who we are

We love the East Bay and we know that democratic participation is key to our region continuing to thrive. Unfortunately, too many people are intimidated by the process of seeking elected office. Between the paper work to file, the team to build, money to raise, digital tools to implement, and more -- you can't blame them.

But we believe that with the right help, you can run for office. 

Build the Bench was launched by the East Bay Leadership Council (an employer-led public policy advocacy organization) in 2017 with a mission to help more people who care about this community receive the tools, know-how, and connections needed to run for office.



Start Date

The 2019 session schedule is still in the works and depends on the class of applicants.

We expect to review applications in the Summer of 2019, set up in-person interviews, and start training in the Fall. 

Time Commitment

Completing this program will take time, but no more time than being an elected official.

The program will last 10 weeks with training scheduled on Tuesday from 6PM - 8PM. A similar time slot as many elected offices in the region.

A Few Things You'll Learn

You will learn from campaign professionals who know how to win in the East Bay.

  • Seeking the right office

  • Assessing chances of success

  • Building a campaign team

  • Creating a policy platform to resonate with voters

  • Finding and cultivating donors

  • Implementing effective digital tools

  • What it will be like when you win


Just live in Contra Costa or Alameda County and care about strengthening the economy and improving quality of life in the East Bay.

The Politics

We are a nonpartisan organization and there is no political litmus test to participate.


$1,000 - sponsorships are available

SUBMIT AN Application

The application process gives us a little more background on why you are interested in the program.

If not you, then who?

Send a quick email to a friend or colleague.