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What is the best way to get involved with politics at a young age?

I am interested in a career in politics eventually.

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Paul’s Answer

Basically, as a volunteer.

There are many political candidates and parties, who need volunteers and staff in their offices.
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Terrence "TJ"’s Answer

McKenna:
I embarked on my academic journey at UW Madison, focusing on Political Science and Communications. I discovered that immersing myself in student government, campaigning for student council, and contributing to committees was a fantastic way to deepen my understanding of politics. I eagerly offered my services as an unpaid intern, going from door to door in the state capitol. I had the privilege of working in various offices, including the Governor's, Secretary of State's, and a Joint House and Senate committee.

My involvement with the statewide student government association, United Council, was particularly enriching.

Diving in and volunteering can open up a world of opportunities.

Best of luck on your journey.
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Jerry’s Answer

First, I like Rachael's answer. Things are going on all over the place; before your very eyes. Take note.

But Rachael's answer is not the beginning, in my opinion.

First, put your toe in the political water. As in take a look at all the issues swirling around. And those supporting and those who would take the opposite point of view. And those closer to the middle. It'll take some reading and hopefully talking to some people who are involved in one way or another. Family members? Friends or their relatives?

And don't forget to stop at the library and peruse the newspapers and current event magazines.

Then let it all swirl in your head. Until you're comfortable with your own political thoughts.

Then take your toe out of the political water and take another look at Rachael's answer.
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RACHEL’s Answer

The best way to get involved is to experience it.

Seek out and accept opportunities to get involved.

There are many ways to get involved:
Volunteer, intern, apprenticeship, join programs that groom you for politics, study politics, network in the field, join a mentorship program, become a member of political groups/clubs, get involved in your local politics, attend your local town meetings, participate in local community events that help you learn more about your local politics, participate in elections, advocate for causes you care about, and accept positions that afford you the chance to work in politics.

RACHEL recommends the following next steps:

Work with, learn from, and train alongside politicians you agree with. Local politicans and other politicans that are doing the work you want to do.
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Ross’s Answer

Hi McKenna,

I agree with Jerry - start with doing some homework about the issues that are important to you.

Once you've done that, a good place to start is to pick a candidate for office who works on one of those issues - either an incumbent or a challenger - and volunteer at their campaign. They are always eager to get free help.

You will get a first hand look at every aspect of politics:
* How candidates and elected officials frame issues
* Various ways of communicating with voters, including speeches, social media, and paid advertising
* Dealing with reporters and getting the candidates message out through the press
* Scheduling and organizing speeches, rallies, debates and other events
* Getting out the vote on election day
* Fundraising
* Opposition research

You can use this experience to guide you in deciding which aspects of politics and public policy you want to dig into further: more campaign work, lobbying, issues advocacy in the private sector (nonprofits, trade groups), working at a government agency, etc.

Best of luck, and have fun!
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Jesse G.’s Answer

Great question and it's something I'm passionate about! Both responses below are spot on -- identify the cause/issue that you're passionate about then volunteer, intern, work with/for that organization.

I'll add a bit more nuance to the discussion.
- Beyond working directly with a political campaign, consider non-profit organizations that work on causes (student debt, racial justice, etc) as a way to hone in your understanding of the issue and broaden your network. This work can look like phone banking, showing up at rallies, becoming a spokesperson, or participating in a training the org may host.
-Host volunteer opportunities in your community or school. You'll naturally build leadership skills and hone in your public speaking.
-Consider volunteering as a poll worker. Becoming a poll worker is a great way to learn about how the voting process works. Poll workers are essential to the political process as they are the people who check registration, distribute ballots, keep the polling center organized, etc.
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