Most people do not like the way their town or city is being run, no matter how successful. That rings true across all political spectrums. So what do they do about it? Nothing. They sit at their homes eating chips watching the game on television. If you don’t want to be one of those people who talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, consider the following reasons to run for office.
- You Have More Control
A lot of people talk a big game about how they would do this or that to improve where they live. Thankfully, there are people like Steven Rosenblum who put their money where their mouth is. Although you will have more influence, it will still not be a piece of cake. Your political opponents will perform stunts to make sure your regulations don’t pass. You may become unpopular among your constituents at some point, but it will be worth it in the end.
- There Are Perks
Although straight income might not be the biggest attraction, your benefits should more than make up for it. Your health insurance and retirement plans will often be the envy of all your neighbors. If something happens in your neighborhood, such as a large pothole, you are more likely to get that fast-tracked. You get to prioritize the projects that you want to be finished first.
If you earned a degree in public policy or urban planning, you can feel good knowing that you are using your education exactly what it was meant for. A lot of people don’t have that luxury. There are plenty of individuals who studied history and became software developers instead, for example.
- You Feel Like You Can Make a Difference
For better or for worse, you will be making a direct impact on your community. It may not be as significant as you wish, or the consequences could be unintended, but you are at least trying, which is much more than other people can say. Just make sure that you play the game clean and let other people play dirty if they feel like it.
- You Will Meet People From All Walks of Life
Whether you want to or not, you will constantly be meeting new people. You could be rubbing elbows with yacht owners one minute while shaking hands with someone who just returned soda cans for income. Your job is to relate to everyone and make the most amount of people as happy as possible. It is impossible to make everyone content, but you should still do your best.
- You Learn More Than You Ever Could From Books
Many people study sociology, psychology and other related fields for years in college. However, those textbook definitions and answers will be nothing compared to what you figure out in the real world through experience. Just one walk around a block and a conversation with an invested neighbor can make all the difference.
Although you might feel like an unsung hero at times, just take comfort in the fact that people need you. They don’t need a friend in a city councilor. They need a leader who can make tough decisions.