The Utah chapter of the National Young Women’s Christian Association is encouraging women to consider running for public office.
According to the Center for American Women and Politics, women make up half of the population of the state of Utah. Currently there are only 17 out of the 104 Utah lawmakers serving in the state house and senate who are women. That gives Utah the ranking of 46th in the nation.
“There are efforts going on around the country to encourage women to run for political office,” said Anne Burkholder of YWCA-Utah. “We need to take special effort to engage them. They have a right to be at the table where decision are made that effect their lives and the lives of their families and their communities.”
YWCA-Utah is holding a non-partisan training in January. The “Real Women Run” project will provide training for Utah women who want to run for public office. The training will feature Nancy Conway, former editor of The Salt Lake Tribune, as the keynote speaker on women in Utah politics, and a group of female panelists and presenters that Burkholder said will offer inspiration, knowledge, and practical advice in a welcoming, nonpartisan forum. The morning panel, moderated by Fox 13 anchor Nineveh Dinha, features former State Senator Carlene Walker, former Salt Lake City Mayor Deedee Corradini, new Cedar City Mayor Maile Wilson, and former political candidate Josie Valdez.
“This will also help them understand what it might take to be appointed to a public board or commission, at the city level, county level or state level and what it takes to manage a campaign or work on a campaign,” she said. “Sometimes women are more likely to run for a local office and maybe nonpartisan races.”
Burkholder said sometimes women don’t have access to the power, influence, or money that male candidates have or they might be busy managing their families and sometimes they simply are not asked about running for office.
The all-day nonpartisan training will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2014 at the Salt Lake Community College, Miller Campus.