On February 24th CFUW Guelph, along with host Councillor June Hofland and our partners, The Zonta Club of Guelph, The Rhyze Project and the People & Information Network (PIN) ran a highly successful Women’s Campaign School. This was the first ever campaign school in Guelph and Wellington County. Over 50 women attended the day-long event. Thanks to the generosity of our presenters, all of whom donated their time and talents, we offered sessions ranging from getting started, to navigating the campaign process, developing communications strategies and messaging. Participants came largely from Guelph and surrounding areas although a few came from as far away as London, Windsor and Fort Erie.
Of the participants, a significant number indicated they are planning to run in the next municipal election. Others came to support a campaign or for their own professional development. A sampling of the feedback:
- It raised my confidence
- Best $20 I have ever spent
- Inspiring, informative, interesting
- Nice to hear from current councillors
- I came away with my head spinning with information
- You made a real and significant impact on a lot of people
Thank you to all the courageous women who came to learn more about running for office and to all who came to share their experiences and to support these women in their journey. Since the campaign school, there have been a number of offers of continuing support for these women. The organizers will follow up with attendees to be sure they are informed of these opportunities.
The Women’s Campaign School was a follow up to the Ask a Female Politician panel held in November 2017 where more than 100 people were in attendance. Clearly, there is significant interest in seeing more gender parity in our political leadership.
By Teresa McKeeman, CFUW Guelph, Advocacy Committee