Make Change Locally.
Don't underestimate the power of local government. Scroll through to get an overview of the positions you can (and should) run for.
Precinct Committeewoman: Each county's political party is usually made up of elected precinct committee members, who vote on county party issues such as leadership and appointments. Candidates only run for precinct committeewoman in their precinct and for the party in which they are registered, and are usually elected during presidential primary elections.
School Board President: Candidates for school board run for elected office in the school districts where they live. It is usually a two-year, part-time, paid position.
Councilwoman: A councilwoman at-large is elected by voters across the city instead of voters in a specific ward. She helps establish policy direction for the city and works to create a responsive environment for constituent participation and feedback. It is usually a full-time, four-year term.
City Auditor: In most cases, successful city auditor candidates have experience and education in accounting and auditing. It is usually a four-year, part-time commitment.
City Law Director: This is another local elected office that usually requires a law degree or license. A practicing attorney typically holds the position which is often a four-year, part-time commitment.
City Manager: Some cities elect a city manager or are appointed by city council. Generally, city managers have experience in urban planning and related fields.
City Treasurer: The city treasurer keeps track of municipal bank accounts, income, taxes and other money matters. It is usually a four-year, part-time commitment.
City Ward Councilwoman/Alderwoman: City council is sometimes also made up of councilpersons who are elected in individual city wards. A ward councilwoman–also called Alderwoman in some cities–only runs for office within her own ward, and often holds a two-year, part-time term.
Mayor: This is usually a full-time, four-year elected position, although the mayor can also be part-time in smaller cities, villages, towns and townships. It is generally considered to be a city's most powerful position.
President of City Council: A council president is usually in charge of setting agendas, committee assignments and chairing city council meetings. Many city council presidents hold office for a two-year, part-time term and are elected by the city.
Township/Village Trustee, Town Council: Smaller towns, villages and townships have a legislative body that is usually made up of trustees, who perform duties similar to those of city councilpersons and hold two-year, part-time terms.
Board of County Commissioners: County commissioner is usually a full-time position with a term of four years. The entire county typically elects three commissioners onto the board. Some counties may have more commissioners, and they may be elected in different districts within a county.
County Auditor: Most successful city auditor candidates have experience and education in accounting and auditing. It is usually an elected position with a full-time, four-year term.
County Coroner: This is an elected position in many counties, and requires a medical license or degree. County coroners are in charge of investigating deaths during their full-time, four-year term.
County Engineer: Many states only allow certified engineers to run for this position, which handles the county's building, construction and road projects. It is typically a full-time, four-year term.
County Executive: Some counties have an elected county executive in addition to, or instead of, county commissioners. The entire county votes for county executive.
County Prosecuting Attorney: This position is among the most powerful and influential on the county level, but not everyone qualifies for the seat as you need to be an attorney to run for this position which is often a full-time, four-year term.
County Recorder: This is a rather low-profile four-year elected county office, though in some counties this position is appointed.
County Treasurer: The county treasurer is another low-profile role that is usually elected for a four-year term and oversees the county's money matters including taxes, income and budget.
Precinct Committeeman, Committeewoman: Each county's major political party is usually made up of elected precinct committee members who vote on county party issues such as leadership and appointments. Candidates run in their own precincts and for the party they are registered, and are typically elected during presidential primaries.
Democrat/Republican State Central Committee: A committeewoman for each major party is elected in each State Senate district. These State Central Committee members meet at the state capitol a few times a year and make decisions about party matters, such as electing the party's leadership.
State Representative/Assemblywoman: The State House of Representatives, or State Assembly as it is called in some states, generally consists of members who are elected in from districts for terms of two years. Like positions in the State Senate, they are among the highest-profile local seats. The position of state assemblywoman/representative is usually considered part-time, and requires weekly visits to the statehouse for voting and other government business.
Clerk of Court: You do not generally have to have a law degree to run for Clerk of Courts, but most candidates are attorneys. It is typically a four-year, full-time term.
Common Pleas Court Judge: In order to qualify for this elected position you need to have your law degree or license, and most candidates are practicing attorneys. The Court of Common Pleas in a given county typically has a general division, domestic relations division, juvenile division and probate division. Candidates are not allowed to run a partisan race and cannot list on the ballot their political affiliation.