Nonprofit Preps Women for Political Office


When VoteRunLead began, they spent most of their efforts just convincing women to run for office. Now the nonprofit that teaches women the ins and outs of running a political campaign - and winning - is in high demand and has ramped up its training and resources. VoteRunLead is not just focused on getting women elected, but also helping them run campaigns that are vulnerable, authentic, and bold. Their approach seems to be working.

This year, 131 VoteRunLead alum ran in the primaries and 70 percent won. While state and local offices have been the focus, the organization has also had a national impact, with Ilhan Omar securing the Democratic spot in Minnesota's fifth congressional race. If she wins in November, the Somali-American refugee will be one of the first Muslim women to hold a seat in Congress.

When women run, they are typically urged to 'act like a man.' But the organization's Run as You Are curriculum encourages vulnerability, to share real-life experiences rather than hide them, and to embrace authenticity - including one candidate's decision to keep her purple hair. With this kind of momentum, some predict that in 20 years we will see half of all elected offices held by women. LEARN MORE