Do you have what it takes to run for office? | Chuck Parrish

Are you thinking about running for city council or school board in Tukwila? Good! We need choices. Too often elections have only one candidate.

Voters would like to have multiple highly qualified, skilled and experienced candidates running for every position. The big cities have an advantage in that respect. We don’t have that luxury. Perhaps you are not the perfect candidate. Who is? Are you committed to Tukwila for the foreseeable future? Do you have a passion for public service? Do you have a good heart and care about people? Do you have something special to bring to the dais? Something that would make people want to vote for you? Are you open minded? Do you work well with others? Don’t sell yourself short. Put yourself on the ballot and give voters a chance to decide.

You say you don’t know how to run a campaign? Fair enough. Are you willing to do what is necessary? Will you ask for help and donations to support your campaign? A candidate does not need to advertise on television or radio. Retail campaigning is what it takes. You have to knock on doors and talk one-on-one, leave flyers, make phone calls and run a mail effort. You will have to show up at candidate forums and share your thoughts. It does not take a lot of money. It does take a lot of time.

In the past, candidates have put their names on ballots and then did little or nothing to get themselves elected. It was very disappointing for those who offered early support and help. So please be honest with yourself and fair to others. Have you accurately assessed your work situation and the time required to campaign and to serve on the council or the school board? It would be unforgivable to get elected only to tell those who elected you that you learned that you just don’t have the time, energy or flexibility.

We have been lucky that quality people have made themselves available and still continue to serve us well. They will continue to serve as long as they have the heart, the energy and are elected. However, change is inevitable and desirable. If you have that passion, a good work ethic and a willingness to expose yourself to the vicissitudes of local politics, go for it. You may be surprised.

Tukwila Reporter columnist Chuck Parrish can be reached via email at chuckparrish2009@gmail.com.