There are two complaints about local elections that are equally valid. Volunteer leaders complain that not enough good people run for office and, when they do, the voters don't elect them. And elected officials complain that volunteer leaders rarely notice their accomplishments and, as a result, don't support them for re-election.
Is there a way to answer both criticisms while improving the quality of elected leadership in your community? There is, if you're willing to be systematic about assessing candidates for office and transparent and fair about how you do it.
At Civic Strategies, we've assisted several community non-partisan organizations in establishing systematic candidate assessment processes. There are four steps in our work:
What emerges is a voter education process unlike any you've seen, with focused, positive, fair-minded candidate evaluations that are easy for voters to understand and use. Good candidates get what they want: recognition for their thoughtful and principled positions and support from community leaders. Volunteer leaders get a voter education process that encourages good people to run for office and holds elected officials accountable. The voters get a way of telling the good candidates from the bad—and a much better grasp of local issues.
Want to learn how we can work with your organization in creating a fair and systematic process of candidate assement? Contact us.
"Politicians are like 15-year-old girls. They respond to money, peer pressure and attention."
Georgia State Representative
"One withstands the invasion of armies; one does not withstand the invasion of ideas." (Often translated as: "Nothing is as powerful as an idea whose time has come.")
"There's no money in being a congressman, but you can make a million bucks as mayor of Newark."
Former mayor of Newark, New Jersey, explaining why he left Congress to run for mayor. (Mayor Addonizio later served five years in federal prison.)
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