2023 Ready to Run® New Jersey

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Douglass Student Center
100 George Street
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
United States

Agenda/Schedule

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Session(s)

Welcome and Opening Keynote

Debbie Walsh
Director, Center for American Women and Politics
M. Teresa Ruiz
Senate Majority Leader, New Jersey State Senate

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Session(s)

ELLA Wins (Elections & Leadership Latina Academy)

Latinas Make a Difference
The session features a roundtable discussion about the importance of having more Latinas engaged in politics and public life, including as elected or appointed officials, lobbyists, and party leaders. Topics covered include:

  • why participants should be involved in politics in some way
  • the experience of running for and serving in elected office
  • how to be involved politically besides running for office, particularly in campaign leadership
  • using community leadership positions, such as appointments to non-profit or government boards, as a way to advocate for issues and gain leadership experience

Learn more about ELLA Wins. 

Rising Stars: Educating Asian American Women for Politics 

Roundtable: Serving Your Community
This roundtable features women in the Asian American community who have been involved in public leadership in various ways, including elected or appointed officials, campaign workers, and non-profit leaders. Topics covered include: the experience of running for and serving in elected office; how to be involved politically besides running for office and why participants should be involved in politics in some way; and using community leadership positions, such as appointments to non-profit or government boards, as a way to advocate for issues and gain leadership experience.

Learn more about Rising Stars. 

Run Sister Run: Women of the African Diaspora Changing the Political Landscape

Sister to Sister – Advice from the Experts
Real advice from the real experts – women who have done it themselves. Panelists will provide insights and advice on important topics for current or future public officials, including use of technology, ethics, practical tips for getting and staying informed on policy issues, personal finances, image and presentation, and dealing with sexism.

Learn more about Run Sister Run. 

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Session(s)

Plenary: Digital Strategies for Candidates, Campaigns and Advocates

Digital outreach is a key aspect of today’s political and advocacy campaigns. Online tools including blogs, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other online organizing and communications resources are increasingly important for getting campaign messages out to a broad audience of potential voters or stakeholders. This session will provide an overview of best practices and offer practical tips on how to get started or enhance your online presence. 

Tara Dowdell
President, Tara Dowdell Group

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Session(s)

Plenary: Strategic Campaign Communications

This session will provide practical tips for preparing yourself to run for office, including developing a unique and persuasive message and improving your digital presence.  We will also cover tips for communicating on-camera, connecting through virtual platforms, and adjusting to an evolving news environment.

Julie Roginsky
Political Consultant & Co-founder, Lift Our Voices

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Session(s)

Track 1 Session: Launching Your Campaign 

This session provides 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.

Eva Pusateri
President & Founder, Expert Communications and Training, Inc.

Track 2 Session: Finding Your Political Power - Elected or Not

This session, designed for those who are not ready to run but want to have an impact on important issues, offers an overview of the “nuts and bolts” of government and political parties in the state. Topics covered will include positioning oneself for appointment to a public board or commission and getting active in a political party.

Ginger Gold Schnitzer
Executive Director, Guarini Institute for Government and Leadership, Saint Peter's University
Rebecca Williams
Commissioner, Union County

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Session(s)

Luncheon Keynote Panel 

The 2021 election heralded a historic moment for the state when the three first Asian American women were elected to the New Jersey legislature. In a  keynote discussion moderated by Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter, Assemblywomen Shama Haider and Sadaf Jaffer will discuss this historic moment, why they chose to run, the importance of having diverse voices at the policymaking table, and what this means for women in New Jersey moving forward.

Shavonda Sumter
Member, New Jersey General Assembly
Sadaf Jaffer
Member, New Jersey General Assembly
Shama Haider
Member, New Jersey General Assembly

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Session(s)

Track 1 Session: Navigating New Jersey’s Political Parties for Candidates

The session highlights the power dynamics of party organizations, building relationships with party operatives and gaining the party’s support, and will address how to respond when the party organization is not supportive.

Angela Garretson
Commissioner, Union County
Christine Hanlon
Clerk, Monmouth County
Arlene Quiñones Perez
Equity Partner, DeCotiis, FitzPatrick, Cole & Giblin, LLP
Stacy Schuster
Executive Director, Women for a Stronger New Jersey

Track 2 Session: Legislative Advocacy 

This session is designed for those who are not ready to run but want to have an impact on important issues. Legislative advocacy is working with individual lawmakers and lawmaking bodies to gain support for your cause or initiative. Learn how to organize a legislative advocacy campaign, including gathering allies, creating a campaign structure, building a communication network, and cultivating media relationships.

Laura Matos
Partner, MAD Global Strategy
Jeanette Hoffman
President, Marathon Public Affairs
Jeannine Frisby LaRue
Senior Vice President, The Zita Group
Sabeen Masih
Senior Vice President, Capital Impact Group

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Session(s)

Plenary: Fundraising for Success

Fundraising is one of the most crucial aspects of a campaign. This interactive workshop covers key components of campaign fundraising, including special emphasis on understanding why people give and the in-person “ask.” The session will also address developing a strategy for your campaign, building a donor list, recruiting and motivating a finance committee, and special events.

Kimberly Peeler-Allen
Political Fundraising Expert and CAWP Visiting Practitioner