Ready to Run Bismarck

05/19/2018  8:00 AM -  05/19/2018  4:45 PM  1640 Burnt Boat Drive

The North Dakota Women’s Network (NDWN) is hosting Ready to Run™ on Saturday, May 19, in Bismarck as part of our organization’s effort to increase women’s representation in elected office.
This is an important goal because women are not well represented in politics. While women are slightly more than half the population, they hold just 18.4% of North Dakota’s legislative seats and 12% of county commission seats. Only three women serve in elected statewide executive office in North Dakota. Additionally, very few are women of color, despite the state’s increasing diversity. When elected officials more closely represent the electorate, policy discussions and outcomes are better.
Ready to Run™ is a bi-partisan program for women who want to run for office, seek higher office, work on a campaign, get appointed to an office, or learn more about the political system.
The training will give you a better understanding of North Dakota’s political system, strategies for positioning yourself for public leadership, and real-world advice on running a campaign.
Ready to Run will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce, 1640 Burnt Boat Dr., in Bismarck. The cost is just $30. 
Register online here. The registration deadline is Thursday, May 17 to ensure enough lunches are available that day. Same-day registrations will be accepted on site, but a lunch may not be available. The training’s capacity is 35.
If you have questions, contact Kristie Wolff, executive director of the NDWN, at 701-712-9600 or





8:00am - 8:30am Registration and light breakfast


8:30am-8:45am Welcome and Announcements

8:45am – 9:15am What Women Candidates Need to Know

Hear what the public thinks about women in office. Based upon the latest polls and research studies, find out what you need to know about public opinion.


9:15am - 10:15am Launching Your Campaign Karla Rose-Hanson

Gain an overview of the key elements of a campaign, including assessing and establishing oneself as a candidate, developing a campaign plan, structuring a campaign organization, and voter contact. Timeline.


10:15am – 10:30am Break


10:30am – 11:30am Laying the Groundwork for Public Life Marnie Piehl, Jessica Petrick, Kelly Schmidt Facilitated by Karen Ehrens

This session offers advice from the experts – women who have run for office and women who already serve as public leaders. Learn everything you have ever wanted to know but were afraid to ask. Topics covered include learning to raise one’s public profile, leveraging community leadership for political leadership, the various types of elected office to consider, working on campaigns, and balancing competing priorities of political and family life.


11:30am – 12:15pm Lunch with Tabletop Discussions (lunch provided)


12:15am – 12:45pm Activity


12:45pm – 1:30pm Recruiting and Engaging Volunteers Jess Haak, Molly Mclain

Volunteers are a critical part of campaigns at every level. During this session, you’ll hear from two experienced field organizers about how to recruit and engage volunteers. Jessica Edland and Molly McLain will teach you how to understand your volunteers’ skills and capacity so you can best connect them to the various types of work needed in a campaign. They will also cover how you can help your volunteers enhance their own leadership skills while furthering your campaign goals and how to equip your volunteers for tasks that are new to them, such as door-knocking and talking to voters.

1:30pm – 1:45pm Break


1:45pm – 2:45pm Developing Your Message Jason Matthews
This session will provide an overview of best practices and offer practical tips on how to get started or enhance your media presence. Learn how to communicate your key message quickly, how to stay on message, and how to respond to tough questions.

2:45pm – 3:30pm Budgeting and Fundraising Mandy Kubik
Whether you’re running for school board or the local school board, North Dakota State Senate, or for the US House of Representatives, you will need money to pay for flyers, signs, and ads. Learn how to secure the funding you need to run for office.


3:30pm – 3:45pm Break


3:45pm – 4:30pm Closing Keynote Kirsten Baesler