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Organizers of the November 4th Run Jane Run Municipal Campaign School for Women, said the successful event drew interested women from allreaches of Grey and Bruce counties.
The event – first held in 2013 – drew 27 registrants in this second effort to encourage and support women who might be interested
in running for municipal council and school board in 2018: an election year in Ontario. The first event saw several women capture seats in the following year, and organizers are hoping to repeat that success.
The day was not just "boosterism", says Pat Farrar, chair of the organizing committee for the event. The packed schedule at the Bluewater District School Board offices in Chesley included a series of experts to provide women with the tools and support to stand successfully for public office and play a role in righting the current gender imbalance at all levels of government
today.The format featured opportunities for questions so prospective candidates could get clarification or ask for specific advice or guidance.
Keynote speaker Brenda Halloran, a two-term mayor of Waterloo, community worker and currently CEO of her own company, shared her path to her own upset election victory in 2006. Halloran touched on such topics as having a personal brand, developing a trusting team, conflict resolution and importance of listening and knowing "what the community wants". Some politicians – once in office – can forget who they are working for, she observed.
Andrea Stenberg, a local social media consultant and coach, described the importance of using social media as a critical tool to market oneself and reach the younger demographic. She used the example of Calgary's legendary mayor Naheed Nenshi - and his "politics in full sentences" approach to campaigning - as the thread to her social media discussion.
Anne Finlay-Stewart, local journalist and publisher and editor of OwenSoundHub.org provided practical advice for candidates navigating both traditional and social media. Finlay-Stewart offered some basics on how candidates can get "earned media", the importance of connecting with media contacts and local councils, and how to develop the public recognition that can help win elections.
Judy Gay, once a member of a legendary "women's council" in London Ontario (and a one-time mayoral candidate in that city) is better known locally for her work on council in Georgian Bluffs. Gay provided an overview of campaign basics: understanding the role of municipal council and going through the process of registering as a candidate, building a team and running a successful campaign.
Cynthia Lemon, former councillor in Meaford and currently Executive Officer, Human Relations with the Bluewater District Board of Education, offered tips on debating and public speaking skills, and the art of speech writing and presentation.
The day concluded with a question-and- answer panel session, where the speakers were joined by Bluewater school board trustee Jim Dawson, and Kimberley Love: a past federal Liberal candidate.
today.
The group expects to re-convene in the spring for an informal networking session as Nomination Day nears, and welcomes women interested in the Run Jane Run project to get in touch through the web site at www.runjanerun.ca.

source: media release, RunJaneRun

 

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