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November 27, 2019

SVSU to host training for women interested in running for political office

In an effort to break down barriers to women’s political leadership, Saginaw Valley State University on Friday, Dec. 6 will host a free training session aimed at empowering women interested in public service or elected office.

Elect Her is a free, one-day, nonpartisan training for women on how to run for political office. The session will feature a panel of elected officials from the Great Lakes Bay Region including Bay City Mayor Kathleen Newsham and Saginaw Mayor Pro Tem Brenda Moore, as well as members of the business community such as Kelly Hall, Consumers Energy vice president and deputy general counsel.

The session will examine issues participants care about, train them on how to map out election support networks, and provide simulations that sharpen their skills on how best to build support among potential constituents.

The training is scheduled Dec. 6 from 12:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. in SVSU’s Gilbertson Hall, room GN 202. The training is open to the public.

“SVSU prides itself on empowering the next generation of community leaders,” said Donald J. Bachand, the university’s president. “We are excited to host Elect Her, and appreciate the support our community partners are providing to make this an experience that impacts women in our region.”

Among the organizations sponsoring Elect Her are Consumers Energy, Delta College and the YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region.

“We regularly encourage our students to become educated and informed about the political process, then to get involved and participate," said Jean Goodnow, Delta College’s president. “We hope that, by sponsoring this training, even more young people in our region will think about becoming an elected office holder.”

Moira Branigan, CEO of the YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region, said Elect Her was vital to supporting a diverse political electorate.

“Women are underrepresented in elected offices locally and nationally, and the way we change this trend is to encourage and educate women about how to run for office,” Branigan said. “We’re excited to be a part of Elect Her and to see more women on the ballot in 2020.”

Hall said she was looking forward to empowering tomorrow's female leaders.

“Consumers Energy is committed to Michigan’s prosperity, which is advanced by giving everyone equal opportunity to pursue elected leadership positions,” she said. “I’m excited, personally, to be part of Elect Her and to hear from some of the next generation of our state’s leaders.”

Elect Her was developed with the American Association of University Women. Since 2009, more than 300 Elect Her trainings have been hosted at 118 schools in 40 states and four countries for more than 9,500 college students.

The RSVP deadline for this free training is Friday, Nov. 29. Individuals can RSVP at

For more information about the event, contact John Kaczynski, SVSU director of governmental affairs, at 989-964-7481 or at