Since last fall’s general election, VoteRunLead.org, a non-partisan non-profit that teaches women how to run for office, has had more than 7,500 women sign up for its online and in-person workshops that train women how to run for office. Now it’s the women of Rhode Island’s turn!
On July 22, 2017, VoteRunLead.org is partnering with the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island to bring VoteRunLead’s popular “Run As You Are” workshop series to Rhode Island. Both groups are hoping to reach even more women to inspire them to throw their hat into the political arena. The upcoming training session is scheduled for Saturday, July 22, from 9:00 am until 2:30 pm, at the New England Institute of Technology in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Thanks to funding by generous donors, there is no cost to participate in the workshop. To register, visit here or voterunlead.org.
More women than ever before are qualified to run for elected office and VoteRunLead.org is teaching them how. Most women today already have the experience, talent and networks to achieve their political ambition. The “Run As You Are” training sessions by VoteRunLead help women realize their passion and learn how to harness that drive to achieve political leadership. The VoteRunLead seminars are led by VoteRunLead.org’s founder and CEO Erin Vilardi and the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island executive director Kelly Nevins. This day-long training is for any woman thinking about entering the political arena or those that are ready to step into politics with a purpose. The training session will train women to:
- Articulate their experience as expertise
- Demystify the campaign trail
- Identify roles for a women’s “squad”
- Expand local networks
- Outline a path to political leadership
“Ask the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island about one thing that can make a significant impact on women and girls in Rhode Island and it is when there is 30 percent or more of female representation in the room, that decisions and policies are made that improve the economy and overall health of our communities,” stated Kelly Nevins, executive director of the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island. “Getting more women into politics is critical to ensuring that smart decisions are being made on our behalf. This is why we decided to partner with VoteRunLead as part of our programming for this year.”
“There are no rules or experiences that qualify someone to be a political leader and there is no definition of who aspires to leadership,” stated Erin Vilardi, CEO and founder of VoteRunLead.org. “Anyone that has the passion to serve their community is able to be a leader.”
Vilardi noted that women still only hold 19 percent or 83 out of 435 seats in the House of Representatives and there are only four current US governors that are women. In the Senate, only 21 seats are held by women out of 100. In our nation’s 200 year history, only four women have been appointed as Supreme Court Justices with three of them currently on the nation’s highest court.
Nevins adds that while the RI state legislature has just over 30 percent representation by women in the House & Senate, that gender diversity in NOT reflected in the local communities, such as on school boards and town councils, and even less so when you consider women of color serving. “Even though we have decent representation at the state level, we can always do better. Serving at the local level is a great way for women to dip their toes into politics,” said Nevins.
“We have 500,000 elected positions in the United States and it is time for women to have equal representation,” said Vilardi. “VoteRunLead.org offers more than 60 free training resources that can be viewed online and additional in-person training workshops and one-on-one mentoring with women well-versed in the political workings of our country. It’s time for women to step up. With the enthusiasm we’ve seen since November’s election, we are excited to see what we can do in the next several months and years.”
Nevins notes that the “Run As You Are” workshop kicks off the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island’s “Through A Gender Lens” training series, designed to address gender equity issues from a variety of different angles, including personal advocacy, workplace dynamics and leadership training. The series is funded in part by Amica Insurance.
VoteRunLead.org is a non-partisan non-profit training powerhouse, founded by Erin Vilardi, formerly of The White House Project, to leverage technology and training programs to accelerate the number of women in civic and political leadership. Since the November 2016 election, VoteRunLead has seen an unprecedented number of women signing up to be trained to run for office. The Rhode Island training is the 4th stop of the “Run As You Are” criss-crossing the United States in 10 cities, with 5 online classes.