This Organization Teaches Women How To Run For Office And How To Win
We’ve all imagined that if we were politicians things would be different, right? They’d be better. But, let’s be honest, do you know how to get on the ballot? How to raise money? How to draft legislation? There’s a reason why so many politicians hold the same office for years. They know how to get elected. They know how to play the game and the players are likely to be men. Men have been the ones winning elections since the time when only men could vote. That’s changing. Bigly.
After living in a patriarchal society that led us to Trump and Kavanaugh, there are political outsiders challenging the status quo and the men who depend on it. These outsiders are motivated, educated and see paths to political victory. The one thing they have in common? They’re all women, and thanks to organizations like Dare To Run, they’re being given the tools and resources to get on the ballot, get elected, and tear the patriarchy apart.
Rachelle Suissa created Dare To Run in 2017 after writing a thesis on Hillary Clinton’s and Sarah Palin’s very different political paths. Says Suissa, “I always felt we needed to increase the number of women running for political office”. She realized that many women felt similarly but they just didn’t know where to begin. Dare To Run will empower women with the skills necessary to run for public office at the local, state and national level.
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You go through training to be a plumber or a mechanic so why not be trained for a job where you so dramatically affect the lives of others? “It’s a one year certification program,” says Suissa, “The first semester focuses on the skills they need to run a successful campaign for office. Things like fundraising, branding and message development, public speaking, campaign literature, get out the vote efforts, organizing a campaign team, all the basics of an essential campaign. The second semester will focus on what to do once you get into office like developing relationships with your constituents, drafting legislation, advocacy, public service and representing the interests of the people.” Trump University it ain’t.
Dare To Run is non-profit, non-partisan and will work with any eligible woman. Party affiliation doesn’t matter to them, “We want to be welcoming to everybody who wants to run.” But,” she adds, “There’s not too many Republican women that are running, that’s the honest truth, if there were we’d be happy to support them and help them set up a campaign. We wouldn’t discriminate against anybody. We support all women, Independents, Republicans, everybody who’s interested.”
This past October Dare To Run held a leadership conference in NYC. State Senator Liz Krueger, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and other Congressional and State Assembly candidates were guest speakers. These leaders discussed their road to public office and the challenges they faced. Putting them front and center helps prospective candidates realize that they could run as outsiders, as women, and actually win.
Over the next three years, Dare To Run plans on opening training facilities in 14 states across the midwest and southeast. They’ll be recruiting women in states with less than 20% of women serving in their statehouses/assemblies and state senates.
The midterms saw more than 100 women elected or re-elected to Congress. As of January 2019, 23% of Congress will be female. Whether it’s national or local, women are making strides and changing the political landscape. Dare To Run and organizations like it are helping make this possible. As Suissa puts it, “You need more voices. You need more people to be involved and be heard.”
For more information on Dare To Run click here.