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People Power

Lessons from a Run for City Council: Jordan Morales Reflects on LCV’s Candidate Academy and the Campaign Trail

Dec 13, 2023

Shanthi Gonzalez, Senior Manager of Candidate Recruitment and Training

We are proud to introduce Jordan Morales, the District 4 City Council Member-Elect for Boise, Idaho. He is an alumnus of LCV’s Candidate Academy, LCV’s program for training environmental champions with an interest in running for elected office. He is also the first person ever to serve as the District 4 representative on Boise’s City Council, because the city just moved to district-based elections.

He is excited to bring the voices of his district to the City Council chambers for the first time.

“There has never been someone from my neighborhood on the council before. Most of the doors I knocked had never been knocked by a City Council candidate before,” said Jordan.

He enjoyed participating in the candidate forum for his district and plans to hold more town halls and public meetings to learn about constituent questions and concerns.

Lessons from LCV’s Candidate Academy

Jordan learned two important things from the Candidate Academy. The first was how important it is to get started early with his campaign. “Actually, I wish I had started even earlier,” said Jordan.

All the conversations he had with voters helped him to practice and hone his campaign message and feel comfortable on the doors. When all the endorsement interviews and candidate forums filled up his calendar as the election approached, he had already built a strong campaign and was ready for the home stretch.

Jordan’s second critical learning was about how to raise the funds for his campaign budget. Fundraising was something completely new for him, and to really drill down on that process was really important. Jordan reflected, “learning about call time and how to make it work with the rest of your life, making your list of donors, asking for specific amounts was all really helpful because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to self-fund my campaign.”

We brought Idaho State Representative Chris Mathias, who is also a Candidate Academy alum, to co-train on fundraising and campaign budgeting. “It also helped to have someone there that we know locally who had successfully raised his campaign budget,” Jordan said.

Jordan also credits his campaign success to his previous experience volunteering on other people’s campaigns. Finding campaign staff is always difficult, especially in down-ballot races, but because of his experience, he knew a firm that agreed to take him on as a client.

Looking Ahead to Representing the Community

In his new role, Jordan wants to create more opportunities for his district to weigh in on the issues facing the city, and in particular, make it easier for people to participate. “I’m going to keep knocking on doors. We started ‘Talking with Tacos’ at local taco trucks, and we will do more town hall meetings.”

In terms of priorities, housing affordability is a growing issue in Boise, along with affordable child care. “We are thousands of units behind the recent growth in population,” said Jordan. As a candidate endorsed by our state affiliate, Conservation Voters for Idaho, his priorities also include clean air, clean water and conservation.

Advice for Others Considering a Run for Office

His advice to others considering a run for office: believe in yourself. Jordan spent many years believing in and volunteering for other candidates, but he didn’t think he was ready to serve in elected office himself. “Believing in and supporting yourself is important because it’s a lot of work and a lot of time away from your family and other priorities. You really have to believe in and support yourself,” said Jordan.

Jordan will continue to participate in training with LCV, and is looking forward to our December Progressive Governance Academy with re:power. “There are lots of responsibilities I don’t know about or understand yet. Getting up to speed quickly is going to be important.”

Our country urgently needs more leaders who share our vision of a world with a healthy environment and healthy communities, protected by a just and equitable democracy. To empower more people in our movement to become leaders, LCV and our state affiliates offer robust leadership development opportunities. Read more about LCV’s Candidate Academy and other programs.