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  • by Ed Carter of

How to Launch Your Political Career by Running for Office with a Disability

Hand picking up vote button next to small American flags on table

Running for office is one of the best ways to effect change in your community. Launching a political career might be intimidating, but anyone with natural leadership abilities can do it. As a person with a disability, you are also uniquely qualified to represent people in your community whose voices aren’t always heard in politics.

Below, find a few tips that will guide you on your political journey.

Where to Start

If you have political aspirations but don’t know how to put your ideas into action, you’re not alone. When you’re first starting out, it helps to think about what motivates you to run for office in the first place. Not only will this help you define your platform, but it will also help show voters that your heart is in the race once your campaign actually starts.

There are good and bad reasons to run for office. The Campaign Workshop explains that advocating for causes and making a difference are two of the best reasons to run. Without a reason like this motivating you, it’s harder to find success. Keep in mind you don’t have to strive for a seat in congress to make a difference. Starting small at the local level can make just as big of an impact on your community as running for office at the state or national level.

She Should Run points out that running for local office is also a great starting point because no one knows your community better than you. Not only that, but there are also numerous different offices to consider, such as school boards, town councils, and elected city positions.

How to Get Guidance

After thinking about your political goals, you will have a better understanding of where you want to start. However, it’s often still a challenge to start building your momentum. Luckily, you don’t need to be a political expert to run a successful campaign. There are many resources that will help you along the way. For example, campaign boot camps can teach you how to manage a campaign, get volunteers, fundraise, and more.

Some campaign training programs are for a general audience, while others are geared toward specific demographics. You can benefit from participating in a general campaign program, but you might find more value from a program specifically designed to guide people with disabilities.

Starting Your Campaign

From developing a platform to gathering supporters, running a campaign takes a lot of work. For that reason, you will probably benefit from having a few volunteers or paid staff to help you.

Knowing your strengths and weaknesses will help you identify which roles you need help with. For example, if you’re great with people but bad with numbers, you might want to have someone help with your campaign budget. In this situation, hiring a certified public accountant (CPA) may be the perfect solution for your campaign. It’s easy to find qualified professionals to help your campaign by browsing freelance job boards.

Early in your campaign, you’ll want to research the community thoroughly to figure out how many voters there are and how many votes you need to win. This will help you connect with people more effectively, while also touching on issues that matter the most to your community.

When growing your campaign, you’ll also need a plan for gathering supporters. Advertising and attending events is just one way to start building a support base. These days, connecting with supporters on social media is becoming equally important for a successful campaign.

Many people talk about running for office, but few actually do. If you have dreams of being in office, these resources can help you start your journey. Developing a platform, assembling a campaign team, and gathering supporters are just a few steps you’ll need to take to succeed.