Amanda Litman is the co-founder and executive director of Run for Something, an organization that helps young progressives run in down ballot races. We discuss how they go about their mission, why local and state offices are so important, and how you can get involved in our democracy.
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Helping Diverse First Time Candidates Run
Since its founding, Run for Something has helped elect 515 young, local officials across 46 states. A third of those elected officials are between 25 and 30, 10% are between the ages of 18 and 24, a third are women of color, and 11% are LGBTQ. Electing young diverse candidates compounds on itself. After transwoman Danica Roem was elected in 2017, many other trans people decided to run for office.
Local and State Races
Run for Something focuses on local and state elections because of their impact on people’s daily lives. Members of state legislatures have control over election administration, school boards have real power over what children learn, city and municipal officials have real control over police reform, and more. Winning local office is often easier to achieve than state or national leadership and has more direct impact on constituents.
Electing younger, more diverse candidates has resulted in better governance. Jessica Ramos of New York State has introduced groundbreaking legislation to combat wage theft; Florida State Rep Ana Eskamani helped more than 30,000 Floridians access unemployment insurance; and Texas State Rep James Talarico helped lower the price on insulin in his state.
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Amanda Litman is the co-founder and executive director of Run for Something, which recruits and supports young, diverse progressives running for down-ballot office. Since launching in 2017, RFS has identified more than 75,000 young people who want to run, endorsed nearly 1,500 and elected nearly 500 across 46 states, mostly women and people of color.
Politico named Run for Something (and Amanda) one of the 50 ideas driving politics in 2018. Bloomberg called her one of the people to watch in 2019. Fortune named her to their annual 40 under 40 list in 2020.
Before launching Run for Something, Amanda worked as a digital strategist — she served as Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the digital director for Charlie Crist’s 2014 Florida gubernatorial campaign, the deputy email director for Organizing for Action, and an email writer for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
You can follow her on Twitter @amandalitman.