“Even though women account for more than one-half of the population, they are vastly underrepresented in government at all levels,” says Karen Avenick, of the Camden County League of Women Voters. Avenick and her colleagues at the League, as well as a host of co-sponsors from the community, are hoping to turn the tide and change outcomes with a unique training program that for over a decade, has attracted junior and senior high school girls from around the region.
Now in its 11th year, the “Running and Winning” Workshop is designed to teach young women about the challenges and rewards of holding public office. “Information and awareness are key,” says Avenick, “If young women can learn about their options for political leadership, they are more likely to become involved, and if they are involved they can make a difference in their lives and in others’ lives.”
In addition to learning about the techniques involved in running a political campaign, participants will be introduced to women who are political leaders, such as Mayors, Freeholders, Assembly Members and Councilwomen. Another highlight of the program is a mock election campaign, focused around a specific issue, in which the young women participate as the candidate, the speech writer, the publicist, or the campaign manager. The theme for the workshop changes each year; this year the topic for the mock campaign is “Bullying Be Gone.”
The 2011 Workshop will be held at Eastern High School, Voorhees, NJ, on April 13, 2011, and will include 10th through 12th grade students. Community co-sponsors of the Running & Winning Workshop are the American Association of University Women of Camden County; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., South Jersey Alumnae Chapter; and the law firm Flaster Greenberg PC
For more information, visit www.lwvnj.org/camdencounty/runwin.html.