The Lowell Votes Candidate Empowerment and Readiness Training (C.E.R.T) was first held in 2021 and welcomed a class of twenty-three prospective candidates and candidate support staff.

Lowell Votes recognizes not all residents have equal access to educational opportunities to learn what it takes to run and serve in local government. The Candidate Empowerment and Readiness Training (C.E.R.T) aims to support new candidates, with a special emphasis on candidates from underrepresented populations, through training and resources needed to:

1. Grassroots organize around issues affecting your community and constituents

2. Run for elected office

3. Navigate municipal governing culture, the budget, and govern once elected 

Congratulations class of 2023! 

This year we welcomed thirteen passionate and civically minded residents into our 2023 Candidate Empowerment and Readiness Training. Over four weeks participants learned the ins and outs of campaigning and what it means to serve at the local level. From campaign finance and fundraising to equitable democracy and inclusive campaigning, participants were given the tools to run a successful campaign while building on their knowledge of grassroots principles and base building in the context of Lowell’s unique history of governance. Through community leaders, former City Councilors, School Committee Members, and campaign staff, participants were able to learn not only skills to get elected but how Lowell’s local government functions and how we can use this knowledge and lessons learned from those who have come before us to successfully govern once elected. We want to congratulate these extraordinary residents for their commitment to bettering their communities, and we wish them all the best on whatever path their leadership journey takes them. We also want to thank all of our guest speakers, who volunteered their time and energy to share their expertise. We are incredibly grateful to be able to do this work as we build toward a stronger and more equitable democracy, together. 

Learn about C.E.R.T from three past participants!