A Guide For Persons With Disabilities Who Want To Run For Office

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If you are a person with a disability considering running for office, you have the opportunity to play a valuable role in improving diversity representation in politics. The National Council on Independent Living reveals that although one in four Americans reports having a disability, this segment of the population is drastically underrepresented in elected office. Find out how you can run a successful campaign below, courtesy of Just Ask Talk Show.

Figure out what office you want to run for

If you’re just kicking off your political career, you’ll probably want to start small and run for local office. You have many options available. For example, at the city level, possible posts range from school board member to city council member. Check out RunForOffice.org to search more than 15,000 elected offices across the country. You can then figure out what paperwork you have to file with your local city or county to establish your candidacy.

Consider hiring a campaign manager

If you’ve never run for office before, consider hiring a campaign manager. According to the Campaign Workshop, a campaign manager can help support your success, strategizing how to improve your odds of winning and organizing your campaign. They are primarily a behind-the-scenes figure while you serve as the face of the campaign.

Running your campaign is like running a business, and your bottom line profit is winning office. If you’re in need of brushing up on your business management and leadership skills, going back to school to earn a business degree is a good idea, especially if the program is online. Research reputable and accredited universities to see what they have to offer. Completing your business degree will give you much-needed tools, including specific knowledge of accounting practices, entrepreneurship, administration and more. 

Educate yourself about the issues

A political campaign needs a platform. Determine what issues are relevant to the people who will elect you. The Commons Social Change Library explains how you can define problems and suggests taking into account the current political and economic climate, cultural trends, and environmental trends. Canvassing local voters is another great way to figure out what issues your electorate is worried about. You can then find solutions for those problems.

Connect with your community

Getting involved with your community is a must if you’re going to run for office. This is your chance to connect with voters and get to know what issues they care about. Look for opportunities in your area. For example, if you’re running for office in Michigan, being on Marsha Florence’s Just Ask Talk Show would give you a chance to get your message out. (The Just Ask Foundation preserves and enhances the quality of life for disabled individuals, the elderly, their caregivers and the general public.)

Craft clear campaign messaging

Once you know what issues you want to address in your campaign, start crafting the messages you want to convey. Take a basic problem-solution approach. What’s the issue and how will you fix it? CallHub offers a guide to effective political messaging that can help, such as drawing contrasts with your opponents. You can also test your messaging to gauge the initial response and then adjust it as needed.

Use social media to boost your profile

There are many ways you can disseminate your campaign messages. Social media is one great option. This allows you to not only share political messages but also to give voters insights into who you are as a person. If you want support for your social media management, consider hiring a professional to do the job. You can find independent talent for social media marketing services via work-for-hire platforms like Guru and Freelancer.

Practice your public speaking

You will likely have to make some speeches when running for office. Practice is the key to shaking those nerves and excelling. Speaker Flow offers tips on practicing public speaking, like maximizing the use of presentation tools and recording yourself so you can identify and eliminate bad habits like fidgeting. When speaking at events, make sure the appropriate equipment is there to meet your needs, like wheelchair ramps and hand-held microphones.

If you are an individual with a disability and want to run for office, you have an opportunity to change the face of political representation. Follow the above steps to get started.

Just Ask Talk Show assists individuals, particularly those with Disabilities and Senior Citizens, in securing life sustaining resources for the Improvement of their financial and survival status. Contact founder Marsha Florence today for more info! (800)-323-5336

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