One of the most influential roles someone can have in their local community is to become a city council member. Members of city council assist in running the city, oversee police departments, infrastructure, parks, make city planning initiatives, among countless other things. Becoming a city council member can really give you a voice in your community, and in this post I want to go over just how you can run for city council and how you can be instrumental in a child’s life in this leadership role.
How to Run
Running for city council really is not that difficult at all, and can actually be quite easy depending on your locality. The first step you should take is to visit city hall and get the necessary paperwork. If you don’t have transportation, you can call their main office and see if the forms are available online; that way you save a trip there.
Usually the first thing you do to run for city council is to sign an affidavit stating your intention and identifying your person. You will need a few forms of identification for this.
After this you will need to get your name on the ballot. In most cases for this you will need to gather a certain number of signatures from citizens registered with the locality that you are running who are also registered to vote. It’s usually not too many, usually just 50-100.
You may need to fill out some additional forms depending on your area, but that is pretty much the basics of getting signed up to run.
Next all you have to do is start talking to people about why you’re running. You could write a letter to the editor, or ask friends to do the same. You can hold fundraisers or community meet and greets. The main thing is that you want to be seen in the public eye so that you have good name recognition.
For Those In Office
Once you get into office is when you can really demonstrate your value as a community leader. First and foremost you will need to fulfill your duties as an elected official: make sure that the city is on the right track, has a balanced budget, its local businesses are doing well, and the citizens are happy.
Using the office of an elected city councilman is a great way to inspire kids to become community leaders, but it’s a double-edged sword. Not all kids have good role models to look up to and if you can provide a struggling child or student with the role model and mentor they need that is great, but you need to realize that being a public figure you will attract extra attention to your everyday life, even on the local level. If this isn’t something you’re ready for, you might want to think twice about running. If it doesn’t sound like a problem, great!
Some great activities for local council members include volunteering at charities, attending local school functions, benefit concerts and events, and running in local marathons.