Running Start is a nonpartisan organization empowering young women to get involved in politics and transform our world, one elected female leader at a time. Learn more at runningstart.org.
Women hold only a small fraction of elected offices in the United States, and of those women in office, few are in leadership positions. In fact, as of 2019, the U.S. ranks 75th internationally in terms of women’s representation in federal government.
The bottom line is that we need more women in politics. Without women leaders, women’s perspectives will never be a priority. Imagine having the ability to really change things for students as an elected representative!
Everyone has heard politicians give stump speeches that outline their key issues and their plans to change things. Have you ever taken a moment to think about your own stump speech — the issues that mean the most to you and your fellow students, and your ideas for how to move forward?
What’s Your Issue?
As a candidate, you’ll be asked time and again why you are running and why people should vote for you. How will you answer? Here are a few questions to ask yourself to help identify your issues and plans:
What is the issue (campus, local, state, or national) that you care about the most?
Why do you care about it? What is your personal connection to the issue?
What solution(s) do you suggest for that issue?
How might you implement those solutions?
The Stump Speech
Because you’re a busy person with classes and probably a job, you should write a basic speech you can reference when a campaigning opportunity presents itself. The beginning of the speech can be tweaked to make it relevant to any audience, but most of the speech should remain identical from day to day.
A stump speech is a great way for you to communicate your overall message. In it, you can get your main issues and concerns across to an audience quickly and clearly. Focus on the things you love about your campus and community and the things you feel the need to change, then offer solutions. It’s always powerful to include a personal experience that relates to the issue you are addressing.
You have the opportunity to represent students’ voices and be a leader. Let’s encourage women to step up and cultivate solutions to key issues in their communities!