Where should I volunteer?
September 27, 2004 9:29 AM   Subscribe

I need to do a "Service Learning" project (aka volunteering) for a Political Science class this fall. The group that I work with must be political in nature, but I'm having a hard time thinking of something more interesting that working for a Presidential campaign, especially considering Illinois is anywhere near being a swing state. Any suggestions of groups that I could volunteer for?

Everyone here is aware of my political leanings, so Green Peace & Company are out of the question. Problem is I'm new to Illinois and don't know what groups are politically active here. Help!?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood to Law & Government (8 answers total)
 
Sweet jesus how could you not take the opportunity to volunteer for the Keyes campaign and give us all an inside scoop. I mean, come on :)
posted by Space Coyote at 9:39 AM on September 27, 2004


How about giving the Libertarian party a hand? Right or Left, everyone can agree with libertarians somewhat on a lot of issues, they're always the outsider party, and I bet you could learn a lot about people by representing that group. I suspect many (esp. in a 50-50 tie election year) would give you a lot of grief for helping a third party, but a lot of others would tell you how much they would love to support the party, but can't.

I say sign on with them and whenever you have to write up your experiences for class, frame it as "the likelihood of the US embracing a third party is..." (just insert whatever you find during your tenure there).
posted by mathowie at 9:57 AM on September 27, 2004


How political does it have to be? You could case Idealist.org and see if you can find an organization that matches.

There are a number of organizations trying to address the problem of predatory lending, which I'd think is a somewhat non-partisan issue. You could look that direction.
posted by weston at 10:17 AM on September 27, 2004


Republicans are swarming all over Chicago. You shouldn't have a problem. /snark

Seriously, volunteer for a contested local race. There are literally thousands of them: city alderman, state rep, state senate, congress, attorney general.. the smaller the office the bigger the impact you'll have on the campaign.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:18 AM on September 27, 2004


Any suggestions of groups that I could volunteer for?

Whoever will make you do the least. Satisfy the requirement and move on.

Unless it's a class in managing political volunteers, making you volunteer somewhere seems skeezy and pointless -- what's useful in learning how to stuff envelopes or make coffee for a political organization instead of a business?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:37 AM on September 27, 2004


Seriously, volunteer for a contested local race.

This was my first thought. I find local politics immensely more interesting than federal races. But I live out side of Chicago, in DuPage county. There are no contested local races...
DuPage County, Illinois is approaching 1 million people in population and is "America's Most Republican County." Today, there are more than twice as many Republican voters as Democrat voters in DuPage County.  In the 2002 Primary Election, over 70% of voters pulled a Republican ballot, and in 2000, President George W. Bush carried this county by 15 percentage points.  Every elected official in DuPage County is a Republican. Our county is represented by Republicans in three congressional districts, eight state senate districts, 13 state representative districts, by ten county-wide elected offices, 18 county board seats, six Forest Preserve seats, and in every elected office on the township level.
From the DuPage Country Republican Party Website
With out knowing it before I moved, I landed in the little GOP Island in the Blue State of Illinois.


Sweet jesus how could you not take the opportunity to volunteer for the Keyes campaign and give us all an inside scoop.

Hey! Even I have standards.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:12 PM on September 27, 2004


fascist bastard
Howdy neighbor!
posted by goethean at 2:23 PM on September 27, 2004


Walk a Mile, Steve
posted by amberglow at 6:34 PM on September 27, 2004


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