By Bridget Kennedy ’21
Last weekend the Gettysburg College Democrats brought in speaker Amanda Litman, co-founder of the Run for Something PAC. A veteran of the campaign trail, Amanda has worked on President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign, Charlie Crist’s 2014 Florida gubernatorial campaign and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign as Email Director. After a hard loss in 2016, Amanda decided to redirect her focus toward empowering young Democrats to run for local offices.
Based on the realization that the best way for progressives to exercise influence in a conservative system was to serve the public at the most personal level of government, Amanda created Run for Something. As a political action committee, Run for Something connects democratic candidates under the age of forty with the resources, information and funding they need to run for local offices like city council or school board.
Much of that information is also available in Amanda’s book Run for Something: A Real-Talk Guide to Fixing the System Yourself, which features step by step instructions on how to run a successful campaign from your home as well as a foreword by Hillary Clinton — and has already earned a commendation from President Barack Obama.
In her talk at Gettysburg College, Amanda began by lightheartedly telling stories of her early political activism and the campaigns she worked on in Chicago and Florida, comparing her overall experience to “college, but with more day drinking.” She also opened up to the audience about the hardships of working on the 2016 presidential election.
From dealing with hurtful attacks by colleagues and friends in the Bernie camp to grappling with the implications of Trump’s victory on the women and girls of the world, Amanda faced numerous personal and professional obstacles. Yet it was from these struggles that Run for Something was born. Since its conception, Run for Something has sponsored hundreds of candidates all over the country, from Idaho and New York City —and has led a majority of its candidates to victory.
After answering audience questions about the ups and downs of running a campaign in today’s increasingly hostile political environment, Amanda ended her talk by encouraging everyone in the audience to run for office in spite of any fears or reservations they might have. A book signing was held shortly after the event, allowing attendees to talk personally with Amanda about her life and expertise.
“It was amazing to have Amanda Litman visit campus because she is the face of a new generation of young female elected officials working to fix the broken male-dominated state of government. Look out Donald Trump,” said Andrew Dalton, Vice-President of College Democrats and the principal organizer of the event.
The Gettysburg College Democrats were honored to host Amanda Litman as our first speaker of the Spring 2018 semester. She provided an excellent start to what we hope will be a semester of inspiring, engaging lectures.