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Women invited to local political ‘campaign school’

Women invited to local political ‘campaign school’

Are you a woman who is thinking about running for local government, or someone who would like to encourage more women to stand for office? Darnelda Siegers (District of Sechelt councillor) and Lori Pratt (School District 46 Chair) are looking for you.

Siegers and Pratt are organizing a nonpartisan women’s campaign school on Sat., March 3, which is specifically aimed at increasing female participation in the upcoming October municipal elections.

“Women are sorely under-represented in leadership roles in Canada and particularly here on the Coast,” said Siegers. “We want to ensure our organizations and governments reflect women’s concerns and women’s collaborative processes.”

Topics to be covered include: the nomination process, financing and fundraising, media and social media, building a campaign team, and political speechmaking. A panel of current and past elected women will attend, including MP Pamela Goldsmith-Jones.

The registration fee has not yet been set because Siegers and Pratt are hoping to raise enough funds to keep the price very affordable. They are seeking donations from the public to defray their costs.

Siegers is also asking people to “approach women who you see as a leader and encourage them to come to the campaign school. For many of us, it isn’t until we are asked that we even acknowledge our leadership.”

The current representation of women in local government is: 2 of 7 on District of Sechelt council, 1 of 5 on Town of Gibsons council, 0 of 5 regional directors at the Sunshine Coast Regional District, 3 of 5 at the Sechelt Band, and 5 of 7 at the School District 46 board.

The campaign school will be a full-day event, with lunch, at the Sunshine Coast Botanical Garden. If you are interested in participating or in donating funds to help cover the costs, contact dsiegers@telus.net or loripratt75@gmail.com.

Donna McMahon

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