Vote and run for office! But always vote!

Many of the situations I discuss in Now What Do I Say?Practical Workplace Advice for Younger Women are a product of, or influenced by, laws and public policy.  Regulations and laws are made by elected lawmakers at every level, and eventually those regulations and laws turn into the policies that govern your workplace and influence the communities of which you are a part.

If you want to influence those regulations and laws, you must register to vote, and then you must vote, in every election, forever.  And you must encourage everyone you know to vote, and help them register if they need help, and take them to the polls if they need help getting there. As many people have said in many different contexts, if you’re not at the table, you’re on the menu. The first step to being at the table is to vote.  Go here to find your state’s registration deadlines.  One of the best nonpartisan sites for information about educated voting belongs to the League of Women Voters.

The next step to being at the table is to run for office.  Women do not consider running for office as often as men do, whatever their political affiliation.  Women who do consider running for office in the United States may want to investigate Emily’s List training programs for women candidates.  Another good engagement program is New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s Off The Sidelines.

Running for office means EVERY office: town board, school board, city councillor, everything.  Everyone should check out the excellent work of @runforsomething and their excellent guide to running: Run for Something: A Real-Talk Guide to Fixing The System Yourself.