In the United States, there are about 100,000 distinct governments, each of which elects one or more persons to supervise it. The amount of elected politicians might be overwhelming, ranging from school board to city council to president, which is why we created this infographic to look at all of them and break down the figures.
The highest number of elected officials in a single jurisdiction is 12, including a mayor, eight commissioners and their support staff. They govern the City of New York.
The lowest number of elected officials in a single jurisdiction is 1. This includes a mayor and no other officials or bodies. Their population is less than 10,000 people.
The most common number of elected officials in a single jurisdiction is two. These can be either a mayor and/or a city council. Many cities have multiple councils, so this figure represents an average across all municipalities. Some cities, such as Chicago and Philadelphia, have more than two mayors while others, like Portland, Oregon and Burlington, Vermont, have only one official per city.
States also have a large number of elected officials. Overall, they hold almost half of the seats in the Senate and both houses of Congress. A state governor can range in power from a mere executive officer for a small municipality to a highly influential political figure. In some cases, they can even control which candidate will appear on the presidential ballot through the process of electoral college voting.
Local Elections and Elected Officials Local authorities constitute the great majority of elected politicians in the United States. These authorities include the mayor, members of the town or city council, county commissioners, and so on. The number of elected municipal authorities and their titles varies. For example, a town may have a president who is not on the council or a clerk who performs some of the functions of a council member.
In most cities and counties, the mayor is the chief executive officer of the municipality. They make policies by voting on issues before them. Mayors often work with other members of the city council to create a legislative agenda for votes on. Mayors can also hire and fire department chiefs and other administrative officers. Cities with mayors serve on the national level as well; see below.
Other important offices that exist within many municipalities include district attorneys, public defenders, police departments, libraries, environmental protection agencies, and more. Some offices have a board or commission made up of citizens who are appointed by the mayor or elected by voters. These boards review policy and make recommendations to the mayor or council.
In smaller towns where the council has no official executive function (such as mayors who don't work with staff), they make all decisions by themselves or through a weak council.
The Executive Office The executive branch of state government consists of a number of independently elected individuals, including Washington's governor, attorney general, secretary of state, and treasurer. Their mission is to implement state legislation and manage the state government's day-to-day operations.
The government is divided into three branches. Our federal government is divided into three divisions. They are the executive (President and around 5,000,000 personnel), legislative (Senate and House of Representatives), and judicial branches of government (Supreme Court and lower courts). The Executive Branch of our government is led by the President of the United States.
These three branches of government work together to administer the whole state of Washington. They offer checks and balances on each other's power and contribute to the state's democratic character. Because of the vast population of the United States, state governance is both required and practicable.
The President, Vice President, 100 U.S. Senators (two from each state), 435 U.S. Representatives, four delegates to the House of Representatives from U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, and one Resident Commissioner from the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico are among the 542 federal positions. Including agencies, offices, and courts, there are about 3.5 million people working for the federal government. The largest single group by employment is scientists and engineers, who make up 15% of the workforce.
When you add up all the ministers and other elected officials at every level of government, they total up to 5,443, according to a Department of Labor statistic released in 2014. That's more than the number of employees at McDonald's or Walmart yet less than the number at Boeing or ExxonMobil.
The highest office in the land is the president, who is elected by popular vote. The president can then select others to assist them in their duties; for example, he or she could choose a vice president, senators, representatives, governors, mayors, city managers, cabinet members, agency heads, and others. Some of these individuals will be responsible for a single department or agency, such as the secretaries who run the departments of State, Defense, and Commerce. Others may have responsibility for an entire branch of government, such as the speaker of the House or the president pro tempore of the Senate who are both elected officials.
Citizens are represented by city council members, county supervisors, and other elected authorities. Traffic engineers, waste management specialists, budget directors, IT professionals, and others are among the experts who keep government running. All told, there are about 130 positions on the Memphis staff.
In addition to these city employees, there are also several hundred contractors who work for the city on a regular basis. They include drivers for various departments such as public works and transportation, surveyors, architects, investigators, and computer programmers. Many of these people are self-employed or work for small businesses that provide services to the city.
All in all, it is a rich source of income for those who know how to navigate the system. There are also many opportunities to work in the non-city government sector if you are willing to move away from home every other week.
The median salary for a city employee is $56,000 per year. However, this number varies depending on the position being considered. For example, someone working in information technology may make about half that much while someone with more administrative experience might earn more than $100,000 per year.
In general, people can expect to make less than $60,000 per year after taxes are taken out of their paycheck.