VoteRunLead teaches women how to run for political office

- If 1992 was considered the year of the woman in politics, a local workshop aims to see a repeat in 2018.

The group VoteRunLead is holding its national training this weekend in Minneapolis. Women from 33 states are learning what it takes to run for office, with a focus on state and local posts.

“All politics is local,” said Erin Vilardi, founder of VoteRunLead. “The local level you also get to innovate, you're running with your neighbors and knocking on your neighbor’s door and telling them how much you want to help your own community.”

The workshop comes amid a flurry of allegations of sexual harassment and assault against women involved in politics across the country. Vilardi said the issue will be discussed in-depth during the weekend conference.

“We have a declaration that we hope everyone will sign, it's their choice, is that what will end sexual harassment in politics is more women in politics,” Vilardi said. “So we want them to run, we want them to have the tools and skills to figure out how to handle that and also making sure things are being reported, and also create a culture that allows for women's leadership.”

This year's keynote speaker is State Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minneapolis. She went through the VoteRunLead training just a few years ago and is part of a growing number of successful candidates to have done so.

The conference runs Friday through Sunday. 

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