National Run For Office Day To Boost Representation At Every Level Of Government
This year, nearly 41 million Gen Zers (ages 18-27) will be eligible to vote in the next presidential election.
Do you know a young person who aspires to incite change on a local or state level? There comes National Run For Office Day. Nonprofit organizations Civic Nation and Run for Something Civics are seizing a unique opportunity to increase representation at every level of government.
The new campaign invites and encourages underrepresented people in elected office, including young people, people of color, people who identify as LGBTQIA+, and people with disabilities, to run this election cycle, according to a press release provided to BLACK ENTERPRISE.
On Jan. 23, the event will take place in New York City to raise awareness about running for local office. The community, as well as current elected officials, are welcome. To kick off the campaign, the organizations are looking to spread the message of National Run Office Day through social media, in-person events and creative content.
This year, nearly 41 million Gen Zers (ages 18-27) will be eligible to vote in the next presidential election, including over 8 million youth (ages 18-19) who have aged into the electorate since 2022. However, research supports historically low voting rates among young people of color compared to white youth. History repeated itself both in 2020 and 2022. The highly diverse population often faces many issues and barriers relating to voter participation. Civic Nation and Run for Something Civics have designated a day to provide a different pathway to electoral engagement.
“Nearly 70% of races on the ballot during the November 2022 midterm elections were unopposed or uncontested, including 85% of state elections and 67% of local elections — so there is a place for young people and other underrepresented groups on the ballot,” the press release stated.
A study from IGNITE found a popular motivator behind Gen Z women and non-binary votes. In fact, approximately 70% would be more likely to vote if there were more women, people of color, and young candidates who are passionate about the issues they care about.
“Government works best when it is truly representative of the communities it serves. We can change government from the bottom up by recruiting and electing young and diverse people to local and state elected offices, especially those who have been historically left out of the political process,” said Amanda Litman, Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Run For Something Civics.
“Voting allows us to hold our elected officials accountable for the decisions they make, but when the people leading our state and local governments run for office, again and again, uncontested, it undermines the power of people and our democracy. There is a simple solution — more people should run for office. That’s why Civic Nation is proud to partner with Run for Something Civics on National Run For Office Day to ensure our elected officials at all levels are reflective of the people they represent,” said Valerie Jarrett, Board Chair of Civic Nation.
Furthermore, the announcement provided some statistics to know:
- The median age among Americans is 38 years old, yet the average age in the U.S. Senate is 63.
- Only 20% of people in state legislatures are under 45.
- The median age of school board members is 59.
- Thirty of the 50 U.S. governors are 60 or older, and the average U.S. mayor of a major city is 58.
- Among state legislators, only 33% are women, 10.5% are Black, 6% are Latino, and 4% are Asian/Pacific Islander.
- Nationwide, only 0.2% of elected officials publicly identify as LGBTQIA+.