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About Ready to Run

Ready to Run a nonpartisan campaign training for women at Mount Saint Mary's University

“No amount of leaning in or marching will bring about the direct, substantive changes that put women on a path to equality like running for office and being elected to serve.”

-Jackie Filla, PhD, Mount Saint Mary’s associate professor, History and Political Science Dept. and organizer of Ready to Run.

Did You Know?

  • Only 22% of the California state legislature, those serving in the State Senate and in the Assembly, are women.
  • California has sent 41 women to Congress -- more than any other state.

Are you next? As the 6th largest economy in the world and the most populated state in the nation, it is even more important that Californians are represented by diverse voices like yours.

What is Ready to Run?

The Ready to Run® program is an annual nonpartisan campaign training for women hosted by Mount Saint Mary’s Center for the Advancement of Women. The program focuses on the election process and provides opportunities for women interested in politics to gain experience about the political process. Mount Saint Mary's University is the exclusive Southern California partner of Ready to Run with the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Why Participate in Ready to Run?

We need more women in public office. Research shows that women make government more transparent, inclusive and accessible. Women bring different priorities and experiences to public life, including perspectives that have been largely absent in public policymaking. Women change the way government works, and their voices are needed around the country.

This hands-on program offers the training women need to transition their career and prepare for the process of running for office. Through this one-day program, you will….

  • Learn how to prepare for a career in politics and/or positioning yourself or other female leaders for public leadership.
  • Discover tools on running for appointed or elected office and/or managing or supporting campaigns.
  • Gain access to political leaders and professionals who will share their expertise.
  • Connect with other dynamic, professional women.

Please join the mailing list (at right) and check back for more information about conference tracks, sessions and speakers*.

Ready to Run Success Stories

“Ready to Run is uniquely designed to give women the fundamental tools they need to start thinking about running for office while creating a setting that allows these likeminded women to find empowerment in each other. The program brings together current elected officials, candidates, and campaigners alike to create a cohesive dialogue about the importance of encouraging more women to run and electing more women to office.”

-Nanette Barragán, Congressional candidate, served as the first Latina ever elected to the Hermosa Beach City Council

“Ready to Run? While it may start off as a question, by the time you leave the stories, information, and resources shared will empower you to answer the call."

- Sonia Lopez, District Field Representative, Office of Senator Holly J. Mitchell, 30th State Senate District

“We know that when women run, they win at equal rates to men. But, too often, women’s percentages in the legislature match their percentages on ballots. So, changing these statistics are doable. We just need more women running.”

-Jackie Filla, PhD, Mount Saint Mary’s associate professor, History and Political Science Dept. and organizer of Ready to Run.

Program Cost

Public: *$100 / $110
MSMU Faculty, Staff & Alums: *$85 / $100
Non-MSMU Students: *$25 / $40
MSMU Students: Complimentary (does not include reception)
President’s Reception for MSMU students: $15
*Early Bird Registration will be available until March 26.

Don’t Forget to Ask!

Many companies have a budget set aside for employee development. Be sure to ask your company, boss, or mentor if they will underwrite the cost of your attendance at the conference.

Past Sponsors

  • Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet Los Angeles Province
  • California Community Foundation
  • City National Bank
  • Clifford Swan
  • KCRW
  • Locke Lord

Past Speakers

Kathryn Barger, Los Angeles County Supervisor
Barbara Boxer, U.S. Senator (ret.)
Mayor Aja Brown, City of Compton
Assemblymember Autumn Burke, California State Assembly, District 62
Yvonne B. Burke, Commissioner, California Transportation Commission; U.S Congresswoman (ret.)
Araceli Campos, Commissioner, Los Angeles Ethics Commission
Assemblymember Ling Ling Chang, California State Assembly, District 55
Assemblymember Cristina Garcia, California State Assembly, District 58
Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez, California State Assembly, District 80
Wendy Greuel, Former City Councilmember and Controller for the City of Los Angeles
Ana Guerrero, Chief of Staff, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
Karriann Farrell Hinds, Board of Directors, National Women’s Political Caucus LA
Former Mayor Lindsey Horvath, City of West Hollywood
Sheila Kuehl, Los Angeles County Supervisor
Senator Connie Leyva, California State Senate, District 20
Senator Carol Liu, California State Senate, District 25
Councilmember Karina Macias, City of Huntington Park
Councilmember Nury Martinez, City of Los Angeles, District 6
Assemblymember Melissa Melendez, California State Assembly, District 67
Senator Holly Mitchell, California State Senate, District 30
Rebecca Ninburg, VP, City of Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women
Celestine Palmer, President Emeritus and Founder, LAAAWPAC
Mona Pasquil, Appointments Secretary for California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr.
Robyn Ritter Simon, president, RRS Political Strategies and ran for LA City Council
in 2001 and 2009
Councilmember Monica Rodriguez, City of Los Angeles
Senator Loretta Weinberg, New Jersey State Senate, Majority Leader, District 37
Betty Yee, California State Controller
Val Zavala, VP, New and Public Affairs, KCET
and more...

About the Center for the Advancement of Women

Promoting gender equity through research, advocacy and leadership development.

The Center for the Advancement of Women at Mount Saint Mary’s University is a hub for gender equity research, advocacy and leadership development. Our vision is to find solutions to persistent gender inequities and work with partners to eradicate them in our lifetime. As a leading researcher on issues of gender equity in California, the Center produces original research, contributes to the national conversation on gender equity, and promotes solutions to reach gender parity. Our goal is to eliminate obstacles women face in the workplace, their communities, in the media and beyond to make a positive difference in the lives of women and girls in California and our nation.

To learn more about our Center for the Advancement of Women, contact Emerald Archer, PhD, director of the Center, at or 213.477.2544.

For more information about event sponsorship and partnership opportunities, contact Heather Schraeder, director of special events and public programs, at or 213.477.2761.

For media inquiries, contact Phillip Jordan, manager of communications and marketing, at or 213.477.2506.

*Those invited to present at the event as speakers and special guests are not asked to share their political views, rather to share their experience as high ranking elected officials or political professionals. We do not discuss political issues or specific legislation and MSMU does not endorse the political views of those asked to present.