What: “What if I ran for Public Office” Luncheon

When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Jan. 26

Details: Political Science and Public Service Applied Politics Series; Presenter: Melody Shekari, Chattanooga-based lawyer and community advocate

Admission: To attend and RSVP for furnished lunch: Email psps@utc.edu

Ever thought or dreamed about running for office, or has someone told you to consider it?

This workshop provides an overview of what to consider in thinking of running for office (no commitment to run for office required).

Personal considerations and political preparation for a future career in public office include:

  • Basic overview of political campaigns (management, communications, fundraising and field)
  • Candidate considerations, including factors to consider before running for office, preparing to run for office, choosing which office to run for and experience on the campaign trail

The workshop will also discuss and dismiss misconceptions of why people from different backgrounds and experiences can’t or shouldn’t run for office, with real and local examples of why, in politics, you can only expect the unexpected.

Melody Shekari is a lawyer and community advocate from Chattanooga. Shekari has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Bentley University in Massachusetts; a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Washington; and a law degree from the University of Southern California. In law school, she ran the largest graduate student government in the country, representing more than 20,000 graduate students with a budget of more than $2 million.

In 2016, Shekari was the youngest major-party nominee in the country for the U.S. House of Representatives, when she sought to represent Tennessee’s 3rd congressional district. In 2018, she advised candidates and ran for a legislative seat in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Her practice and volunteer work are dedicated to helping others and solving problems, from advising candidates for public office and groups on local politics to volunteering in legal clinics and community events.

Shekari is a member of the board of the American Red Cross of Southeast Tennessee; sits on the Community Partnership Board for foster youth with Partnership for Families, Children, and Adults; and is a member of the board of directors for the ACLU of Tennessee.

Media Relations Contacts: Email Shawn Ryan or call (423) 425-4363.
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