Running for Office
If I would be given the opportunity and the chance to run for public office, I want to run for the position of the mayor. I want to run for the mayoral position because by being so, I would be closer to the community where I can watch over the people everyday and be a little bit more personal with the locals. I believe that to be an effective public official, a person must recognize the needs of the community by heart. Thus, if I would be given a chance to explore the possibility of me vying for the mayoral position, I will reach out to the people and work more closely with them. This way, I would be able to contribute something for the betterment of the community.
Public officials are public servants, and they owe their loyalty to the people who acknowledged them as trustworthy when they voted for them. From the word “public servant” itself, they should be serving and offering their talents and capabilities for the locality and not the other way around. Before being a mayor, the individual takes an oath stating among other things that he or she swears, with good faith in his or her heart, that he or she will do everything to protect and serve the locality to the best of his or her God-given abilities. To be an effective mayor, one must fully understand the scope and limits of his or her capacity. He or she must possess an incredibly wide perspective on things. The local community is composed of thousands of people, each with his or her own problems. These people have high hopes and expectations from the public officials, and as such, the mayor must make a decision which would improve the status of the general welfare (US Legal, 2008).
The mayor is the chief local or executive officer of the city. Thus, he or she is responsible for the over-all management of the city affairs. He or she must ensure and take the necessary steps in order to see that all the rules, regulations, and laws within the bounds of his territorial limits are enforced. Aside from that, the mayor is also tasked with several administrative duties which include appointments with the different department heads and meeting with the advisory boards. The mayor, in his or her executive capacity, is in charge of signing all resolutions and ordinances passed by the council. He or she is also imbued with legislative functions because he or she has voting privileges when it comes to presiding meetings of the city council. The mayor also holds the responsibility of monitoring the city’s financial condition and presenting its updates to the council every year (US Legal, 2008).
It is no secret that fund raising strategies are crucial when it comes to campaigning for any public position. That is why we see a lot of candidates vying for the approval of many voters, businesses, independent groups, and associations for support. Funds are the lifeblood of the whole campaign, so to speak. Without them, the mayor and his or her party will have no means of spreading the word of his or her campaign and advancing his or her platform. Having an enormous amount of money is also a good strategy for a candidate who is vying for an electoral spot. However, there is no guarantee that a person with sky-rocketing budgets for campaigning would win the election. In Massachusetts, a study conducted by the Office of Campaign and Political Finance showed that in 2007, 36 percent of the winners for the mayoral election spent less money than that of their opponents. According to the sources, William Phelan of Quincy had a budget of $41.58 per person, but he lost the election. Clare Higgins, on the other hand, spent a nickel per vote and won in Northampton (Tait, 2008).
For me, there is no better way to start than to choose an efficient and incredible team for the whole campaign, beginning with the party affiliation, the campaign manager, and the whole public relations staff. Campaigning is all about political marketing and strategies to overrun the opponent. In political marketing, the candidates use eye-catching and persuasive methods in order to advance and make known their policies for their whole term (Harris & Ward, 2000).
My first step would be finding generous contributors. This is crucial for the fund-raising campaign. I would not just find somebody; months or even years prior to my campaign, I would search for potential contributors and strategize properly to get them to cooperate and believe my cause. Running for a public position is not just an overnight plan. This involves years of studying and planning, and doing my homework would certainly give me an edge over the others. The campaign contributors today are not as generous as they were years before. This is but understandable given the present economic crisis. The key, however, in making them committed is to appeal to their emotion, and I would do that by finding out what would be their reason or their desire to make a contribution (Jalonick, 2003).
The most important period is the beginning and the end of the campaign period. As a candidate, I have to be recognized by the voters, so I would plan a big opening advertisement during the first few months. I think that the most effective advertisement would be the visible ones that people see everyday. One of the most visible channels of communication would be placing my advertisement on top of taxi cabs and buses, and on top of that, I would hire some of the buses equipped with sound system to roam around all the places of the city. I think that this would be a good way to get the attention of the public and make them aware that I am vying for the mayoral position. I would also like to have a chance to make an advertisement but only a short one. I imagine my advertisement to be short but witty combined with a little bit of my propaganda because I want to make the impression that I am as approachable and ordinary as everyone else, which I truly am. One of my principles in my campaign would be “Everybody is somebody to me.” Simply put, I want the public to be aware that no matter what their concerns are or what their problem is, they can come to me, and together, we can find ways to straighten things out. I think that this would give me a little bit of an edge over my opponents because empathizing with the locals and making them feel that we are in this together would enable them to open their hearts and give me a chance to prove myself. The last thing I would want is to generate an intimidating impression to the public. A part of the plan during the final days of the campaign period would be to roam around and make sure that I reach all the places there is in the city. I think it would be a good strategy to be there early in the morning and knock on their doors to deliver their daily newspaper and morning coffee and maybe even a donut, and together with it is a leaflet containing my platforms in bullet form.
Everyday, when I go out and at night when I go home, I see people on the streets fighting, I see beggars, and I hear the ongoing economic crisis that the whole world is experiencing. I have several ideas in mind that I want to pursue should I become the mayor. My very first project would be taking the steps to improve the quality of health care of the people. I want to ensure that every member of my locality has Medicare. If the budget does not permit it, I would encourage the council to enact an ordinance to make a public hospital in the community for the benefit of those who cannot afford expensive treatments. I believe that people who are healthier are happier thereby making them more productive. My next project would be dedicated to the youth. It breaks my heart to see young people engaged in crime and violence at a very early age. Hence, I want to make sure that their time can be put to good use. I want the city hall to open some vocational and recreational classes for all the youth in the city. In this way, they get to learn something, and those out of school will not waste their time lying around. I would see to it that public schools are open for everyone who is willing to study. Children are the future of the country, and as a leader of the community, it would be my responsibility to do everything I can to steer them away from harm’s way.
People have high expectations and I cannot meet all of them. However, I do not want to be elected just to please people; I am here to work. Dreams and intentions will not get me far, but with perseverance coupled with knowledge and ability, I know that I can make my contribution to improve the condition of the community the best way that I know how.
Jalonick, M. C. (2003, April 1). Trends in political fund raising: consultant Q & A. Campaigns & Elections. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www.allbusiness.com/government/elections-politics-politics-political-parties/7425795-1.html.
Harris, P. & Ward, M. (2000). Marketing the mayor: political marketing and the Livingstone4London mayoral election campaign. Otago Eprints. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://eprints.otago.ac.nz/261/1/Pol_Essay1.pdf.
Tait, J. (2008). OCPF study: One in three mayoral candidates who spent more on campaigns lost. Commonwealth of Massachusetts Office of Campaign and Political Finance. Retrieved July 28, 2009, from http://www.ocpf.net/releases/pr_mayorsrpt07.pdf.
US Legal. (2008). Mayor Law & Legal Definition. Retrieved July 28 2009, from http://definitions.uslegal.com/m/mayor/.