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Photo: Clean Water Action MA Political Director Jeff Knudsen (left) with MassAlliance Executive Director Jordan Berg Powers at a Fundraiser this Spring. 

Two weekends ago, I somehow found myself indoors despite it being one of the first actual spring-like days. Why would I forgo my first opportunity in months for sun and warmth? Because I spent my weekend attending a grassroots campaign training held by MassAlliance, an organization dedicated to electing progressive candidates in Massachusetts. The two MassAlliance staff at the training had over 30 years of combined campaign experience and will do over 100 hours of training for political candidates and staff just in the first half of 2019, so I knew I was in good hands.

Boiling down two full days of training including how to knock on doors, staff a campaign, file election papers, raise money, coordinate volunteers, gain endorsements, and create a winning message and strategy: the main thing I learned is that anyone can win an election, especially at the local level.  Many people think that they can’t beat that city councilor who’s been there for 20 years, or the guy who owns a business in the center of town and seems to know everyone. But, if you have a good campaign, work hard, and truly represent your community and its values, anything is possible.

MassAlliance had the data and real-life examples of passionate candidates with a huge range of backgrounds winning over and over against the “conventional candidate.”  It was truly inspiring to hear their stories of grassroots power taking on and beating the political establishment.

But you don’t have to run for office to make change. This fall there will be local elections across the state, and candidates running for office need your help. Here’s some things that you can do today to get involved:

  • Register to vote if you haven’t already.  
  • Check your town/city’s website to find out when local elections are happening. Most municipalities are holding elections in the Fall and the majority of candidates have already announced their campaigns.

  • Contact a campaign to sign up: it takes a couple hundred signatures (depending on your town/city) to get on the ballot. Candidates will be out and about at local events, holding their own campaign launches, and ballot-signing specific events to make sure they appear on the ballot in the Fall.

  • Volunteer for a campaign!  You can help change the outcomes of many local races just by participating. The best thing to do is to canvass with other volunteers or the candidate. This gives you a chance to talk to your neighbors and learn more about your community while helping to make it a better place!  

Stay involved by signing up to be a Clean Water Action member and learn more about the environmental candidates and elections that matter to us!