How to Get Elected to City Council

by Culture & Society Editor
With student council, students can learn about the political process.

With student council, students can learn about the political process.

Individuals on city council are in a position to implement change in their community, but it can sometimes be difficult to get into a council that is run by what is often referred to as an "old guard." Follow a few steps to help you get elected to city council and begin making a contribution to your community.

Determine when city council elections are in your city. Make notes of issues in your city by reading the newspaper and attend open-forum city council meetings.

Join a sub-committee on your city council, such as a neighborhood association or small business association. Work on getting your voice heard at council meetings. Network yourself to city government officials to get your views and opinions heard.

Research who is on the city council at the current moment and what their platform issues are. Find out how popular city council members (or recurrent council members) keep popularity and how they keep getting elected.

Pull together a small campaign team: primarily a campaign manager and a financial manager to keep the details of your campaign out of your hair. Get information on city council elections and the stipulations for the campaigning and running process.

Section off parts of your city that contain a large population of the voters. Visit door to door to give out information pamphlets on the issues you plan to address. If elected to council, speak with individuals about relevant issues they want changed.

Tip

  • Find out who the "old guard" is in your city council. This term describes members who have been around for years. Find out who, if any of them, are planning on giving up their council seat. Then network through them and other members to try to cement your place.

Warning

  • Careful not to anger the elder members of the council with overly radical views or threatening to overthrow their seats on the council. Their influence goes farther than you think, and you could end up being strong-armed out of the race.

Photo Credits

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