Running for office

1) Mass Alliance Campaign Manager Training will be held this Saturday and Sunday, May 14th and May 15th, 2011 in Worcester.  This intensive two-day training introduces future campaign leaders to the theory and practice behind successful grassroots campaigning.  More information here.

2) The League of Women Voters of the Worcester Area is holding its annual meeting on Sunday, May 22.  More info here.

3) There was an hour-long Soapbox on running for public office in Worcester.  It’s worth watching for the following David Rushford quotes:

On community activist-types running for office: “The dialog, the discussion…is just as important to the community.  … Running is one thing, but being in office is a completely different story.”  (15:30ish mark)

On requirements for running for office:“you need to have a heart, you need to know contemporarily what this city is comprised of.  Are we a college town?  Are we a city of working people?  Are we a city where people actually reside but travel to work in 128 and 495?  Are we a combination of all those things?  Are we a place for many different ethnic groups? … What do we want to be? … Moving forward, that’s the crux of the discussion that needs to take place. … Whether you win or lose, you’ve instigated a discussion.” (24:45 mark)

On turnout:“there was a study that was just released that talked about how younger people have fallen victim … to what is called social autism.  It doesn’t have anything to do with clinical autism.  It has to do with the lack of engagement of so many people.  … We have people who have a vested interest in the future of this city: they’re homeowners, they’re taxpayers, they have children in the school system, they’re older people, … and they are disengaged.  … Someone who can go out and motivate people to become civically involved, whether it’s through neighborhood organizations, crime watch groups, religious organizations, this is what we really need.  We need people who are willing to get out there and re-engage the public, so that the job of government becomes something that the majority of [people become engaged in].” (26:00ish mark)

On blogs, sort of: “There are plenty of blogs out there that will give you conversation, but there’s a problem with that.  Blogs are anonymous, blogs are hateful, blogs have no accountability.  When you come out as a community activist or as someone who wants to be involved in your community, you have an identity.  … To have virtual involvement is a cop-out.  It will not benefit this community in the long run.” (29:15ish mark)

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