Thank you for the resources and insightful comments! I pretty much agree with all of that.
If we’re talking US Congress, then I also definitely agree that’s super difficult and a huge investment. While it’ll be relevant for some, maybe the more useful examples would be running for local office, getting involved in some of the organisations that work on primary challenges, or simply supporting the best candidate for office (with money and volunteer time) when elections do come around (looking at you Georgia).
Also for context, my family are American but I’m actually a New Zealand citizen and we have proportional representation which does make the national-level politics a very different beast.
I think EA-aligned people could probably learn a lot by running for local office, and I’d be enthusiastic to see more people try it (depending on the strength of their other opportunities).
One difficulty is that it often pays quite badly; one highly engaged community member was a state representative in New Hampshire, but eventually had to quit because the job was effectively unpaid and took a lot of time. She’s running an AMA on the Forum soon—keep an eye out, as you may want to ask her some questions!
eventually had to quit because the job was effectively unpaid
That’s interesting—I’ve seen it argued that we should massively increase pay for MPs etc. in order to attract higher quality candidates. At the moment the pay and quality of life are both significantly worse than decent candidates could get by being e.g. an executive at a medium sized firm, and perhaps as a result many MPs are just not that bright. In contrast Singapore pays very highly and has a reputation for high competency.