Neil Carter, heading the campaign training for NCIL, a shown in a suit jacket in front of U.S. flag

If you’ve ever thought about running for office but aren’t sure where to start, a new webinar series from the National Council on Independent Living may be for you. Beginning on June 3, this training seminar is designed to give political novices the skills they need to put together a successful campaign for local office.

From the Senate, to State Houses of Representatives, city councils and local school boards, people with disabilities are increasingly representing our community at every level of the political establishment. Most officials start small before working their way up. “The first step, whatever you want to get into, is usually running for local office,” says Sarah Blahovec, the disability vote organizer for NCIL who organized the training. The series will tackle both cross-disability considerations for campaigning as well as teach attendees basic skills and methods for running for office. “We’re talking about the skills that they’ll need to run a campaign, including creating an authentic message, learning the different types of communication and outreach methods for voter contact, how to find campaign staff and volunteers … and of course, fundraising.”

Neal Carter of NuView Consulting — a political consulting firm that is both minority and disability run — is the lead presenter in the series, which will also include a variety of political consultants with extensive campaign management backgrounds. “We’re going over the essential skills that you need to have to run your first campaign,” says Blahovec. “And we’re doing it from a perspective, particularly, of disabled people of color. All of our trainers are people of color. … And while everyone, no matter what their race is, is invited to participate, we wanted to make sure we’re meeting the needs of more diverse candidates.”

The training series will consist of five hour-and-a-half long sessions, every Monday from June 3 to July 1. Sessions will be presented via teleconference. Registration is free to NCIL members, and it’s $50 per call-in site for non-members, which means that multiple people can attend for one fee as long as you’re all in the same location.

For more information and registration, please visit ncil.org/elevate