What makes a qualified candidate?
Technically, every winning candidate for public office is “qualified.” The actual requirements are incredibly weak. Generally you just need to be a non-felon, adult, resident, registered voter able to win a plurality of votes out of a small field of (frequently zero) other candidates.
But let’s look at qualifications in terms of the skills & knowledge political leaders should have to effectively respond to the needs of their community. What’s required to address a particular issue (for example, preparing a town to mitigate the effects of climate change)?
- Leaders need to understand the problem, empathizing with how their constituents are impacted by it. And not just their own neighbors, but people of all major constituencies represented in their district.
- Leaders need to understand their own values and the values of their community relevant to the issue.
- Leaders need to design good policy to address the needs, in line with their shared values, tailored to their community. This effort could be led by them or entail them adapting the advice of various experts and advocates.
- Leaders need to make good decisions and tradeoffs, taking into consideration how conditions will change over time due to our increasingly VUCA world.
- Leaders need to effectively manage or oversee their government institutions’ implementation of the policy, encouraging constituent-centric, innovative, efficient, and data-driven practices.
- Leaders need to build and maintain political support for themselves and their actions.
- And of course, leaders needed to have been able to run and win their election in the first place.
This. Job. Is. Hard. (but also impactful!)
To be an effective representative and lead a responsive government requires skills and knowledge few people have. Ideally candidates would have training commensurate with the job. Unfortunately, there is no existing large-scale educational program to prepare those interested in serving. No MPP, MPA, or political science degree covers the core elements of political and policymaking leadership (and those degrees are far too inaccessible for most prospective candidates anyway).
You can do this. We will prepare you.
Empowered To Run was built to fill this gap. Now more than ever, effective leadership of state & local government is crucial for solving the biggest public policy issues affecting this country. Now more than ever, effective representation is crucial for protecting and strengthening our democratic system of government.
Sign up for our courses to prepare yourself for the race and job ahead.
Want to help today?
The immensely important 2024 campaign season is here. With your support, we will develop 10 new courses and prepare 4,500+ candidates ahead of the elections. Here are three ways you can contribute to this effort:
- Champion Empowered To Run in your circles
- Invite others to engage with us
- Invest with financial resources
Would you like to discuss how you can best help? We’d love to hear from you: