Plans Underway for 2013 Ready to Run™ Iowa Workshops

The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics will once again offer its campaign training program, Ready to Run™ Iowa, in 2013 – but in a new format.

Ready to Run™ Iowa is a non-partisan program designed to recruit and train women to run for elective office, prepare for appointive office, or become involved in public life as leaders in their respective communities. The Catt Center has offered the Ready to Run™ Iowa program every other year since 2007 as part of a national network founded by the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University.

Planning for Ready to Run™ Iowa 2013 is underway as the Catt Center implements multiple updates to the program, including a shift in format. In previous years, the program was offered as a one-day conference. Next year, it will be offered as a series of six in-depth workshops presented once a month from January through June.

“In response to feedback from past program participants, assessment of the program by the Catt Center, and scholarship on women’s political participation, this change in format reflects a broad effort to improve the program’s outreach, curriculum and administration,” said Valerie Hennings, Catt Center scholar-in-residence, who is directing the 2013 program.

Each of the six workshops will be taught as an individual training session that can be attended separately or in conjunction with the other workshops. The 2013 Ready to Run™ Iowa program will include sessions on the following topics: 1) introduction to Iowa politics and government, 2) launching a campaign, 3) appointment to boards and commissions, 4) fundraising, 5) advocating an issue, and 6) media training and strategies. Registration details and final workshop dates will be announced soon and available via the Catt Center’s website.

As part of planning next year’s program, the Catt Center has assembled an advisory board to assist in the development and promotion of Ready to Run™ Iowa. The nine-member board includes: Betty Baird, legislative liaison, Iowa Department of Transportation, Ames, IA; Dianne Bystrom, director, Catt Center, Ames, IA; Angela Davidson, director of government relations, Ames Chamber of Commerce, Ames, IA; Gwen Ecklund, chair, Crawford County Republican Party, Denison, IA; Johnie Hammond, former Iowa state senator, Ames, IA: Valerie Hennings, scholar-in-residence, Catt Center, Ames, IA: Andrea Jansa, account executive, Larson Shannahan Slifka Group, Des Moines, IA; Paula Martinez, chair, Iowa Democratic Party Hispanic Caucus, Carlisle, IA; and Kellie Paschke, attorney, Skinner & Paschke, Des Moines, IA.

“Our board includes an impressive group of political and community leaders,” Hennings said. “Their service as board members plays an important role in the success of Ready to Run™ by providing us with an opportunity to develop our plans alongside women leaders in Iowa politics.”

The 2013 Ready to Run™ Iowa program is sponsored in part by the following: the Ames Chamber of Commerce, the League of Women Voters of Ames, the League of Women Voters of Iowa, and the Women’s and Diversity Grant Program by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost at Iowa State University.

Additional assistance for the 2013 Ready to Run™ Iowa program is still needed to help offset the costs of presenting the workshops and reduce registration fees for participants. If you are interested in helping to support Ready to Run™ Iowa, please contact Valerie Hennings at 515-294-3181 or cattcntr@iastate.edu.