VoteRunLead Brings Together Thousands of Leading Women’s Advocates For a Day of Action

safe_imagePartnering with Vision2020, ManUp, Take the Lead, Represenation2020, Political Parity, Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Higher Heights for America and Women Legislators’ Lobby, VoteRunLead to build largest network of women leaders in history
On Wednesday, October 15th, VoteRunLead will be hosting launch parties across the nation, with one right here in Detroit. VoteRunLead is the first online platform aimed at reshaping the leadership in America, opening the door to greater gender equity at all levels of government, with support from the Omidyar Network. With the release of Invitation Nation, an e-tool enabling Americans to invite the women in their lives to run for office, VoteRunLead is gearing up to change the ratio of political leaders. VoteRunLead Executive Director Erin Vilardi announced that the organization’s signature program Invitation Nation will invite half-a-million women to run for local and state offices across the United States.
Invitation Nation, powered by Target, is a national campaign with partners such as Vision2020, ManUp, Take the Lead, Representation2020, Political Parity, Barbara Lee Family Foundation, Higher Heights for America, and Women Legislators’ Lobby as well as a growing list of top national and local organizations to help launch this innovative initiative.
At the current rate of progress, men will be the majority of political officeholders for the next 500 years. Currently, in the nation’s 100 largest cities, only 13 percent of mayors are women and three percent are women of color. Nearly half of all U.S. states have never had a woman governor. And women of color comprise only five percent of the nearly 7,500 state legislators across the country. VoteRunLead believes that critical voices are missing from policy discussions and solutions across the nation, but this exciting initiative can make a change. “Invitation Nation is tapping into the brilliance of American women to create a tidal wave of diverse new state and local leaders,” Vilardi said. “We need to unleash the full potential of this democracy by inviting a nation of women to run. VoteRunLead uses the power of our social networks and the ease of technology to reach them. Our mobile phones and laptops are our best recruitment tools.”
VoteRunLead’s strategy to accelerate the number of women at the leadership table is simple: Invite them on a massive scale. In our peer-to-peer economy, people donate to causes their friends support and read news stories their friends send them. VoteRunLead is challenging the nation to spend their peer social capital to get more women in office by asking three women in their lives to run.
“We’re going to hurry history by identifying political talent and by building the largest network of women leaders this country has ever seen,” said Vilardi.
Alumni from around the country will be in attendance at the October 15th launch parties, sharing their experiences and encouraging others to begin their political journey. These alumni have been through VoteRunLead’s training programs and have become political forces in their own right.
“I wanted to run to bring a voice to the many who don’t have a voice in local politics,” said Beth Olsen of Duluth, MN, a VoteRunLead alum who ran for Duluth City Council. “I know I did just that. For the first time in debates the candidates had to answer questions about oppression, violence and poverty in addition to infrastructure and taxes.”
JoCasta Zamarippa of Milwaukee, WI says: “It matters that diverse voices are not just holding our legislators accountable, but that we ourselves set the agenda from inside the halls of power. I went to Go Run and now I’m a state legislator in the Wisconsin Assembly. If I can do it, you can too. It’s time: You can help us hurry history by inviting three women in your life to run. We’re the ones we’ve been waiting for!”

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