We had our first official library board campaign meeting today, at the kitchen table over pizza, in classic local politics style — thanks to Pamela Calvert for offering to take on financial reporting responsibilities (whew!), Kelly O’Keefe for bringing her words of experienced Democratic party volunteer wisdom, Ben Kaplan for his knowledge of how to do the on-the-ground canvassing and voter tracking, Amanda Daly for getting me started on really reaching out to local community orgs, and of course, Kevin Whyte for not making me pull out of the whole thing when he realized how time-consuming it would be for me, or how much extra child-minding it would require from him.
There is no way I could do this alone, and the one thing I would say right now to anyone thinking of running for office is to take stock of who you have around you to support your run. You will need people. Probably lots of people!
Campaigning is going to be a lot of work and a lot of time over the next three months, but I actually think I’ll enjoy a lot of it — talking to people in the community, going to local events. Is good. It’s not, perhaps, entirely congruent with hiding in my study and writing fiction all the time, so that’s going to be interesting to negotiate. But on the plus side, if I win this election on April 4, then it’s a four year term before I need to run for anything again.
My main tasks for the next few weeks are to a) write up my candidate statement and update my website properly, b) get an candidate headshot (scheduled for Monday), c) get buttons and flyers and palm cards made, d) go to as many local events as possible, and e) fund-raise. I’m pleased to note that the campaign has already raised $1220, which is just humbling and awesome. We’ve already spent a couple hundred of that, so the other thing I’d say to anyone considering running for office is to have at least some confidence that you can raise the money you’ll need.
We’re setting an initial fund-raising goal of $5000. If we raise more than we need, it’ll be rolled over to the next campaign — or, if I decide I’m done with politics, any surplus must be donated to a non-profit. I’ll be doing a proper post about that soon, when the site is fully set up, but while we’re here, I’ll just note again that donations of any size are welcome at any time. 🙂
(And a reminder that foreigners may not donate to a United States campaign — sorry!)
The next campaign meeting will be Wed. 1/18, at 7 p.m. — if you’d like to join us, drop me a line. We’re all learning this together. 🙂