Running for the House of Representatives is something that anyone can do, as long as he or she is old enough. There are many specific requirements that one must meet to formally announcer a candidacy, but none of them require any specific knowledge or skills. What makes democracy an amazing system is that the voters get to determine who they want to represent them. That means that those who are most determined to make a difference in the world by working in government are able to attain the positions they desire simply through encouraging fellow citizens to vote. If you are thinking about becoming a member of the House of Representatives, you must:
Be at least 25 years of age
Be a resident of the state in which you are running
Have been a US citizen for at least 7 years
If you meet these specifications, then there is a process which you must complete in order to formally file for candidacy. It is available on the website of the Federal Elections Commission. Filing is the part of running for Congress that pretty much anybody can complete; what is most important in a campaign is how one goes about running it.
In order to get elected, one must have the support of a significant portion of one’s local district. If you are interested in being a part of Congress, you have to figure out what you can do for your district that is not currently being done. What issues do people around you care most deeply about? What kinds of solutions do they want to see that are not being implemented?
Go around your local area and visit with organizations where people discuss these issues. Meet with religious leaders, student organizations, senior citizens, and branches of groups like the American Legion. Go to city council meetings and make sure you know what the current big local issues are. Take the time to go to bars, restaurants, concerts, and other venues where people relax. Meet people and mention that you’re running for Congress, but keep it casual. Some people do not want to delve into politically divisive issues when they are trying to have fun.
Another area to investigate is the local business community. Your town’s Chamber of Commerce is a powerful organization whose endorsement can bring many votes. Business leaders, as individuals, are able to bring both campaign contributions and the attention of others who can help you in your candidacy.
What you must not forget, though, is that you should never compromise your principles to get the votes of any of these groups. Nobody respects a politician who subverts his or her own morals in order to gain power. Even if your opinions diverge from those of the people whose votes you are trying to win, most voters respect an honest politician with a different viewpoint more than a corrupt one who panders to the majority’s ideology.
— Jake Simon
Sources: Yahoo Voices
Photo: House of Representatives