How Women Marching on Washington Can Learn to Run for Office

January 9, 2017, 12:00 PM UTC
A woman looks on as she takes part in a protest against President-elect Donald Trump in front of Trump Tower in New York on November 10, 2016. / AFP / KENA BETANCUR (Photo credit should read KENA BETANCUR/AFP/Getty Images)

EMILY’s List, the political action committee dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women, is seizing on the upcoming Women’s March on Washington to do more than just protest. On Friday, the group announced that it will offer march attendees a training designed to teach them to run for office.

Organizers of the march, which is scheduled for Jan. 21—the day after Donald Trump’s inauguration—are expecting up to 200,000 attendees for what is likely to be the biggest protest of the weekend.

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The Getting Ready to Run training will take place the following day, Jan. 22. It is designed to “give potential first-time candidates the tools they need to launch a successful campaign,” according to the EMILY’s List website, and is being conducted in partnership with related groups such as the Latino Victory Fund and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute.

The workshop can accommodate 500 women and will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in downtown Washington, D.C., though the exact location has not yet been announced. The organization is offering spots on a first-come, first-served basis to people who sign up on the PAC’s website.

“We are thrilled to partner with national progressive allies to train our future women leaders,” said EMILY’s List president Stephanie Schriock in a statement. “Women are watching the Trump presidency and Congress, and we’re going to be ready from day one to stand up against the GOP’s dangerous agenda. That starts with marching and continues with recruiting and electing more Democratic women to offices across the country.”

The 2016 election was something of a wash for women in electoral politics. The 115th Congress, which convened for the first time on Tuesday, includes 21 women in the Senate and 83 women in the House. In the previous congressional session, there were 20 women in the Senate and 84 in the House. Meanwhile, women lost ground in governorships, falling from six to five, and Hillary Clinton, while becoming the first-ever woman to win the presidential nomination from one of the major parties, failed to crack what she famously termed the “highest, hardest glass ceiling.”

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