After some deliberation, I have decided to run for borough council in my hometown of Madison, NJ. While the electoral system is certainly rigged against any sort of political action outside that of the twin parties of capitalism and war, election campaigns are still one of the best ways for socialists to get out their message of a new society based on human need, full democracy, and workers power. In addition, it gives socialists a chance to explain how individual policies and programmes, while not fully socialist in themselves, can help strengthen the hand of the working class and help give it another voice and weapon in its struggle against capitalism.
To be fair, my town is not exactly a hotbed of class struggle. As a small suburban community of 16,000 people, most of whom either work in small businesses in the town or commute to New York City to work, it will no doubt be harder to connect with residents on the need for a radical voice on the borough council, but even in Madison there are concerns about over-development, a tax burden based wholly on regressive property taxes, and issues of democracy which socialist representation on the council can help remedy, and subsequently provide other small communities with a way forward to contribute in their own way for the fight for a socialist future.
Fortunately, unlike many municipal elections around the US, New Jersey law allows me to run on a socialist banner, as opposed to "independent" or "nonpartisan," so even people who don't hear about my campaign before the election will be able to know that I stand on an anti-capitalist platform just by looking at the ballot. As a member of and candidate of the Socialist Party USA, I support and run on their full platform. However, I'm working on some particular, more in-depth planks to address issues and make changes geared specifically for Madison, which I will post here, along with a campaign website, sometime in the near future.
Finally, for any Madison, New Jersey residents that read this, I need 100 signatures by the end of May in order to appear on the ballot in November, so please get in contact with me so that you can sign my petition. Every signature will help put a genuine alternative on the ballot for Madison in 2008.
Vote Socialist in 2008!
Edit 19 April: I've created a new blog specifically for my election campaign, which will serve as the campaign website for the time being.