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Tips to assist individuals with disabilities who want to run for office

Woman in Red Blazer Wearing Blue Framed Sunglasses Sitting on Wheelchair
Photo: Pixels

Running for office requires sensitivity, dedication, and a lot of time and hard work. For individuals who are living with a disability, the process can be grueling without the right kinds of help. Fortunately, there are lots of resources available when it comes to hiring out tasks, getting a plan organized, and setting up a platform to reach a wide audience.

Find the Right People

The first thing you’ll need to do to ensure a successful campaign is to find the right people for your team. This might include someone who can handle social media posts, a web designer, or a campaign manager who can oversee fundraising and keep things on the right track. In some cases, you can find volunteers who want to champion your causes and help spread the word about your platform, but others will need to be paid positions.

Find Support

While you can find people to help with various tasks, it’s important for you to be personally involved as much as possible when it comes to garnering support from voters. She Should Run encourages you to get active on social media and other online forums where you can give voice to your causes and find like-minded individuals. For instance, if you’re passionate about championing disability rights, look for groups that will support you throughout the process.

Before you join in any discussions, however, make sure your personal social media profiles are cleaned up and ready for public viewing. Speaking of personal, it’s important to keep in mind that your personal life will fall under a microscope, so root out anything that could be a strike against you. This includes polishing up your credit report!

Network

While you can achieve a fair amount of networking through social media, it’s important to look for ways to insert your name into the conversation and gain allies or mentors in the political arena, especially if you are a person of color or a woman. This is done by joining city council meetings, typically, but you can also make accommodations for your disability by sending a polite email letting current office-holders know who you are, what your message is, and why you want to run for office. Talk to your team members and come up with a succinct, professional elevator pitch or slogan that will tell people what you’re about.

You should also take the time to update your CV. Potential supporters and financial contributors may want to take a closer look at your professional background before coming alongside to support your campaign. You can use a template for a CV to ensure that the document looks professional. Simply choose one of the many template options and then insert your information.

Stay Organized

Both before and during your campaign, you’ll have a lot of paperwork to keep up with and tasks to take care of, so it’s crucial to stay organized. You might start a spreadsheet that lists all the names and contact info for the individuals you’ve networked with, or set up a filing system that allows you to easily access copies of ballot applications and other important forms. Utilize different online resources that will allow you to share this information with your most trusted team members so that everyone can stay on track.

Prepare Yourself for an Amazing Campaign

Running for political office is a wonderful way to connect to your community, share your ideas and have them heard, and make real change in the world. Ensure it’s a success by hiring the best possible team and staying organized throughout the process, so you can reduce the stress that comes with being in the public eye. But you should also be prepared to answer many questions about your personal life and your platform, so start by cleaning up your social media presence, prepare your elevator pitch, and update your CV so you are ready. Then, prepare to campaign!

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