Bipartisan program at The University of Texas at Austin trains women to run for office or manage a campaign
AUSTIN, TEXAS — In 2021, more women than ever before are serving in elected office, and Americans saw the first woman and first woman of color sworn in as vice president. However, women still make up less than 30% of elected officials nationwide, and only 26% of the state legislature in Texas. That's why the LBJ Women's Campaign School recently opened applications for its eight-month virtual program, which trains women to run for elected office or become campaign managers. The program takes place April – November.
This nonpartisan, issue-neutral program brings together top political experts from across the nation to lead an immersive training program on topics including media relations, public speaking, fundraising and more. Through a bipartisan approach to training, the future elected officials and political staff can build understanding across party lines to create a stronger democracy for all Americans.
"Kamala Harris said she may be the first, but she will not be the last," said Founder and Executive Director Amy Kroll. "At the LBJ Women's Campaign School we are making that vision a reality by equipping women with the skills and network needed to win."
"Kamala Harris said she may be the first, but she will not be the last. We are making that vision a reality by equipping women with the skills and network needed to win." —Amy Kroll, founder and executive director, LBJ Women's Campaign School
In January, the program graduated its first class of 50 women change-makers. These women are doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs, teachers, lawyers, community activists and veterans who are stepping up to lead in their communities during a time of national crisis. The bipartisan group of women joined the program from eight states and were majority women of color.
"Democracy works best when all voices are represented," said LBJ School Assistant Dean for Civic Engagement Victoria DeFrancesco Soto. "That's why the LBJ School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin is proud to be lifting up women in politics."
Kroll, a 2020 graduate of the LBJ School of Public Affairs, is working alongside a bipartisan advisory board of elected officials, political operatives, community leaders, fundraisers and former candidates who are using their expertise to help build the curriculum, recruit speakers and promote the program within their community. The advisory board includes:
- Secretary Esperanza "Hope" Andrade, 107th Secretary of State of Texas
- Nancy Bocskor, former director of the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at Texas Woman's University
- Liz Chadderdon, President, Chadderdon Lestingi Creative Strategies
- Dr. Erika Gonzalez, Chair, San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and CEO of STAAMP Allergy
- Jane Macon, Partner, Bracewell, LLC
- Mayor Nelda Martinez, former Mayor of Corpus Christi
- Justice Rebeca Martinez, Justice, Texas 4th Court of Appeals
- Mia Garza McCord, President of the Texas Conservative Coalition Research Institute
- Dr. Nan McRaven, trustee, Austin Community College
- Mayor Annise Parker, President and CEO of Victory Fund and former Mayor of Houston
- Phil Ritter, CEO, GreenLight VitalSign6
- Dasheika Ruffin, former senior advisor, Raphael Warnock for Senate
- Jenifer Sarver, Chair, Women's Public Leadership Network
- Doris Slay-Barber, trustee for the Texas Business and Professional Women's Foundation
- Amy Whited, Regional Director of State Government Relations, UCB and Founder of Pink Granite
- Terri Broussard Williams, Senior Policy Manager, Social Justice Lead, Amazon
The new program is sponsored by Women's Public Leadership Network; Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at Texas Woman's University; and the Texas Business and Professional Women's Foundation.
Applications are open now and will close on March 15. To apply, visit lbjwcs.org.