How to Run for Local Office Guide
So, you’re considering a run for local office? That’s so exciting. Local officials have the power to transform their communities for the better. In this guide, we’ll go over the basics that you need to know in order to field a successful campaign. When you’re ready to dive deeper on a topic, we’ve linked to resources that can give you a more robust understanding. We’ve also created a Campaign HQ page that has upto-date resources. We’re here for you. Let’s get started!
It’s going to be a
very big year!!
Well, it’s official now. Manistee County has flipped from being a fairly solid Democratic county to a solid Republican county. Interestingly enough, the breakdown fairly mirrors the breakdown nationally with the more rural areas being Republican and the towns more Democratic.
If we look at it, the demographic details look a lot like typical Trump voters. Our area is older, whiter, less educated and lower income than average. And although I don’t have figures on this, I would suspect that the “town dwellers” in Manistee County are younger, more diverse, better educated and higher income than the county averages.
Also, we can surmise that the Trump voters are more susceptible to the fear, uncertainty and doubt message that the Republicans so adroitly used. They, for the most part, are not overtly racist, and can vote for a tamed John James but the idea of an uppity Maxine Waters is scary. They can be resentful of “them” but the systemic racism of the Republicans falls outside of their purview. LGBYQ issues are overblown and don’t apply to them unless they have a close relative who is gay. The idea of an invasion of “aliens” is real and is seen in terms of what would 10,000 “strangers” look like in their small community not that 10,000 aliens represents .00028% of the US population. The idea of urban interests overwhelming the rural interests certainly trumps the idea of 1 person 1 vote. (The reapportionment proposal got a surprising number of no votes.) We know this feeling first hand. There has always been the idea that SE Michigan ruled the state and outstate and UP interests got lost in the shuffle.
What does all this mean? It means that election of representatives looks bleak in the near future. The best that we can do is to work in our communities to make sure that our values are represented and that our issues are dealt with. The fact that the election is mainly a cultural affair still leaves a lot of room for progress in specific issues. The most hateful people still need health care, their kids need to be educated, their water needs to be drinkable and the road drivable. Let’s keep working on that.
Comments from the Chair
The Trump administration would have us believe that we have a national crisis on our southern border and that we must build a wall to keep out a flood of illegal immigrants who threaten our way of life and even our personal safety. What are we to think of all his negative rhetoric and hateful speech? Is he really alerting us to a serious problem or is he just playing the American people? How are we to take an informed position on this seemingly intractable issue. The February 4th issue of Time magazine contained a long article about immigration and really helped me put it all into perspective. The following are some highlights from that article:
1. The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States has actually declined since 2007. The number of arrests along the border is at its lowest level since 1971.
2. Once inside the United States, immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the general population.
3. 41% of new immigrants came from Asia between 2010 and 2017, not from Latin America.
4. Today’s immigrants are better educated than immigrants in the past. 45% of immigrants coming to this country have college degrees compared to 35% of white, non-Hispanic Americans.
5. The U.S., like many other developed countries, has both an aging population and a fertility rate below replacement.
6. 75% of all immigrants coming to the U.S. are of working age compared to 57% worldwide.
7. Researchers agree that migration, as a whole, raises a nations total economic output.
8. Foreign-born workers in the U.S. contributed about $2 trillion to the U.S. economy in 2016. This was about 10% of our total GDP.
This information comes from such sources as the U.S. Census Bureau, The Congressional Budget Office, The Brookings institute and others. For me, these facts paint a more positive picture of immigration than our president so often presents. It is true that, short-term, immigration can strain a community’s resources. Long-term, however, immigrants make a huge contribution to our country. They bring us new vitality and energy, which benefits us all in the long run. After all, it has always been so in this country.
What we need is a rational immigration policy that allows those seeking new opportunity and security to settle here, become legal citizens, and build new lives without having to endure inhumane treatment in the process.
Buy Don Jennings Tickets