Rising Stars 2020

Rising Stars: Educating Asian American Women for Politics

CRising Stars participantsAWP, together with a steering committee of Asian American women leaders, sponsors Rising Stars: Educating Asian American Women for Politics, a preconference session of the Ready to Run® Campaign Training for Women. Rising Stars participants attend a half-day session that targets issues of particular interest to Asian American women running for political office.  Rising Stars participants then attend Ready to Run® to learn about the nuts and bolts of working on a campaign. Ready to Run® offers a unique opportunity for potential women candidates to hear directly from prominent elected and appointed leaders, campaign consultants, and party officials about how to get Ready to Run. Topics covered include fundraising, navigating the political parties, working with the media, and developing a campaign plan.  

Register here!

2020 Agenda
Rising Stars Steering Committee
More details about Ready to Run® here

Rising Stars/Ready to Run® 2020 Agenda

(Check back regularly for updates; full Ready to Run® agenda with additional speaker details available here.) 

Friday, March 20, 2020

11:00 am

Registration Opens

Noon - 1:30 pm

Welcome and Opening Keynote

1:45 - 4:00 pm

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. 

4:15 pm

Ready to Run® Welcome and Opening Remarks

4:30 - 6:00 pm

Plenary Session: 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 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
 Tara Dowdell Group

6:00 pm

Networking Reception

Saturday, March 21, 2020

7:30 am

Registration Opens

8:15 – 9:45 am

Plenary Session: What Women Candidates Need to Know

 Cate Gormley
 Vice President
 Lake Research Partners

10:00 am – Noon

Track 1: 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.

10:00 am – Noon

Track 2: Finding Your Political Voice and Influence
This session, designed for those who are not ready to run but want to have some 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.

Gail Gordon (moderator); Azra Baig, former Board of Education member, South Brunswick; T. Missy Balmir, CEO, Thorough Planning; Amanda De Palma, Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations, Saker ShopRites, Inc.; Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, New Jersey Legislature

Noon – 2:15 pm

Plenary Session: Find the Message, Be the Messenger: Strategic Campaign Communications
This interactive media training workshop will include tips for successful interviews on tough topics, how to looks poised and professional on camera, staying on message, and public speaking techniques. Selected participants will take part in mock interviews and on-camera practice sessions.

 Nell Callahan
 Frontwood Strategies

2:30 – 3:45 pm

Track 1: Navigating New Jersey’s Political Parties As a Potential Candidate
The session will highlight 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.

Freeholder Angela Garretson, Union County; County Clerk Hanlon, Monmouth County; Arlene Quiñones Perez, Chair, Hunterdon County Democratic Committee; Candace L. Straight, Former Co-Chair, New Jersey Republican State Committee; Senator Loretta Weinberg, Majority Leader, New Jersey Senate

2:30 – 3:45 pm

Track 2: 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.

Jeanette Hoffman, President, Marathon Public Affairs; Jeannine LaRue, Senior Vice President, Kaufman Zita Group

4:00 – 5:30 pm

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”.

 Nancy Bocskor
 Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy
 Texas Woman's University


(Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.)
Rising Stars Steering Committee

Azra Baig
Member, South Brunswick Board of Education

Cecilia Xie Birge
Former Mayor, Montgomery Township

Zainab Chaudary

Jannie Chung
Councilwoman, Borough of Closter

Ludi Hughes
President and Founder, Asian American Chamber of Commerce

S. Nadia Hussain
Co-Founder, Bangladeshi American Women's Development Initiative

Tina Liu Jen
Morris County Human Relations Commission and 80-20 Initiative of New Jersey

Khyati Y. Joshi
Fairleigh Dickinson University and ISAAW

Uyen "Winn" Khuong
Executive Director, Action Together New Jersey

Thuy Anh Le
Former Member, Hillsborough Township Board of Education

Toral Patel
Board Member, Inspiring South Asian American Women (ISAAW)

Cheryl Quinio-Blodgett
Filipino American Political Action Committee

Sapana Shah
Former Councilwoman, Township of Edison

Jean Trujillo
Member, Hillsborough Township Board of Education


Contact Pooja Prabhakaran at (848) 932-8566 or pprabha@eagleton.rutgers.edu