Recently, our Media Director Vivian Chang, and our Media Intern YaYa Sun attended the Virginia EMILY’s List Run to Win training. AAAFund has partnered with EMILY’s List for a number of years; this training in particular focuses on helping pro-choice Democratic women prepare to run for elected office. According to our partner: “Run to Win is a national recruitment and training program focused on helping pro-choice Democratic women around the country run for office—and win. Since [their] founding in 1985, EMILY’s List has trained over 10,000 women to run and helped elect 116 women to the House, 23 to the Senate, 12 governors, and over 800 to state and local office.” Running for office allows people to directly impact decisions for their community, as well as providing a voice to communities.
Why Run for Office?
This training was “built on the idea that you don’t need a Ph.D. or years of political experience to get involved.” Run to Win equips women with resources to run for office from start to finish. For Sun, the training was inspiring for its encouragement of women to run, no matter their educational achievement or their past experiences. Seeing many women talk about how the election of Donald Trump inspired them to seek public office made her reflect on her own experiences in AAPI activism. Wanting to ignite change and understanding issues in one’s community is what it takes to run. Progressive women can ignite change. The training encouraged women who didn’t know where to start when thinking about public office; assisting folks to pursue local elections like school boards often provides a great start before running for higher office. The vast majority of attendees were already running or have intentions to run in the near future.
The Future of Public Service
Although women and minorities are still underrepresented in public office, the increase in diverse candidates this midterm season speaks to how important diversity is for public office. In particular, understanding intersectionality allows there to be overlap between different identities. Forty percent of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Diverse representation allows communities to speak up on their issues and their experiences.
If you are interested in learning more about EMILY’s List training or signing up for one in your area, go to:
This article was written by YaYa Sun, AAAF Media Intern.