By: Aimee Robertson-Fant, Organizer, Muncie Action Plan/Muncie Neighborhoods, Co-Founder, Muncie Matters
Muncie, IN—Last year a full house of active East Central Indiana citizens from all walks of life interested in affecting change in their communities attended the inaugural “Candidates of the Future”—a collaboration between Ball State University’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs, Shafer Leadership Academy, Building Better Neighborhoods/Muncie Action Plan which is a grassroots, deeply-inclusive and one-of-a-kind-to-the-community workshop, rooted in the belief that everyday citizens can lead and run for local office.
“We completely underestimated the potential of this program last year,” says Mitch Isaacs, executive director of Shafer Leadership Academy, one of the groups that organized the event. “People want to make a difference. That’s the zeitgeist and we managed to tap into that.” “Neighbors have wanted to know how to run, how to engage, and how to get plugged in. There were more registrants than spots available, last year-which generated a waiting list. We are pleased to reach back out to those who waited and encourage newly interested citizens to register now while they still can. ” added Roberston-Fant.
The workshop is for anyone, regardless of political experience, who has an interest in running for local office and wants to learn more about the campaign process. Registrants will hear from state officials representing each of three “ballot access” parties, learn about key community organizations who are tackling Delaware County’s most pressing issues, plug into community plans (Vision 2021, Muncie-Delaware County Economic Alliance and Muncie Action Plan) and explore what to expect when serving in office.
Candidates of the Future is set for Saturday November 10th, 9am-4pm at the Innovation Connector, will be facilitated by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University and was coordinated by a steering committee including: Chip Taylor, (Bowen Center), Mitch Isaacs, (Shafer Leadership Academy) Heather Williams, (Building Better Neighborhoods) and Aimee Fant, (Muncie Action Plan). The combined efforts of each of these organizations align with a common mission: to build and cultivate neighborhood and community leadership at the grassroots level and to increase civic engagement between citizenry and elected officials. One way citizens can participate in and make our voices heard among our municipal government is to vote.
(Election Day is Nov. 6th, early voting has begun. Not sure of your polling location? Visit www.indianavoters.in.gov)
I just registered to vote using Indiana’s Voter Portal. Update voting registration, see who’s on the ballot, get election results, and so much more. Indianavoters.com
Another way is to serve in an elected office.
Interested in running for office and want to learn how to plug into your respective ballot-access political party, how to raise and report funds, how navigate potential primary and general election pitfalls, how to build a volunteer-base and mobilize a boots-on-the-ground campaign?
Register today: https://www.shaferleadership.com/candidates-of-the-future/
“When we don’t know how to participate in local democracy, it’s easy to succumb to a level of public indifference. It starts with the small decisions –like the height of buildings or the types of activities that are planned for a local park. This public indifference then starts to influence the bigger decisions – especially how our local taxes are spent.” —Projects for Public Spaces