Step up and run for office

Complain about local leadership or take Bernie Sanders’ advice and get into the race

Barring an unforeseen and improbable twist at the Democratic National Convention, the legion of progressives who’ve rallied behind Bernie Sanders will need to find a new outlet for the transformational energy he’s galvanized.

We have a suggestion. Actually, it’s Bernie’s suggestion; we’re just giving it a strong second: Support, encourage or become a local candidate.

Sanders called on his backers to do just that last month: “I have no doubt that with the energy and enthusiasm our campaign has shown that we can win significant numbers of local and state elections if people are prepared to become involved.

“This will be part of transforming our country from the bottom on up.”

That means city councils, school boards and special districts. These nonpartisan offices hold significant sway when it comes to day-to-day living in our communities.

This year’s races will get attention: They’ll appear on the same Nov. 8 ballot as those for president, Senate and House.

The Chico City Council could pivot, with four incumbents up for re-election. The seats of all three left-leaning members—Tami Ritter and Randall Stone, in their first terms, and Ann Schwab, a former mayor in her third term—are open; hard-right Sean Morgan, the sitting vice mayor, also has his seat in play.

The city of Chico’s candidate-filing period opened this past Monday (July 18); paperwork is available at the City Clerk’s Office at 411 Main St. The Butte County Elections Office at 155 Nelson Ave., in Oroville, also began accepting candidacy-declaration forms this week for local community college, school and special district positions. The filing deadline for both offices is Aug. 12.

If you want to ensure that your values get reflected in decisions, make sure that decision-makers reflect your values. Step up and run. Or, if you’re not prepared to take that leap, volunteer on behalf of a candidate you believe in. Get involved.

Sanders said throughout the primary that the movement he sparked is bigger than one candidate in one race for one office. If you agree with his message, heed his words.