After male-dominated legislatures considered bills like the one by the Ohio Republican who apparently believes an ectopic pregnancy can simply be moved to the uterus, it is a welcome relief to hear of an organization offering bipartisan political training for women. VoteRunLead, a national organization dedicated to training women to run and to provide support for other women running chose Fayetteville as one of the locations for the RunAsYouAre 2019: National Training program. The day-long workshop will be held from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. May 18.
The lineup of speakers includes former candidates and elected officials from Northwest Arkansas, but the main draw for me is Alaina Reaves, the Georgia state director of Spread the Vote, an organization dedicated to increasing voter participation by helping obtain IDs and educate voters on the candidates and issues. Reaves has an impressive list of credentials, including working as a field director for the Georgia Democratic Party and interning in the office of the First Lady under Michelle Obama.
I recently spoke with Starre Haas of Little Rock who serves as National Program Manager for VoteRunLead. Haas, a recent graduate of the Clinton School for Public Service, emphasized the organization’s efforts to support diverse women from all parties and was excited that women from Arkansas would have the chance to participate in one of the twenty training sessions held across the country.
VoteRunLead has only been around for five years but has already trained over thirty thousand women. United States Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Lauren Underwood (D-Ill) are two of the most famous alumnae, but a run for Congress isn’t required. The organization has helped women prepare to run for school board, circuit judge and state legislature.