Maryland is going to be a Disneyland for campaign jobs in the coming year. Whether for old, toothless grizzled veterans like me, or teenagers who want to volunteer to see what politics is all about, the opportunities are going to be out there.
A distressing reality of too many political campaigns is that women are underrepresented in campaigns and ultimately in running for office. Full disclosure - when I ran for delegate last year, my campaign manager and field director were both women. That wasn’t a coincidence. And they both did a way better job than I did. They both worked in Annapolis this past session, and I’m here talking to you. No offense, of course.
But there is a real need for more women to get involved in politics, particularly campaigns. So I was pleased to see this article today about ways for women - and specifically women of color - to get involved in all the fun we’re going to be having here in the next year. Here’s the number one way to get involved:
1. Become a full-time campaign staffer for a political candidate. Ethnically diverse women experience double standard in terms of race and gender as campaign staff, operatives and consultants. Who are America’s campaign staffers? The New Organizing Institute (NOI) reported that in 2012, NOI’s data showed that African Americans accounted for 22 percent of federal campaign staffers, while nearly 10 percent were Latinos and only 2 percent were Asian American. The numbers for women were a little more promising. Among all federal campaign workers, more than 45 percent of them were women. However, the crosstabs revealed that nearly 17 percent of all campaign workers were women of color. Help close the gap. As a staffer, you can bring to the table unique perspectives in approaching voters, constituents, donors, and supporters.
You’ll never get a better chance to make a real contribution to a federal campaign than you will in 2016. This kind of scramble (sorry, that was just too easy) hasn’t happened since 1986. Who knows when it will come around again? So get out there and make your voice heard.