By Karen Smith, VP – Advocacy, MCU
Running for office is not an easy feat. No one can predict the range of obstacles candidates may face but learning from local and national cooperative professionals can lead to a winning campaign. That’s what the 2019 nonpartisan Co-op Campaign Academy offers to prospective candidates and campaign workers.
Why Are We Sponsoring a Campaign Academy?
As cooperatives, Montana’s Credit Unions (MCU) and the Montana Electric Cooperatives’ Association (MECA) have a common goal to support political action and create healthy communities around them. We are committed to supporting democratic ideals and representative government. Plus, one of the best ways to advocate for our credit unions is to encourage people who already understand credit unions and cooperatives to run for an elected office. That includes credit union members, volunteers, or staff, and even former volunteers and staff.
What’s New and Exciting?
We’ve been sponsoring these nonpartisan campaign academies for almost two decades and many of our alumni have gone on to serve as judges, county officials, sheriffs, and legislators. This year, we’ve revamped the agenda to better reflect the ever-changing world of electoral processes. We’ve added a new session solely dedicate to the use of digital and social media and interactive breakouts to give participants a chance to practice what they learn.
The Co-op Campaign Academy presents a variety of topics, not specific to any party or issue, making the experience unique and useful for each individual, whether they are simply interested in the idea of running for office or already committed to doing so.
What Can You Do to Help?
Our goal is to motivate as many Montanans as possible attend so those who want to serve the public have the tools and knowledge to run a successful campaign — regardless of their office or party. Please help us spread the word! We would also love to visit with you if you have any involvement with a campaign in your area, or aspirations of running yourself.