Candidate Toolkit


Resources for individuals who want to run for office or participate in community leadership opportunities

Offices in New York

Major Offices in New York State

There is a wide variety of offices you can run for in the local, state, and federal government.

Click Here for a list of state and federal elected offices in New York.

Petition to Run for Office

How to Petition to Run for Office

In order for you to run for office, you first need to get on the ballot. For this to happen, you need to gather signatures on a petition.

There are two types of petitions:

Designating Petition: is used only for a specific affiliation to a political party.

Nominating Petition: is used for a candidate who would like to run on any other party line.

Click Here for more details.

Gather Signatures for your Petition

Five Steps to Get an Accurate Signature

  • Be certain that the person signing is registered to vote in your council
  • Put the date in the first column.
  • Have them sign their name in cursive.
  • Print their name on the line below their signature.
  • Print their street address in the column labeled “Residence.”

Identify Likely Voters

How to Identify Likely Voters

Local candidates are elected by a small, unique set of voters. As a result, knowing how to identify
and target these likely voters is critical to a campaign’s success.

In order to identify likely voters you need to:

  • Build or purchase a list of voters in your District.
  • Break voters into categories depending on their likelihood of voting.
  • Analyze demographics of likely voters.
 Click Here to request voter registration data.

Power Your Campaign with Votebuilder

Utilize Votebuilder

The Voter Activation Network is an online database administered by the DNC and maintained at the state level by the voter file manager.

VAN enables your campaign to effectively target voters, manage volunteer events, and store the data your campaign needs.

Click Here for additional information.

Neighborhood Advisory Boards

Neighborhood Advisory Boards (NAB) are important vehicles through which local community residents can participate in community development planning processes in New York City.

Roles and Responsibilities:

NAB members are responsible for identifying the service needs of their local communities, a
process which guides the City in its allocation of federal Community Services Block Grant
(CSBG) funding to support community-based programs in areas such as education, employment,
health, housing, immigrant services, senior citizen services and youth development.

Click Here for more information.

Community Action Boards

The citywide bodies that oversee community initiatives in all boroughs and serve as a resource for policymaking efforts in the community development arena.

Roles and Responsibilities

CAB members participate in the development of program priorities and the selection of
contractors, who carry out program initiatives.

Click Here for more information.

Precinct Community Councils

They are open to all members of the public and include residents, business owners, clergy, and civil rights groups. The goal is to encourage cooperation between civilians and police. Currently, there is a PCC in each precinct and patrol service area.

Roles and Responsibilities

The PCC votes on issues they want the precinct to focus on. The PCC typically meet monthly with the precinct commander, where they present their views to the police officials.

Click Here for more information.

Community Boards

Serves as a vehicle for resolving citizen complaints as they relate to city government and the residents of the community.

Roles and Responsibilities

CBs meet once each month to discuss and vote on community issues pertaining to their district. At these meetings, members raise and address a variety of community topics, including but not limited to the areas mentioned above.

Click Here for more information.

Community Education Councils

There are 32 Community Education Councils (CEC) in New York City. Each CEC oversees a
Community School District that includes public elementary, intermediate, and junior high schools.

Roles and Responsibilities

Community Education Council members are consulted on many important matters, and in turn, must consult with parents. The Councils are responsible for promoting the achievement of educational standards and objectives and should establish a positive working relationship with the community superintendent and local instructional superintendents.

Click Here for more information.