May 9, 2017
Running for Local Office, with Rep. John Alcala
Representative John Alcala has been a member of the Kansas House of Representatives since 2013, serving Topeka in the 57th District.
But before Rep. Alcala ever ran for state office, he served at the local level.
Years ago, not-yet-then Rep. John Alcala was living in Topeka, running an after-school program for children. His program saw a sudden jump in attendance – it began with just 12 students, which quickly became 42.
The program’s location was simply not large enough to accommodate that many students, and certainly not that quickly. Alcala found himself forced to rotate the days and create hourly shifts in which children could attend. Time after time, Alcala requested more space from his City Councilman. Nothing was done. The last time that Alcala approached the City Councilman (which at this point had been over a long span), the City Councilman said, “If you don’t like what I’m doing, you run for city council.“
Which is exactly what Alcala did.
He ran for city council to “be a voice for the regular people.” And he won. Alcala turned out to be the longest serving City Councilman in Topeka’s history – 16 years. He rose through the ranks as Budget Chair in the City Council, then served as Deputy Mayor for two years.
This catapulted Alcala to a legislative run, where he won the 57th District and has served ever since. Running for local office can have a positive impact on your community, and can provide excellent experience for anyone with higher political aspirations, as well.