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Are You Disabled? Running for Office? Here’s How to Prepare
By Ed Carter

Running for elected office is a great way to make a positive difference in your community. As a person with a disability, you may be concerned about the whole campaign process. Handling a political campaign alone can seem daunting, as you may encounter tough challenges such as stereotypes and stigma.

However, don’t let this discourage you. With these tips from Social Work Today, you’ll be able to kickstart a stellar campaign that will enable voters to see you as a great choice.

Hire an Excellent Team
There is no political candidate who is capable of running for elected office alone. Before unveiling your campaign, you will require several qualified, experienced personnel on your team. Some professionals you’ll need on your team include the following:

Campaign Manager
Obviously, as The Campaign Workshop points out, a campaign manager is one of the most crucial additions to assist you in achieving your goal. They are responsible for supervising the complete strategy. They'll coordinate all activities, including advertising, and formulate your campaign message in such a way that it highlights your capabilities as a candidate. Look for a campaign manager who has wide comprehension and experience.

Social Media Manager
The use of social media (eg, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, podcasts) in political campaigns can be highly advantageous, giving you the opportunity to connect with your voters more closely. Use these forums to do the following:

• create and increase awareness about your campaign;
• address any questions regarding your candidacy;
• request donations; and
• engage potential voters via social media.

Therefore, hiring a social media manager is essential to help you maintain an online presence and market yourself to potential voters.

Web Designer
A political website gives potential voters the first impression­—it’s the first place they get to interact with you. Having a poor design is detrimental to your campaign. It can make you seem unbefitting and creates doubt about your dedication to the campaign.

Have a proper website that communicates your values, states your stance on major issues, and informs your followers how to assist you financially. To ensure you have a professional website, you will need to have a web designer on your team.

Financial Manager
A financial manager links you to potential donors and sponsors, manages fundraising events, and monitors campaign costs.

It's important to note that any political fundraising event requires honesty. Our Common Purpose suggests being transparent with your finances, and appreciating your donors and the public in general. Politicians live in a fishbowl, and can expect a fair amount of scrutiny into their personal lives. Do some tidying and clean up your credit history so that doesn’t become an issue.

Get in touch with your local party headquarters to determine whether there are particular rules and regulations, such as specific accounting practices.

With a growing campaign team, creating payroll can be tedious and repetitive. A cloud-based payroll system can be a boon to assist in managing your team better. You'll be able to securely record your team's data and access it through a computer or mobile apps, and you’ll have a one-stop-shop financial hub that shows real-time insights on your cash flow, expenses, and donations.

Select one that can monitor your team's attendance and time shifts, and generate instant reports.

It goes without saying that a huge part of running for office is simply getting your message out there. In addition to building a website, holding town halls, and possibly purchasing ads, you need to make sure you don’t neglect the smaller avenues. One example is business cards. There are a few common mistakes that you should avoid—and you’ll quickly discover that those mistakes (like omitting information or being too hard to read)—apply to just business cards. In fact, they’re words of caution for all the literature created for the campaign.

Running for political office is a challenge regardless of who you are. Having a disability can certainly increase that challenge, but it also gives you a unique perspective—and you’ve already proven that you’re not afraid of a challenge. With dedication, passion, and a strong team backing you, your campaign might be just what your community needs.

— Ed Carter uses his financial abilities to help people with disabilities plan ahead, as physical and mental disabilities often cause stress and confusion when it comes to financial planning.

Image courtesy of Pexels