Run for Something will recruit and support talented, passionate youngsters who will advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench.
We’ll take a chance on people the usual “institutions” might never encounter. We’ll help people run for offices like state legislatures, mayorships, city council seats, and more.
We’ll do whatever it takes to get more under-35 year-olds on the ballot.
HOW WE’RE GOING TO DO THIS, IN FOUR QUICK BULLET POINTS
1 We’re going to shout from the rooftops about running for office. Constantly. We won’t shut up about it. We’ll talk to reporters. We’ll talk to friends, strangers, the Starbucks barista — anyone. We’ll run online ads about it. We’ll be annoying. (You’ll love it.)
2 We’ll talk to every single person who expresses interest in running. Maybe over email, or gchat, or on the phone, or (gasp) in real life. This will take some time – but if this is what it takes to find new candidates, this is what we’ll do.
3 We’ll connect people to training organizations. Places like Wellstone, EMILY’s List, Latino Victory Project, She Should Run, Emerge, Higher Heights, and more are already off to the races with incredible conferences and curriculum. We’ll help feed people into these programs.
4 For some of those candidates, we’ll take our support to the next level: $$$ and staff. We’ll raise funds, donate to campaigns directly through state-level PACs, and help these folks hire professional staff who can keep the momentum going.
WHAT KIND OF PEOPLE WE’RE LOOKING FOR
Millennial Right now, that means under the age of 35. We need young people.
Specifically, we’ll look for people who will run on the following issues:
— A focus on inequality, raising incomes, and creating jobs
— Pro-health care for all
— Pro-LGBT equality
— Advocating for criminal justice reform
— Believing that climate change is real, man-made, and our responsibility to fight
— Pro-voting rights
— Pro-immigration reform
— Pro-campaign finance reform
— Pro-gun violence prevention
We won’t serve as the “purity police.” It’s tempting to create a litmus test for more specific issues, but when working across the country, you have to take regional differences into account. A Democrat in Louisiana, for example, can’t emphasize the same thing as a Democrat in California.
Ultimately, a Democrat who shares your basic values is someone you can apply political pressure to once they’re in office. As we’ve seen, a Republican will almost never yield.
Intending to caucus as a Democrat if elected Our goal is building a bench.
Diverse Our candidates will be at least half women, as well as men of color. More broadly, we’ll look for diversity of experience. We certainly need more African Americans, Hispanics, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and people with disabilities to run for office, and we also need more scientists, more teachers, more engineers, and more non-lawyers to run for office.
Connected We’ll look for candidates who have roots in their communities. This is literally a measurable quality: How many Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter connections does a person have? How many contacts in their phone that live in their district still? How can we measure their possible influence in their district? We don’t want to convince someone to move home to run — we want someone who calls a place home to step up and run.
That “X” factor 2016 taught us that who the candidate is matters. How well they communicate online and in person, how comfortable they are in their skin, and how “authentic” they can be are all important factors.
In 2017, we’d like to target Virginia and possibly North Carolina. However we’re willing to invest in good talent wherever it is.