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Real Women Run holding training session Saturday

Published January 7, 2014 6:08 pm

Politics • Nonpartisan group prepares women to campaign for public office.
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When she attended a training session by Real Women Run last year, Karen Peterson wanted to learn how to help friends who were seeking political office.

A few months later, when she decided to make a bid for a seat on the Clinton City Council, Peterson pulled out her notes and found some useful tips for her own campaign.

"It was a great experience," she said, adding that the hints on social media and the discussion on balancing family and public service were especially helpful.

Kendalyn Harris, who was sworn in Monday as a Bountiful City Council member, said she gleaned a lot of knowledge from the Real Women Run training.

Peterson and Harris were among at least a half dozen participants in the Real Women Run training who won office for the first time in the November election. That nonpartisan effort to empower women to participate in public life through elected political office, appointments to public boards and commission and work on campaigns continues this weekend.

A daylong training event is slated from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Salt Lake Community College's Miller Campus, 9750 S. 300 West, in Sandy. The fee is $15; students and current members of American Association of University Women, the League of Women Voters and YWCA Utah pay $10. Participants can register at the door or at http://www.ywca.com or http://www.realwomenrun.org in advance.

Nancy Conway, former editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, will be the keynote speaker. Fox 13 anchor Nineveh Dinha will moderate a morning panel featuring former state Senator Carlene Walker, former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini, new Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson and former political candidate Josie Valdez.

Breakout session presenters include Harris; former Gov. Olene Walker; Springboard Utah founders Ann Mackin and Ashlee Burt; Maura Carabello, of The Exoro Group; Salt Lake County Deputy Mayor Nichole Dunn; conservative political activist and former legislator Holly Richardson; and media pros Peg McEntee, Amanda Dickson, and Jennifer Napier-Pearce.

The sessions will cover fundraising, utilizing traditional and social media, and campaign management, among other topics.

The proportion of female members in the Utah Legislature is about 16 percent, putting the Beehive State at 46th in the nation. According to Real Women Run, statistics show that women candidates win elections at the same rate as men, but fewer women nationwide make a bid for public office.

"Utah women are remarkably capable, and they bring many valuable skills and important perspectives to political office at all levels of government," Sheryl Allen, a former state legislator and a founding member of Real Women Run, said in a written statement. "All they need is opportunity, encouragement, training and support."


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