A few months ago, my daughter decided to run for a seat on our township school board. I was pleased with her decision. She wants to give back to our schools, because our schools have been very good to her. She needed a campaign manager. I was surprised when she selected me.
There is no job description for this role, but if there was, I know that it would include traits like “understands campaign law”, “highly organized”, and “people person”.
Let’s start with “understands campaign law”. I have no experience in this area, and this is a complicated area! I will give you one example: in order to obtain a position on our local ballot, you must have a petition signed by a certain number of voters who are registered in each party. In order to have someone sign your petition:
1) That person must be registered to vote in our region
2) That person must be registered to vote in the party they are signing (in other words, Republicans sign the Republican petition, Democrats sign the Democratic petition)
3) They have to sign their name exactly the same way they are registered, or their signature doesn’t count
4) They have to write the name of our township correctly. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it is if you live in Tredyffrin Township.
5) This is where it gets really complicated- a Republican who is registered in the township must hand the petition to Republican signers, and a Democrat must hand the petition to Democratic signers. So if you go to a house with one Democratic voter and one Republican voter, you must have two people to hand the petitions to them. I’m not making this up.
I did not understand any of this when we started. My daughter had to explain it all to me.
Let’s move to “highly organized”. That’s not me. I have to keep a dozen lists just to maintain the appearance of being organized. But I would describe myself as “highly disorganized, masquerading as organized”.
Finally, “people person”. I like people. Really, I do. But I struggle with the idea of meeting a lot of them all at once. Read my essay “Being An Introvert” for more on this. Luckily I am not the one who has to go door to door, shaking hands.
So let’s agree that I meet none of the requirements for the Campaign Manager Job Description. My candidate (my daughter) is in big trouble…..