You support the Republican Party, are probably are a registered Republican and maybe have even donated to a campaign, but you want to do more. It is entirely possible to make a huge impact in the conservative movement without moving to Washington DC or catching a job with a congress member.

In 2016, I had applied to work on a presidential campaign. Like you, I wanted to do my part and help get more Republicans elected.  I was ecstatic to be offered a job; however, that job would have required me to move out of state leaving my home, family and college behind. I unenthusiastically turned down the position, but learned there were so many opportunities to get involved right at home.

In my experience, these are the absolute best ways to make your mark in politics and government right where you are.

Find your local Republican Committee or Club

If you don’t know yet, start with a quick Facebook or browser search: (your town) republican committee or (your town) GOP. There’s a good chance there is already an existing group. From personal experience, the members are always excited to bring in new recruits. There is a chance there isn’t an established group. In this case, your best bet is to reach out to your state party and simply ask what you can do to start one. There is a very high chance your party’s leadership will be happy to help!  Once involved, you will work on everything from growing your local grassroots effort, advocating for public policy to endorsing and identifying local candidates.

Apply for a Board or Committee position in your town or city

Almost all towns and cities have committees, boards and commissions for everything from your local wastewater plan to historical preservation.  Many of these positions are appointed by your local government based off a simple application of interest. Just like where big decisions are made, it is important to have conservative voices- where smaller decisions and recommendations are made. In my personal experience, these opportunities are not an overbearing time commitment but are extremely important in shaping your town or cities priorities. If you are interested in what your area has to offer, start at your town or city hall and ask for a board/committee vacancy list.

Volunteer on a local campaign

Many aspects of larger campaigns also apply to the smaller local campaigns.  Door knocking, phone calling, social media content and mailings transcend sought level of office.  The candidates in your home town or city need just as much help as the ones running for Congress. In fact, they likely need more help because they simply have less money to work with. Reaching out to a candidate running for local office will most likely be welcomed with overwhelming appreciation.  Even if you have no experience with working on a campaign, there is always something for everyone. If you have some free time and a desire to elevate conservative candidates, volunteering might be a good option for you! Not sure who to reach out to? Reference your local committee or state party!

Donate to local candidates

Since federal candidates tend to get the most attention, they also tend to get the most in donations. Running a viable campaign can get very expensive very fast.  The thicker the competition, the more likely the candidate will need cash flow. By donating or encouraging your friends and family to donate to smaller races, you are actively promoting conservative ideas and policy where it directly affects you. Pay attention to the school committee races, city council candidates, everything from Mayor to State Representative. These elected officials make a big impact on your everyday life. It’s important to support candidates who share your values.

You will be absolutely amazed at the network of people that will begin to flourish after you just start. Being involved in federal politics is important, but being involved with your local Republican party is just as important.  Supporting conservative ideas and efforts needs to happen at every level of government. You can do just that right where you are.

Elana Doyle enjoys following and volunteering for local and state campaigns. She works with various organizations to help better her community and knows the importance of volunteer work and increasing civic engagement. Elana holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts and is a graduate of the Campaign School at Yale.

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