If you’re fired up about issues facing your local community and you’re ready to take action, you should run for City Council.
A City Council is a legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality, or local government area. Other names for City Council include: Town Council, City Commission, or Board of Aldermen, Selectmen, or Freeholders, or Trustees, depending on your region. City Council sizes vary depending on population and preferences of the town.
As a City Council Member, you are responsible for reviewing and approving budgets, introducing and voting legislation, reviewing and making decisions about the development of the community, and monitoring local government departments as well as overseeing the performance of city-wide programs and employees. Legislation that you could focus on in City Council includes: public health, public safety, environmental issues, business regulations, affordable housing, youth services, community services like art and recreation classes, and more.
To run for City Council, in most states, you will need to be at least 18 or 21 years of age, registered to vote in your community, and be a resident for at least one year. There is no particular background needed to run for City Council, but here are a few skills that are handy to have:
- Willingness to advocate for your community
- Good communication skills
- Writing and research skills
- Multi-tasking a variety of issues
- Able to establish and work towards big goals
Did you know that the average percentage of women on city councils with only at-large seats or only single-member districts is less than 40%? Only with city councils that have at-large and single-member seats do women even get close to 50% representation, with the average percentage of women holding those seats being 48%, i.e. we need YOU to consider running for office!
- If you’re thinking, “Well, maybe, but…” hold your buts because you need a pep talk. Check out our 26 Common Barriers to Running for Office!
- Get all of the details about what a City Councilwoman does, what’s required, what they get paid, and more in our Public Office Profile Suite.
- Got a question? Send us an email at [email protected].