AAUW receives grant to promote voter education, women seeking officesAAUW North Dakota and AAUW Jamestown Branch were recently notified that they were one of 15 states selected to receive a fiscal year 2011-2012 AAUW Public Policy Impact Grant for $1,000 from AAUW National.
AAUW North Dakota and AAUW Jamestown Branch were recently notified that they were one of 15 states selected to receive a fiscal year 2011-2012 AAUW Public Policy Impact Grant for $1,000 from AAUW National. Fiscal year 2011-12 grants will be the first phase of a two-year voter education and turnout campaign geared toward mobilizing women to run for office and vote in the 2012 elections. The grants are expected to be used to prepare for turning out women to vote in the 2012 elections, including programming to educate the public about issues at stake for women and girls from the AAUW Biennial Action Priorities.
AAUW North Dakota, AAUW Jamestown and branches in Fargo-Moorhead, Bismarck-Mandan, Mayville-Hillsboro, Grand Forks, Devils Lake, Wahpeton and Dickinson will be collaborating with the North Dakota Women’s Network to launch a series of leadership training workshops designed around Ready to Run, a bipartisan recruitment and training program through Rutgers University for women interested in seeking elected and appointed office.
Women, half of North Dakota’s population, hold only 15 percent of North Dakota’s legislative seats, one statewide office, and less than 1 percent of county commission seats. Few of those who have won office are women of color, despite the state’s increasing diversity. North Dakota ranks 46th nationally in the percentage of women in state legislature, down from 43rd only two years ago. This issue is being addressed by several workshops as part of this grant.
The first “Ready to Run” workshop will be held on Sept. 23 at Bismarck State College campus. Ready to Run was created by Rutgers’s Center for American Women and Politics in 1998 to address the underrepresentation of women in New Jersey politics. Central to the Ready to Run model is an innovative, comprehensive curriculum that incorporates the political culture and climate of the locale and uses state and local campaign experts to highlight the specifics of running in a particular state or region. The program demystifies the process of running for elected office, encourages more women to mount campaigns, and introduces them to elected and appointed leaders, campaign consultants and party officials to whom they can turn as they get ready to run. Women interested in participating can get more information and register at www.ndwomen. org.
Other activities planned include a Voter Education and turnout training and “Running for our Lives – N.D. Women in Leadership” forum that will be held April 20-21, 2012, at the North Dakota AAUW State Convention in Jamestown.