This lesson from 2011 has been that we must reach beyond our comfort zones and participate directly in democracy. Now that the 2011 elections are over, let’s talk about the 2012 elections where all of the House of Representatives and a 1/3 of the US Senate are up for re-election.
We have talked about how Congress is currently occupied by corporations. It’s time to take it back. Congress needs to by occupied by real people. Congress needs to be occupied by YOU!!
I am not talking about bring a sleeping bag or tent to your local Congressional office. You must think of a more permanent occupation. Sitting behind the desk that says Representative (or Senator) for a full term. Imagine the changes you can make as a representative of the 99%.
Yes, YOU need to run for Congress in 2012. If you are still in one of the two corporate war parties, then be prepared to primary the incumbent or to run as her challenger. If you belong to a third party or are an independent, then be prepared to get your name on the ballot on your party’s (or an independent) line.
The time to start planning is now. Elections rules are written to favor the 1%. Be prepared to master them to get on the ballot. You will also need to master, even better get your campaign a treasurer to master, the FEC campaign finance reporting requirements.
Here’s a video on running as a candidate of the 99%:
If you still need inspiration to run for office, read this poem
And now some more resources to get you started:
- Don’t Think of an Elephant: Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (A Progressive Guide to Action) by George Lakoff
- Politics the Wellstone Way: How to Elect Progressive Candidates and Win on Issues by Wellstone Action (Wellstone Action hold regular training sessions and has their training matterials online for self-guided education.)
- Fundraising in Times of Crisis by Kim Klein www.chardonpress.com Don’t let the title or its emphasis on nonprofit fool you, the heart of this book is fund-raising 101. www.grassrootsfundraising.org/
- GPUS Campaign Manual (PDF) is draw from several sources. Don’t worry that this is a Green party book, just take the information on setting up a campaign and use it.
- GPUS Get Out The Vote (GOTV) manual (PDF) is a good example of what it takes to get your voters to the polls. I would start with the above materials as an overview first. ditto about this being a Green Party publication.
- Democracy for America Night School is an excellent synthesis of the ideas presented in Laskoff’s Don’t Think of an Elephant and Wellstone Action’sPolitics the Wellstone Way. Ditto for the Democratic Party.
- Sample Get Out the Vote Palmcard with Ballot Position PDF
- Sample Get Out The Vote Brochure PDF
- Sample Campaign Website
- Sample Campaign Video
- Sample Party Palmcard (PDF)
- Sample Party Trifold (PDF)
- IRS Application for Employer ID Number to open campaign bank account
- Monkey-wrenching with Minnie the Cat by Kimberly Wilder, Boog City,, Issue 3: 2/25/02
- Run, Run for Your Life by Kimberly & Ian Wilder, Boog City, Issue 3: 2/25/02
- What to do with a Democratic Congress (speech & video) by Ian Wilder on the need for electoral and media reform, Huntington LIPC, 1/25/07, OpEd News 2/4/07
- Competitive Elections: A Challenge for Spitzer by Kimberly Wilder & Ian Wilder, OpEdNews 1/31/07
- Second Look at Third Parties: Correcting the Supreme Court’s Understanding of Elections by Dmitri Evseev, Boston University Law Review
- The Rise of Restrictive Ballot Access Laws and the Decline of Electoral Competition in the US, Death by a Thousand Signatures, by By Oliver Hall, Seattle University Law Review
- Campaigns tread carefully into world of Web 2.0 by Heather Havenstein, Computerworld.com, 2/12/07
- How to Write a Press Release, Pandecta Magazine
- How to Write a Press Release, WikiHow
- League of Women Voters (LWV)
- LWV Vote 411: Election Information You Need
- Ballot Access News is the gold standard in Ballot Access information
- FairVote on how Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) can fix our electoral system
- Politics1 provides fair coverage of the whole political scene
- PR Watch investigates media propaganda and promotes media literacy
- Open Secrets tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy
- Independent Political Report is a source for American third party, and indepdendent politics