Bi-Annual Bloom


  • By Jack Hall: Chamber Chairman of the Board – Director of External Affairs, Comcast

Spring is a season I always look forward to. The traditions that take place give me greater comfort with each passing year. Events like March Madness that  evolve into the Final Four; the crack of baseball bats that are heard throughout the valley at every playground, school, professional ballpark; and our world renown Blossom Trail that has once again shared its brilliance.

But there is another bloom that takes place. It’s a bi-annual bloom that generally happens on a large scale in the even numbered years.  It seems like a native flora, growing on every corner, yard and vacant lot. It comes in all colors, preferably red, white & blue and can disappear with the wind. Yes, it’s the campaign yard sign. It signifies the start of the political season.

We read the names on the signs but who are these people? How prepared are they? Why are they doing this? All good questions one must ask themselves before casting a ballot.

As someone who has consulted on and volunteered for a few campaigns it’s my experience that very few people actually take the time necessary to thoughtfully consider the realities before leaping into the public arena. You go through the K-12 system to be prepared for college, you go to college to be prepared for a career, and not necessarily the one you studied for. But if a political career is calling you, I would encourage you find out as much as possible by enrolling in the Chamber’s San Joaquin Political Academy.

For over a decade, the Academy has run an extensive two month educational and training program that helps you understand   what it takes to be a good candidate and run a viable campaign. As a participant you will learn about media relations to regional problem solving, the electoral process to critical thinking, fundraising strategies to developing a campaign and much more. It’s a great starting point for any community leader to garner working knowledge of the political process from an insider’s perspective.

So if you or someone you know is considering stepping into the political waters in two years, encourage them to get prepared. Do you and your family a favor; enroll in the San Joaquin Political Academy. I guarantee you; it will make a difference in how you will look at the political landscape and all that it entails.

The 2014 Class at the San Joaquin Political Academy is now accepting applications for consideration. Applications can be downloaded at


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