This was an amazing workshop. I learned a lot about what it takes to campaign, how to help out in your community & ways to get involved without having to run for an office.
We discussed some stats about women in politics – not very uplifting considering we’re in 2015 now and it can still feels like we’re in the 1840’s. On the plus side, change is (gradually) happening and we’re seeing more strong, intelligent women in positions of office.
There 104 women in Congress:
- 20 in the Senate
- 84 in the House (22 Rep, 64 Dem)
- 5 (out of 50) are Mayors
- 1 in the State
- No congressional
Advice for campaigning:
- Do a Q/A for yourself: Why are you running and what do you hope to achieve?
- Explore what the issues are during the race: what are the numbers? is it win-able? who do you talk to?
- Experience: support of other candidates, volunteering and building relationships
- Competition: expect a race, are you doing this to get known? to gain experience? are you taking on something much bigger? are you thinking to small?
- Cannot win without raising Money: can’t get info without money, are you willing to ask for money? how much do you ask for?
- Don’t have to dislike Fundraising: engage people, this is a concrete way of raising support
- Politics is a tough business: it’s hard to get people to do what they say they will do, the Primaries are the most difficult
- You need a good team to win: cannot be all of the people, need people to raise money, need people to get the message out there, need to have a really good campaign manager (this should not also be you – can not do both)
- Expectations: are high and constant, you will feel pressure from everyone, people will be giving all kinds of advice – you need to figure out who to listen to and when to do so but you don’t have to take everyone’s advice, be polite, you will make mistakes – learn how to recognize that and make it better
- Running is tough on a candidate: our experiences are misunderstood at best; dismissed at worst, constant pressure, especially if you are the first woman to run for a particular office, people (mainly men) don’t expect women to be in politics and you will experience sexism, come prepared and protect yourself, campaigns are high states and high demands and high expectations, but it can be FUN
… up next are brief bio’s of speakers from the break out session. I attended the Getting Started – Community sessions where speakers discussed ways to get and be involved without necessarily having to run if you aren’t interested in running …