The Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics is now accepting registrations for the 2019 Ready to Run® Iowa Campaign Training for Women workshop series.
In an effort to increase the number of women in elected and appointed political office, the Catt Center has offered the Ready to Run® Iowa program every other year since 2007. This non partisan program prepares women to run for elected office, serve in appointed office or become more involved in community leadership by teaching them about Iowa politics, fundraising, communicating with voters and working with the media.
The six different 2019 workshops will be held on Feb. 15, March 29 and April 19 in Ames, Iowa. The February and March workshops will be held in the Memorial Union at Iowa State University. The April workshop will be held off-campus at the Radisson Hotel Ames Conference Center at ISU, 2609 University Blvd. Attendees will receive a reduced rate of $97 at the Radisson Hotel by using the code “Ready to Run.” The reduced rate is valid for the night before each set of workshops.
Registration will open one month prior to each workshop date. All workshops will be held on Fridays with one workshop from 9 a.m. to noon and the second from 1:15 to 4:30 p.m. Each workshop is $25, which includes all materials, lunch and parking in the Memorial Union ramp for the February and March workshops. People can register separately for as many workshops as they wish to attend.
“The 2018 election proved that when women run, they can win just as often as men,” said Kelly Winfrey, an assistant professor of journalism who coordinates Ready to Run Iowa for the Catt Center. “More women ran in 2018 than ever before in Iowa, and we will have more women serving than ever before, including 45 women in the state legislature, two in the U.S. Congress and one in the governor’s office.”
Despite recent gains, women still make up the minority of elected and appointed officials in Iowa. Women will be 30 percent of the new state legislature, and recent research by the Catt Center shows women are underrepresented in county and city government. Women also make up the minority of members serving on county and city appointed boards and commissions, despite the fact Iowa law requires gender balance.
“There is a lot of room for improvement, and we hope the Ready to Run® Iowa workshops will encourage even more women to apply for boards and commissions and to run for local, state and national office in the near future,” Winfrey said.
The Ready to Run® Iowa program is designed to prepare women to run for office as well as serve in appointed positions. Presenters include public officials, former candidates, campaign strategists and journalists.
On Feb. 15, the workshops will focus on how to get started in Iowa politics and how to launch a campaign. The March 29 workshops will discuss fundraising and campaign messaging media. Strategies for communicating with voters through door-knocking, speeches, on camera and online will be covered April 19. For more information on the 2019 program, visit the Ready to Run® Iowa website.
“The program is not just for women seeking elected office as workshop topics include getting appointed to state, county, and local boards and commissions, which is a great starting point for public service,” said Kristine Perkins, public relations/student programs coordinator for the Catt Center and the Ready to Run® Iowa events planner. Ready to Run® Iowa has always been open to men who wish to attend. “Although the program addresses topics unique to women as they seek greater participation in the political process, it is open to anyone wishing to learn more."
“Every year we invite new speakers and address new topics, so even if you’ve attended in the past, there is still a lot to gain by participating again,” Winfrey said. "This wouldn’t be possible without the guidance and assistance of our advisory board.”
The Ready to Run® Iowa Advisory Board consists of nine members with expertise in Iowa politics who provide input on the speakers, content and format for the workshops. Advisory Board members are: Amy Campbell, a partner at the Advocacy Cooperative; Blake Hanson, an attorney at Crawford and Mauro in Des Moines; Drew Kamp, director of Story County community outreach and government relations for the Ames Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Commission; Paula Martinez, labor leader and member of the Warren County Democrats Central Committee; Gloria Mazza, president of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women; Kellie Paschke, an attorney with Skinner and Paschke of Waukee, Iowa; Kim Reem, 4th vice president of the National Federation of Republican Women; Georgia Van Gundy, executive director of the Iowa Business Council; and Andrea Woodard, public policy manager at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.
The 2019 program is sponsored by the Ames Chamber of Commerce, Dianne and Keith Bystrom of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, the League of Women Voters of Ames and Story County, former Lt. Gov. of Iowa Sally Pederson of Des Moines, Iowa, Amy Slagell of Ames, Iowa, and the late Richard and Mary Jo Stanley. Their sponsorships provide the funds necessary to keep registration costs low.
Since the Catt Center began offering Ready to Run® Iowa in 2007, more than 430 women and men have participated in the program. The program has also proven successful as demonstrated by the 13 women who ran for state and national office in 2018. Many other past participants serve in elected and appointed positions at the state, county and local levels.
If you would like to be added to the Ready to Run® Iowa mailing list, please email the Catt Center.