There is a natural progression in the careers of many social workers from activism to leadership. Increasingly, social workers are holding elective offices from school boards to city and county governments, from state legislatures all the way to the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate. Some have also been appointed to top posts in state and federal governments. Francis Perkins, who was a social worker and the first female Cabinet member, held the post of Secretary of Labor under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Social worker Jeannette Rankin was the first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress.
Many social workers relish the opportunity to make changes on a local, state, or national level. They possess skills that make them well-suited for public office and for building support for an issue. Social workers’ skills and talents also make them valuable in the roles of political organizers or campaign managers and strategists.
• Political campaigns
• Political parties
• Government agencies
• Advocacy groups
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