Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Up Next - Local Elections

If you want to see a difference in government - get involved in local government. Municipal and school board seats often go uncontested or are left vacant, yet the decisions they make have the most immediate impact on our daily lives.

Most people aren't sure how to run for office or what they must do, fortunately it is not that difficult. Two years ago I ran a program and had about thirty-forty attend. This year the League of Women Voters is holding an event at the Community College and they asked me to alert people about it.

I noticed they are charging a fee, which I'm not particularly fond of, and while I don't have time to run another Resident to Candidate event, I'll try to get information up on the site so individuals can get all the relevant information.

Below are the details of the event on Saturday:

On the morning of Saturday, November 22, we are hosting a program that is designed for people thinking of running for election next year.

It's being held by the League of Women Voters of Lehigh County and the League of Women Voters of Northampton County and will be at Northampton Community College, in the Kiva room, from 8 a.m. to 12:30 (continental breakfast included).

The municipal elections are too often ignored, but are very important, as you well know. The positions to be elected next year include county officials, school directors, borough and city mayors and council members, township supervisors and commissioners, and district justices.

We have held a four-hour "Running for Local Office" workshop in November before the municipal election year four times in the past. It is specifically designed for candidates in the Lehigh Valley, and each one has been highly praised by those who have attended.

It is not easy for a first-time candidate to know how to proceed. Some of the areas we will be covering are how to comply with what's required in the way of paperwork, how to develop a strategy and timeline for a campaign, tactics, working with volunteers, how to ask for donations, working with a political party, and working with the press. A bi-partisan panel of experienced campaigners will discuss how they ran their successful campaigns. Stacy Sterner and Howard Erney from the Lehigh and Northampton boards of elections will explain in detail how to work with their offices.

A comprehensive notebook filled with pertinent information is given to every participant. There is a charge of $45, which covers our costs. It's not a fundraiser for the League. More details on the workshop, including the names of the speakers, can be found at our website, Email addresses are and Phone numbers are 610-432-1456 (Lehigh County LWV) and 610-252-1339 (Northampton County LWV)

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