What you need to know about running for office or joining a campaign

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — With local elections this November for county, town, and village positions this may be the year you run for office or help on a campaign.

The Central New York Political Leadership Institute is here to help give you all the information needed to be up to speed about getting involved in politics.

Learn more about the eight-week program with a free, virtual information session on Jan. 26 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Click here to register for the information session or learn more about CNY PLI.

The CNY PLI training sessions cover campaign organization and operations, how to get on the ballot, messaging, working with the media, campaign finance, fundraising, and how to get out the vote.

Program co-chairs have enlisted the help of local elected officials, party leaders, campaign managers, and others to teach program participants.

“We talk about everything from running for town or village to school board, which is a little bit different, but kind of the same as well,” says co-chair Dave Knapp.

Fellow co-chair Joe Rossi tells NewsChannel 9, “We teach everything, from getting on the ballot to getting out the vote, which is a completely new thing both with COVID and early voting.”

Rossi says this is about how political campaigns work, not about strategy:

“And I think that’s critical for people to realize because it’s a lot of the details that aren’t readily available to folks. They’ve got this fire burning in them politically, they don’t know the first place to start.”

Knapp adds that it’s also not just about running for office yourself. “If you don’t want to be the candidate, learning how to be the campaign manager or fundraiser, all that stuff that goes into making this, baking this cake,” he tells NewsChannel 9.

Rossi hopes participants leave with at least two main points:

“The example that Dave and I are showing that Republicans and Democrats can talk outside of a campaign season. Secondly, I hope they walk away with the impression that this is something they can do, it’s not an overwhelming process.”

The actual program, also virtual, is every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. starting Feb. 9. It’s $125 but there are scholarships.

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