Why Social Workers Should Run for Office

NASW encourages social workers to run for office because social workers are trained communicators with concrete ideas about how to empower communities. Social workers understand social problems and know human relations. Social workers' commitment to improving the quality of life brings a vital perspective to public decision-making.

Social workers across the country serve in a range of political institutions, from school boards to city and county offices and state legislatures.

Social workers make good political candidates because:

  • They're well educated.
  • They're often articulate and experienced in public speaking.
  • They're comfortable with persuasion.
  • They're knowledgeable about their communities.
  • They understand social problems and are committed to social justice.
  • They understand how policies affect individuals and communities.

Social workers run for public office because:

  • They're attracted to politics through an issue or cause.
  • They are as capable as many officeholders.
  • They see the opportunity to make changes on a broader scale.
  • They want to provide leadership to improve their communities.

NASW also encourages social workers to offer their professional expertise to campaigns. Social workers can use their skills as campaign managers, volunteer coordinators, and political directors. These jobs can also translate into legislative jobs in which social workers can shape policy, and help constituents by working with federal, state and local agencies to get individuals appropriate assistance. Social workers can also translate their involvement in campaigns into key appointments in state and local agencies in which they can oversee key government agencies to influence the practice of social work and seek social justice.

Connect with other social workers in politics

For the contact information of other social workers who have run for office, contact NASW at pace@naswdc.org or 800-638-8799, ext. 418.

Advocacy Tips for Social Workers


As a volunteer you can make phone calls, attend campaign events, or work in a campaign office. You can make your voice be heard.

Learn more

Stay Informed, Take Action


See current legislation and key bills in Congress, and find out how legislators voted on bills of interest to social workers.

Go to the NASW Action Center

Silvia Garcia

I decided it was time to take the plunge and get into elected office. Social work is about helping people. It's about sitting and listening to their issues and problems and challenges. It's always about trying to find solutions to make a difference in their lives. Silvia Garcia, a social worker and Texas state senator running for U.S. Congress

Contribute to PACE

PACE builds political power for social workers through field organizers mobilizing NASW members to vote, through contributions to candidates who agree with NASW policy positions, and through political training for members.

Your support gives us the funds needed to make a difference in campaigns and elections.