I recently joined the Organizing Committee of a fantastic organization called Real Women Run. Real Women Run is a non-partisan collaborative initiative aiming to empower women to participate in civic leadership through elected public office, engagement on public issues, serving on boards, commissions, or participating in campaigns. Partners include the YWCA Utah, Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah, Salt Lake Community College, Utah Women & Leadership Project at Utah Valley University, Walker Institute of Politics at Weber State University, Vision 2020, AAUW, League of Women Voters of Utah.
Part of their efforts include training for women interested in leadership in the public sphere. The recent training on January 17 included a dynamite opening session with Mayors from around the state. Pictured above is the “Mayors Cup” panel, which included from the left in front, Midvale Mayor JoAnn Seghini, Perry Mayor Karen Cronin, Former Kaysville Mayor Neka Roundy, and Vernal Mayor Sonja Norton. It was fascinating to learn from their experiences and perspective. A favorite quote from the morning came from Mayor Seghini who is frequently asked why she decided to run for Mayor. Her response: “Because I knew I’d do the best job.” Well said.
Other panels included discussions on the impact on families when running for office, how faith is encompassed in the decision to run and serve in public office, and issue-based advocacy as a springboard for public involvement. I served on the faith based panel, see above, representing the LDS faith, along with House colleagues Rep. Patrice Arent (representing the Jewish faith) and Rep. Rebecca Chavez-Houck (representing the Espiscopalian faith). I loved hearing how commitment to faith enhanced and inspired each of us in our journey in public office.
My husband, John, served on the family impact panel, see below, along with Jenny Wilson, daughter of former SLC Mayor Ted Wilson, Morgan Lyon Cotti, daughter of former Utah Representative Nancy Lyon, and Bluffdale City Councilwoman Heather Pehrson.
The entire training was fantastic and if you’re interested in getting involved, at any level, now or in the future, please look into this organization and get involved. The next training will be on Saturday, March 28, and I’d love to see you there! Contact me if you need more information.