Now before y’all go getting riled up, I am not trying to get up in here and tell you who to vote for. I mean, if you want me to, you can email me and I will happily tell you how to copy my ballot, but I’m not going to issue PwcMoms endorsements. So, read on without worrying that you’ll have to read my feelings on Donald or Hillary, because you won’t have to do that here. I’m sharing this now because with the presidential campaigns heating up, it’s a good time to get involved, and because the candidate I’m talking about is not currently in an election cycle, so it’s not me pushing a candidate on you guys!
|In Richmond- Riley is holding a picture of himself and Delegate Anderson from their first election.|
Once upon a time, I had a 5 year old, a 2.5 year old, and a 6 month old.
Those were good times.
And the soon-to-be Kindergartner came up to me one day and said “Momma, I want to do politics.”
And, because I am probably certifiably insane, I said “Alright, let’s do that.”
So, we called our local political branch office (you can figure out which one if you want to by googling in a second, or remain blissfully ignorant and don’t, I’m not here to judge), and they informed us that they had a brand new candidate for delegate, and he didn’t have any volunteers yet since he’d just opened his campaign, and so he’d take what he could get, including a five year old.
So, at the appointed time on the appointed day, we showed up at said party’s office. The 5 year old lead the way in his JC Penney suit from Easter.
Because you know, he likes to have a good time, but he wants to be taken seriously, too.
And the 2 year old asleep in the stroller.
Because it was nap time, y’all.
And the 6 month old tied securely to me in my blue Moby wrap, because with three kids, you need your hands free, CAN I GET A WITNESS?
So, this motley crew marched into the office and a very friendly Rich Anderson looked up at us and smiled before asking “Can I help you?” even though I’m sure he wanted to ask “Lady, are you lost?”
Riley (captain kindergarten) informed him that we were his volunteers and we were there to help. Rather than laugh us out of the office, Rich put us to work knocking on doors and folding brochures.
|Savannah, Delegate Anderson, Mike May, and his son at the Occoquan Halloween Parade|
Now, I tell you this story because I think that working on a political campaign is REALLY good for kids! I thought Riley would get sick of it, but he didn’t, and 4 elections later, he’s still an Anderson volunteer. Even when I was in treatment, Riley went out and knocked doors anyway!
So, why should you let your child volunteer for a political campaign?
|Riley and Delegate Anderson- Riley was in 3rd Grade so this would be his 2nd term|
1- It’s Good To Know Where You Stand. Do they have an issue they’re particularly passionate about? What better way to work towards a solution than to promote a candidate that likes green cars or higher teacher salaries or homeschooling or veterans issues!
2- It’s Good to Be Friendly. Now, we all know stranger danger, but within the confines of having a safe adult with you, you learn a lot from knocking on doors! Riley has learned to shake hands, look people in the eye, and have a conversation with people a lot older than him who he wants to take him seriously.
3. It’s Good to Get Told No. Frequently. Riley has also learned to have the door slammed in his face. Now, most people are really good in our county- he’s never been cussed at or anything like that, because people have always been on their best behavior when a kid comes with a candidate to the door, but he has definitely been told “go away” or listened to people share their concerns or grievances, and that’s a really important thing to be able to do with grace.
4. It’s Good to Know How to Treat People You Disagree With. Facebook teaches us dangerous lessons about how we can yell at people who disagree with our opinions behind the safety of a screen. Learning to listen to someone dissent from your opinion, treat them with respect anyway, and not just scream and flood them with emojiis will serve him SO well in the future when he is in the workplace.
5. It’s Good to Win. There is nothing quite like working hard with someone from start to finish and feeling like a part of something. It’s even better when that something that started out as a dream comes to fruition.
6. It’s Also Good to Lose. And as Riley has learned he likes political work, we’ve been on the losing side of some campaigns, too. Sometimes, you have to brush yourself off and move on, even when you really believed in what you were doing and who you were working for.
7. It’s Good to Make Connections. While we’ve branched into some national-level campaign work, there is nothing like working with a local candidate and developing relationships in our community. When your child works hard and later needs a recommendation or an evaluation or help with a merit badge or Gold Award or whatever thing it is, those relationships are great things to have.
|Not all politicians are bad guys. Logan gives Delegate Anderson hugs, and not everybody gets one from him!|
Delegate Anderson, I should mention, is running unopposed this election cycle and didn’t ask me to write this, or need me to, for that matter 🙂
School board members technically run unaffiliated…..although you don’t have to look very hard to find out which party they’re a member of, if that’s important to you.
You can always contact individual candidates (just google them!) and tell them you’d like to be put to work. Even if you don’t particularly care for politics, the experience that you gain working a campaign can be great for you, and your kid!