April events to focus on women and politics

Two events focusing on women and politics will be offered in April with the support of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics.

The Catt Center is a co-sponsor of both events – the “See Yourself Here” workshop that will be presented at the state Capitol in Des Moines on April 8 and 9 and the symposium on “Women in Politics 2014: Historic and Current Perspectives,” which will meet April 18 in Iowa City. Both events are free and open to the public.

Dianne Bystrom, director of the Catt Center, will speak at both events. She is also a member of the planning committee for the women in politics symposium.

“The Catt Center is pleased to partner with 50-50 in 2020 and the University of Iowa’s N.E.W. Leadership Program and Public Policy Center to offer these programs focusing on women’s political leadership both in Iowa and nationally,” Bystrom said.

The “See Yourself Here” workshop is designed for women who have “thought about running for the state Legislature, but find the prospect somewhat intimidating,” said Jean Lloyd-Jones, co-chair of 50-50 in 2020. “Participants will learn what goes on inside the legendary halls of the state Capitol building and hear from some of the people who make them happen.”

Programming during the two-day workshop will include a "behind the scenes" tour of the Capitol, briefings from non-partisan staff who assist with bill-drafting and budget-crunching, and opportunities to observe committee meetings and meet key legislators. Bystrom will give the workshop’s keynote presentation, “Women in State Legislatures: Making a Difference,” at 4:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, in room 304 of the state Capitol building.

Although there is no fee for the workshop, participants are responsible for their own transportation, overnight accommodations and meals. Participants are also asked to register for the workshop by visiting the 50-50 in 2020 website. An agenda for the two-day workshop is available here.

The symposium on "Women in Politics 2014: Historic and Current Perspectives" will meet from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, April 18, in the senate chambers of the Old Capitol Museum in Iowa City as part of the University of Iowa Public Policy Center's Forkenbrock series.

"The symposium will examine why women do or do not run for political office, how they govern once elected, and documentation of the history of women in politics," said Peter Damiano, director of the Public Policy Center. "The symposium will wrap up with a policy discussion and action steps."

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will present the symposium’s keynote address at 1 p.m. The symposium will also feature four panel presentations: “Pipeline/Running for Office” at 9 a.m., “Documenting the History of Women in Politics” at 10:45 a.m., “When in Office, How do Women Govern?” at 2 p.m., and “Policy Discussion: Action Steps for the Future” at 3:45 p.m. The panels will include presentations by scholars on women and politics from throughout the country, current and former women elected officials and political candidates, and history professors. Bystrom will moderate the panel on policy and action steps for the future. The agenda for the women in politics symposium is available here.