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Ready to Run '18

Mount Saint Mary’s hosts public campaign training to prepare more women to run for office.

April 5, 2018

Women make up half of California’s population. They do not, however, have an equitable share of political representation in the state. Across California, women account for 22 percent of the state legislature, 26 percent of county supervisors and 31 percent of city council members. Nationally, women fill only 19 percent of seats in the U.S. Congress.

Mount Saint Mary’s — L.A.’s only women’s university — believes it’s past time to change these statistics. This Saturday, April 28, the University’s Center for the Advancement of Women will present Ready to Run®, a nonpartisan campaign training for women, featuring keynote speakers U.S. Rep. Karen Bass, State Sen. Connie Leyva and State Sen. Holly J. Mitchell. The daylong program features politicians, appointed officials, campaign strategists and campaign experts who share their expertise and experience with participants in workshops and sessions designed to prepare women to run for office, position themselves for appointed positions, work on a campaign or otherwise get involved in public service.

A Ready to Run workshop in progress from the 2017 training. Register for this year's campaign training program, on April 28, at
A Ready to Run workshop in progress from the 2017 training. Register for this year's campaign training program, on April 28, at

This training has already been proven effective. Many Southern California women who have attended the training have gone on to successfully enter public service. The April 28 event marks the sixth annual Ready to Run event organized by Mount Saint Mary’s. The University is the exclusive Southern California provider of Ready to Run, in partnership with the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.

A sampling of this year’s speakers and sessions are listed below. To see the full list of speakers and schedule for the day, visit Tickets are still available and media credentials are available.

Ready to Run 2018: Sampling of Speakers

  • S. Rep. Karen Bass, member, House Judiciary Committee, House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Steering and Policy Committee for the House Democratic Caucus.
  • Connie Leyva, 20th State Senate District; vice chair, California Legislative Women’s Caucus.
  • Holly J. Mitchell, 30th State Senate District; founder, Senate Select Committee on Women and Inequality.
  • Emerald Archer, PhD, director, Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University.
  • Zaira Cedano, executive director, LAGOP.
  • Tori Chica, VP, Cerrell Associates’ Campaigns & Issues Management; director of operations, National Women’s Political Caucus board, L.A. Westside Chapter.
  • Stephanie Daily Smith, principal, Daily Consulting; previous clients include Hillary Clinton for President (West Coast Director); Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Eric Garcetti.
  • Myrka Dellanos, Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist; former anchor, Univision’s “Primer Impacto.”
  • Elizabeth Espinosa, Emmy Award-winning television personality; reporter, KTLA-5; program anchor, KFI-640 AM.
  • Jackie A. Filla, PhD, associate professor of political science, Mount Saint Mary’s University; president, City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women.
  • Ilissa Gold, president and founder, Miracle Mile Democrats.
  • Kyung Lah, senior national correspondent, CNN.
  • Sonya Logman, deputy secretary of business and consumer relations, California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency.
  • Alice Petrossian, PhD, president, L.A. County Commission for Women.
  • Naomi Seligman, co-founder, Tower26 strategic communications and public affairs agency; former communications director for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti.
  • Emily Williams, senior deputy of human services, child welfare and education, Office of L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Ready to Run: Sampling of Sessions:

  • Masterclass in politics
  • Building your political resume: serving as an appointed official
  • The campaign trail: a roadmap to winning
  • Conquering the media: advice from on-air pros
  • The art of political fundraising
  • Power of the PAC: endorsements that matter
  • The role of women in political parties: a bipartisan conversation

About Mount Saint Mary’s University
Mount Saint Mary’s is the only women’s university in Los Angeles and one of the most diverse in the nation. The University is known nationally for its research on gender equity, its innovative health and science programs, and its commitment to community service. As a leading liberal arts institution, Mount Saint Mary’s provides year-round, flexible and online programs at the undergraduate and graduate level. Weekend, evening and graduate programs are offered to both women and men. Mount alums are engaged, active, global citizens who use their knowledge and skills to better themselves, their communities and the world.

About the Center for the Advancement of Women
The Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University is a hub for gender equity research, advocacy and leadership development. Its vision is to find solutions to persistent gender inequities and work with partners to eradicate those inequities in our lifetime. That goal includes eliminating obstacles that women face in the workplace, in their communities, in the media and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls in California and our nation. The Center also creates public programming, research guides and training opportunities to engage more partners in its work.