Most of us are deeply dissatisfied with the quality of our representatives. We detest the modern GOP, and we are frustrated with the weak voice of the Democratic Party. We can sit around moping, or we can do something about it. But here is what I want to know. What kind of candidates do we want? Who in your community might step up and run for office, and why should we support them?

I’m not talking about the Presidency, but about the House of Representatives or the Senate.

First of all, what kind of experience should a lawmaker have? Should they be familiar with the law or laws? Should they have experience organizing people…managerial experience? Should they have a history of activism and advocacy? Should they have experience meeting a payroll and navigating regulations?

To me, a representative needs to have a lot of skill sets. They need to be comfortable talking to people and asking people for things (money, time, their vote). They need to be good at following up on problems and getting things done. They need to be able to assemble a staff and delegate tasks. They need to articulate their beliefs and policies in a convincing manner. They need to learn how to trade votes and make alliances on the Hill.

And they need to be able to take criticism. Lots of criticism.

I know a lot of people that would be great advocates for progressive issues, but they have a fatal flaw. Maybe they are camera shy, or they can’t speak in front of large groups, or they are too shy to ask people for help. Being a successful politician is difficult and not everyone can do it.

What do you think makes a good politician, and who do you know that you’d like to see run for office?