By Claire Zillman
January 25, 2017

The question facing the hundreds of thousands of people who turned out for the Women’s March is what to do next. The answer for some participants is to pursue public office.

So how exactly, does a political novice get involved? The new mayor of Sonoma, California—33-year-old Rachel Hundley who until recently operated a fried chicken food truck—told me how she started her first campaign.

First, she built a network in her city through coffee date after coffee date. She wrote a campaign mission statement she could believe in, touted her experience as a lawyer and small business owner, and was sure to take advantage of any and all free resources—from complimentary political advice by way of Burning Man to hometown friends who were willing to work the phones.

She committed some missteps along the way. Her approach to door-knocking was ill-conceived—“I found out later that there’s a more strategic way to do it”—and her grand plans for live campaign events flopped. “That was not a good strategy; my campaign launch party had like 10 people,” she says.

But in a matter of a few years she went from having a passing interest in politics to city council member to mayor of the city of 10,800. And she has a clear message for anyone considering a career in politics: do it. “The worst thing that can happen is you lose,” she says, “but even in the process of campaigning—of meeting people—you can take something away that’s positive.”



You May Like