Meet Assemblymember Bill Quirk.
When I was young, when I was in elementary school there were seven kids in the family I was the oldest and I always took responsibility. And my father worked very hard, was hardly ever home so I took his responsibility; and when I was in college, the way it came to me to take responsibility was to work, to elect someone to be mayor of New York City so I worked in his campaign. And then when I was a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech McGovern was running for president. He was the Bernie Sanders of his day and I worked on his campaign.
McGovern was just doing the right thing. He was the guy out on the left Fringe and he was going to stop the Vietnam War and he probably would have. And he was all for women’s rights and I just married a woman who wanted a career. And he was all for the whole Litany of, you know, Healthcare etc, etc, all the things that you would really love to have and that I would love to have today. When I move to Hayward, I will became the guy who recruited all the precinct workers and then after awhile, as I learn more, I was the guy who started to manage campaigns for people I liked- for City Council and for school boards. When my youngest was a senior in high school, I said “Alright my turn!” I looked at 2004 and I said I could win this race!
But one of the most important things you do in any field is get the best possible advice! So I went to Johan Plays, who was our assembly member at the time and I said “I want to run for city council, can you endorse me?” He said “I will, but what you’ve got to do is you got to go talk to Bonnie Moss. She is the best political consultant in the area she would take your campaign if you tell her you will work constantly, you will walk every Precinct, you will make every phone call, you will do nothing but work on this for the next two years and you will raise the maximum amount of money allowed in your city.” Which at that time was little over $50,000. So I went to Bonnie Moss, who I had known because she’s been on the school board before and I said “I want to run for city council. I will do all the work and I will raise the $50,000 I need to raise.”
And we started walking precincts, making phone calls. We had the best volunteer operation around! Now in Hayward, you run for city council at-large means there were 4 openings and we all ran. There were like 10 people dozen people running and the top 4 would become City Council Members. There were three incumbents running and there was an open seat and I finished ahead of two of the incumbents. And it was because I worked really hard and I did exactly what the person who I know a lot more about this than I do, Bonnie Moss, told me to do. And 8 years later a seat opened up for the assembly and I ran for the assembly and I won.
And here I am! Hard work is really what it comes down to and and getting lots of friends to help you, that’s really what’s necessary. Helping people out that’s what’s really necessary and be willing to ask people to help, willing to ask people for money. You call people and you talk to them and they’re glad to hear from you. And if it’s a good cause, and you know sometimes it’s a charity, in my case eventually it was me running for city council with people know you and they know that you’re going to do a good job from them and they’re happy to help. You have to be willing to make that ask. It gets extremely important and if you don’t do that, you’re not going to get anywhere. You have to ask them to help you, ask them to give money and it’s just critical. The main thing is getting involved and getting involved early! I mean I started in college and it’s almost 50 years later now, it is 50 years later but that’s how I started!