make people he despises love him)
 
Displayed 50 of 74 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking




On Twitter


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.