Not ready to run for office yet? We understand, it’s a big commitment. There are many other things you can do that can help you on your political journey! Keep reading to learn how you can get involved in the political and civic space without running for office.
Engage with your community
Getting involved in your community is a helpful way to further understand the issues that people in your area are facing. Consider attending town hall meetings or volunteering locally. As you hear from others about their concerns, you can also create connections. No matter what political path you go down, connecting with community members helps you have a deeper understanding that will influence your next move.
The more you get out into your community, the more you can strengthen your leadership skills as well. Eventually, you’ll become a community leader and you can inspire other young people to get involved in the community too.
Become an activist or community organizer
Knowing the issues that affect your community will inspire you to make a difference. One way to help your community is by becoming an activist or community organizer. Use your voice to organize marches about certain issues, start a conversation online or rally people around a cause. Either way, you’ll be ensuring that people continue to be reminded that something needs to be done to help make your community better for everyone in it.
Activists like Deja Foxx use their platform to not only increase awareness, but also to educate others. Sometimes, people are unaware of just how many are affected by these issues, and simply sharing or resharing verified information can have a significant impact on even just one person.
Advocate for policy change
Did you know you can help make a difference through policy? In local politics especially, policy has a huge effect on people’s everyday lives. This will become even more evident when you engage with your community and hear directly from them. Whether it’s policy about menstrual equity or voting rights, you can help advocate for changes to be made that will better support your community.
Our Skyline high school chapter in Dallas, Texas, led by facilitator Brooke López, has been working to end period poverty in their district. They advocated for menstrual equity, and as a result of their dedication, every Dallas ISD high school and middle school built after 2020 will have a free dispenser with menstrual hygiene products in every single bathroom. That’s the power of legislative advocacy!
Register to vote and encourage others to join you
Your vote is your voice. When you use your power and vote in elections, including local elections, you have a say in who represents you. Did you know that less than 6% of legislators are under the age of 35? We need more representation in elected office and it starts with exercising your right to vote. If you’ve already registered to vote, volunteer to register voters in your area.
Gen Z has the power to decide elections. With midterms coming up in 2022, and voter suppression efforts ramping up, people will continue to face barriers to voting. When you encourage people around you to vote and register voters, you can help remove some of those barriers.
Train with IGNITE
Organizations like IGNITE offer many opportunities for you to flex your political power outside of running for office. Train with IGNITE and learn how you can advocate for change, register voters, become a community organizer and more. You can also join or start your own College Chapter on campus or apply to become an IGNITE Fellow. Either way, you’ll be joining a sisterhood of young women who are empowering others to become civically and politically engaged.
At the end of the day, being politically involved doesn’t just mean running for office. There are many ways for you to help make a lasting impact for your community, and it all starts with you taking that first step. Are you up for it?
If you are thinking about running for office one day, make sure to sign up for our Run Now training! Additionally, IGNITE is partnering with Snapchat to launch its new Run for Office tool. Learn more here.