Unemployment solution: Run for office?

Melissa Hill’s been unemployed since February. But she has a plan to change that: Run for Minneapolis City Council.

A source in our Public Insight Network, Hill wrote us recently:

I’m holding steady with my unemployment checks and some savings but the job prospects have not been that great in my line of work so as each month goes by, it is getting harder to survive. Therefore, I’m actually thinking about running for city council this year in Minneapolis. If I can’t find a job, maybe I can still be elected to one 😉

So, yeah, I emailed her back to see if she was running. Answer: Yes.

I don’t know her politics or her chances. It’s the idea of being out of work and running for office that intrigues me. With new data today showing the national unemployment rate still near 10 percent, the jobless are something of a votiing bloc.

I’d love to hear from people about this. Can’t really find anything on the subject beyond a blogger urging laid off Florida teachers to run for office. I’m guessing a lot of jobless people aren’t running for or winning public office.

Hill, in her early 30s, says because she’s unemployed, “I’m not that out-of-touch with what a lot of people and families are going through in this city. I have to be very careful about my own personal spending and want to make sure the city is also very careful about it’s spending…”

She was laid off from her job as a data management specialist during the winter. She told MPR news reporter Annie Baxter in February that she was not panicked about her job prospects and might consider a career shift.

This week, candidate Hill said: “My biggest challenge will be my lack of personal funds or the ability to put my own money into the race.”

UPDATE: Forgot to mention, Minneapolis city council members earn $76,482 this year.


Check out the map below for recent responses from our Public Insight Network on the jobs landscape in Minnesota, then share your own story.

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