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Letter: Don't be afraid to run for office

Posted: July 26, 2011 - 8:37pm

We are just weeks away from the time when Juneauites can declare their candidacy for a City and Borough of Juneau Assembly seat or for the school board. We are all grateful to those who help the community by their willingness to serve as our elected officials. Some people are old hands at running for office, but many people who may have considered a campaign may think that it is too complicated to try. Nothing could be further from the case. The steps you need to take to run for office are pretty simple and can be found at www.juneau.org/clerk/elections.

In summary, to run for municipal office or the school board, you need to be a “qualified voter” who has been a Juneau resident for at least a year. To become a candidate, you must submit to the city clerk a petition signed by at least 25 Juneau voters. The filing dates this year are from Aug. 5 to Aug. 15. The next step is to get a public official financial disclose form from the clerk, fill it out and submit it before Aug. 15.

Now comes the harder part. Get together with family, friends and supporters and develop a campaign plan. Think about what contribution you want to make to the community: that’s your message. You may need to raise some money if you want to have flyers or advertisements, but many campaign opportunities are available for free: candidates are asked to attend forums, to meet with local groups and to answer online surveys.

The League of Women Voters encourages everyone to become a part of our democratic processes, including running for office and helping the election campaigns of others and, of course, voting. A vibrant democracy depends on each person’s willingness to participate.

Margo Waring

LWV board member

Former school board member

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