What is the first and best way to get involved in local politics in Philadelphia? Running for a committee person seat in your ward.
Ward committee people are the political block captains of the local Democratic and Republican parties. Committee people represent their immediate neighborhoods--think two or three square blocks--and are elected every four years. The next ward committee election is May 2018.
The first step in running for party office is learning a bit about your current committee people. To get a lay of the land, find your address on this map created by our GIS analyst friend, which shows divisions with two open seats (black), one open seat (gray), low-vote seats (lighter), and high-vote seats (darker).
Each division can (and should) have two committee people, so the votes received by both committee people are added together to give you a sense of whether there is a higher or lower barrier to entry. Seeing how many votes your committee people won in 2014 can help you determine how they got into office and will provide a general sense of the number of votes you'll need to win. For example, low vote totals could be indicative of a successful write-in campaign, whereas high vote totals suggest that your current committee person has built relationships with your neighbors.
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