Run for Something: A strategic plan

1. What we do

We aim to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to trainings needed to be successful.

2. Why we do it

There are two key points of failure: (a) candidate recruitment and (b) the process of running.

  1. Raising money was hard. Some candidates found that people wanted young people to serve in office but didn’t think they could win so weren’t willing to donate money to a lost cause. Other candidates explained that without a wealthy network of friends and family, they were starting from scratch. Money matters: Some state-level races can be as cheap as $25,000 — others could cost as much as $1 million.
  2. Finding professional staff and the mechanics of campaigning were tough. Many candidates said they wasted time and efficiency because their friends served as campaign managers instead of professional operatives. They often didn’t know how to actually get on the ballot without intensive research, and the operations of a campaign (volunteer recruitment, access to the voter file, how to calculate a win number, etc) were tricky to navigate without someone who had institutional knowledge.

3. How we do it

This seems very simple. But right now, running for office is scary. By being loud and proud about how important it is to run — and then following that up with action to get people plugged into a training and then a race — we can ease entry into elected office.

  1. Millennials. Right now, that means under the age of 35. We need young people.
  2. Progressive.
  1. 18–35 year-olds are the currently accepted definition of “millennial.” (We promise to use that word as rarely as possible.)

In this level of electoral politics, a little bit of money can absolutely make a difference.

There are not that many experienced campaign managers — but there are many experienced communications, field, digital, and political staffers who could manage a race if given a shot and some mentoring. We’ll aim to match staffers with the right race and candidate, and provide them with a network of people willing to give advice.

4. Long term goals

5. Our values

6. The nuts and bolts

  • Communications Director — for organizational communications and to support candidate communications programs
  • Digital Director — to manage the website, social platforms, online fundraising, digital organizing, and support candidates with their digital programs
  • Finance Director — to run fundraising
  • Operations Director — to literally make the organization run
  • Political Director — to work directly with the state parties and partner organizations to be a good partner in the progressive movement
  • Staffing Director — to coordinate the staff network and support on-the-ground campaigns

But the truth is, the president isn’t the most important person in our democracy — the citizen is. The institutions will outlast Trump, and if we don’t do the work now of building a pipeline of future leaders, we won’t be able to right his wrongs and move our country forward.

Recruiting & supporting young people running for office. Building a Democratic bench. Want to help?

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Sessions’ testimony before the Senate Intel Committee

We Can Lower the Abortion Rate — If We are Willing to Look Beyond Unhealthy Political Allegiances

I Grew Up in a U.S. Colony. I Will Never Take Voting for Granted.

Dear SF Residents: I’m Also Overwhelmed with the 2020 Election

How a Federal Judge Missed the Mark in Explaining Paul Manafort’s Sentence

The Government Dropped the Ball on U.S. Torture Accountability. Citizens Picked It Up.

Democratic Socialists Should Support Washington State’s I-1600

President Bernie Sanders Would Completely Change the Political Conversation in America

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Run for Something

Run for Something

Recruiting & supporting young people running for office. Building a Democratic bench. Want to help?

More from Medium

COVID Vaccines Still Dramatically Reduce Severe COVID, Hospitalization, and Death

War in Europe

Why We Need a Covid Memorial Day

Ginni Thomas and The Supremes