May 10: The Women & Politics Institute, along with honored guest D.C. Councilmember-at-Large Christina Henderson, congratulated 23 women on the successful completion of the WeLead2022 campaign training program and fundraising challenge.
Apr 9: Gaining media attention and tracking is critical for an unknown or first-time candidate to be successful, so we reviewed how to work with local print media, the art of the soundbite, and earning media coverage for the candidate or her campaign in our final session of the program year. We also took professional headshots, which the class earned by exceeding its fundraising goal by more than 10%. Pictured is Danielle Casey #WeLead2022. Read More
Mar 5: Field expert Bailey Childers, consultant Rissa Martinez, and Neisha Blandin (pictured, center) shared dozens of strategies and examples of how to add capacity to a campaign via messaging, volunteers, endorsements, party support, and consultants. Childers made it real simple. "What does it take to win? 50%+1 vote!". Read More
Nov 6: The WeLead session on Campaigns covered the basics of developing a platform and consistent message, rallying support and building coalitions, and integrating digital marketing into more traditional advertising and mail strategies. The session wrapped with a view from 10,000 feet from veteran campaign managers Kristin Davison and Bettina Weiss. Pictured are Tracey Lewis, Davison, Weiss, and Jen Daulby. Read More
May 15: WPI conferred diplomas on 27 members of WeLead2021 on the campus of American University in Washington, D.C. Participants who joined the virtual program from outside the D.C. metropolitan area received their diplomas by mail.
Mar 18: Over 50 supporters of WeLead were inspired by the 'Powerful Women Championing Political Change' panel, including Mayor Ellen Kamei #WeLead2009, White House Advisor Carissa Smith #WeLead2019, Councilmember Leadra Craft, Honorable Delia Garcia, and Councilmember Christina Henderson. Advice from the panelists coalesced around the ideas of investing and believing in yourself, surrounding yourself with people you trust, and always remembering the importance of serving others.
Mar 6: WeLead's Campaign Management session covered pre-launch decisions and checklists to staffing the polls on Election Day - and everything in between. A panel of experts shared such quality advice that one WeLeader said she was "...more confident than ever about running for office." Following the panel, Catherine Algeri led a breakout session on Digital Marketing, and Keynote Speaker Selika Talbott stressed that a campaign platform should reflect "why and how government resources will work for your constituents. It is always about advocating for the voter." Read More
Jan 30: In WeLead's Fundraising session, expert practitioners Niccara Campbell, Micah Yousefi and Helen Milby shared best practices around outside fundraising support. Tips for successful women candidates include 1/ using more data with supporters and 2/ making sure to share updates, thank yous and free events, in addition to asking for support. In terms of a career in this space, all agreed that "fundraisers are usually the first hired and the last fired." Read More
Nov 14: In WeLead's Media & Messaging session, expert practitioners Antonia Ferrier and Melanie Newman shared best practices and pitfalls around candidate introductions, campaign communications, policy messaging and crisis response. According to Newman, at the highest level, communications is about education. "Being a smart news consumer, knowing the audience, and understanding policy will help a candidate and her team avoid mistakes and missteps." Read More
Oct 17: WeLead Expert Speakers Amanda Hunter and Lisa Montenegro explored the question of why there aren't more women in public office by looking at self. others, and trends in gender politics. Hunter shared research on women overcoming obstacles and getting elected, as well as on women leading effectivley in a crisis. Montenegro encouraged these emerging leaders to "Do the work to discover your authentic self. Then double down on your strengths. Identify and fix your fatal flaws. Ignore the rest." Read More
Sept 19: WeLead Expert Speaker Kate Black helped launch WeLead 2020-2021 with a broad overview of how, why and when to run for office. Black is the co-author of REPRESENT. With regard to the question of why, Black said women “tend to run to solve problems in their communities.” Black also answered questions about timing, authenticity, and double standards. Read More
Apr 18: The sixth and final session of WeLead2020 featured Capitol Hill veterans Amanda Fuchs Miller and Kathryn Lehman on Lobbying & Government Relations, followed by SBDigital Partner Sulli Norris-Cole and Vice President Zandria Haines on Grassroots Campaigning and GOTV. The experts shared strategic thinking about messaging and reaching voters, while also drilling down to tips about execution and pricing. Read More
Mar 7: This session featured leadership coach Lisa Montenegro explaining how the inner game (assumptions, judgments and feelings) shapes your ability to be effective in the outer game. Next, experts Molly Murphy, Kim Alfano, Julie Greene Collier. and Brin Frazier, shared lessons learned and best practices in core Campaign Elements. Read More
Nov 16: The Fundraising session began with long-time fundraiser and founder of The LS Group Lisa Spies, emphasizing generosity and curiosity over a more transactional approach, followed by panelists Liesl Hickey, Ali Lapp, China Dickerson and Betsy Fischer Martin who explained PACs, SuperPACS and Independent Expenditures. Read More
May 8: WPI graduated 28 members of WeLead2019 in the D.C. offices of MacAndrews & Forbes. WeLead alumnae, American University faculty, and representatives of Congress joined WeLead alumna Representative Lauren Underwood in congratulating and imploring the graduates to help close the gender gap in political leadership. The ceremony was followed by a reception, generously co-sponsored by MacAndrews & Forbes. Read More
Mar 23: Former ED of Emily's List Jess O'Connell and Neri Martinez of the RNCC explained the priorities and procedures of Candidate Recruitment from advocacy groups and committees, while Zandria Haines of Hustle introduced an extremely cost-effective campaign tool - direct voter outreach via texting. Read More
Nov 10: Expert practicioners Atima Omara of Omara Strategies Group, LLC and Cherisse Eatmon of Millennial Action Project spoke about the importance of grassroots organizing, and Amanda Fuchs Miller of Seventh Street Strategies and Jennifer Bell of Chamber Hill Strategies discussed the role of lobbying in politics. Read More
Oct 13: The WeLead special project on Fundraising was introduced at the October session. To help the teams develop strategies and meet fundraising goals, the class heard from professional coach Lisa Montenegro about branding, leadership and teamwork, and from Congressman Jesse Colvin's wife Jordan Colvin, Rhonda Foxx in Representative Alma Adams' office, Alexandra Raposa from Emily's List, and Megan Sowards of Jones Day. Read More
Sept 22: The WeLead Class of 2018-19 spent the first session learning about Communications & Messaging from media and press experts. Speakers included Lindsey Mask of Ladies America, Ilana Drimmer of NBC News/Meet the Press, Abby Livingston, Texas Tribune, Julia Manchester of The Hill, Antonia Ferrier in Senator Mitch McConnell's office, and Miranda Margowsky in Senator Debbie Stabenow's office. The session concluded with a social reception for students and alumnae. Read More