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News

If you have been at any one of the countless presentations that League of Our Own has given around the state, you have probably heard us mention The Policy Circle. The Policy Circle is a non-partisan, non-profit 501(c)3, grassroots organization committed to advancing women’s leadership through expanding knowledge of the impact of public policy on their world. Policy Circles are book club style meetings where women get together to learn more about public policy issues and how they feel about them. I am a circle leader for the League of Our Own Circle. Our specific focus is on helping League of Our Own members learn more about the issues that they will be hearing about in their communities.

It wasn’t until I started working at League of Our Own that I learned about The Policy Circle. In August of 2017 I was invited to attend the 2nd Annual Policy Circle Leadership Summit in Chicago. I had no idea what to expect. That year, there were less than 100 attendees. They divided us up into tables to spend the day listening to speakers and engaging with our tablemates on various public policy and leadership training exercises. It was incredible. I met women from all over the country who are making real, positive impacts on their communities and our world doing things in their own unique ways. I left feeling energized and focused on my work. After all, helping women find their voice on public policy issues has a clear intersection with running for office, which is what we do here at the League.

In 2018, I again attended the Leadership Summit. There were more than 300 attendees, the venue was much larger and the Speakers were just as impressive. The movement had grown tremendously in those 12 short months. I left again feeling energized, impassioned, and humbled by the amazing women I was able to meet, listen to, and network with.

In November, our friends at The Policy Circle are hosting their Fourth Annual Leadership Summit and we want to make sure you know about it! In our connected world, the dynamics of how citizens interact with the government is changing rapidly. The non-stop dissemination of information (or misinformation) is of critical importance to shaping policy and the debates that surround the most pressing issues of the day. The positive of this connectivity is innovation in everything from healthcare to home life, retail to manufacturing. 

The Leadership Summit will explore myriad aspects of connectivity and feature thought-leaders including:

  • JoAnna Garcia Sohovich, CEO of Chamberlain Group, recipient of the Enterprise CxO of the year awarded at the  Internet of Things Conference 2019.
  • Ambassador Nancy Brinker, Founder, Susan G. Komen For the Cure and Former Ambassador to Hungary
  • Cindy Gula, Co-Founder of Tenacle Network Security
  • Admiral Michael Rogers, Former Commander of the United States Cyber Command and former Director of the National Security Agency
  • Seema Verma Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 
  • Denise Morrison, Former CEO of Campbell Soup
  • Sylvie Légère, Co-Founder, President The Policy Circle

Once again, members of the League of Our Own team will be attending the summit and we hope you will join us. I promise, you will leave feeling empowered, inspired and emboldened to make a difference in your world.

Be sure to register for this exciting one-day event before spots fill up!

 


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We sat down with League of Our Own Coach, Edith Jorge recently to catch up with her team and learn more about her background.

Check it out below!

LOOO: What is your background and what do you do for the League?

EJ: I’ve been a political operative for over 10 years, specializing in national strategy, managing campaigns and strategic mobilization. Because of my personal background, I’ve had the privilege to learn different forms of engagement specific to targeted coalition groups, and in doing so, have worked on campaigns that have set record breaking elections.

I coach coalition building for the League.

LOOO: What do you think is the biggest issue facing women interested in politics?

EJ: Confidence. I think that women need to be more confident that they can get the job done, even if they have no idea what it may entail. One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from a mentor who told me, “you gotta fake it till you make it” – referring to me walking into a room and commanding it, regardless of whether or not I felt qualified to be there. Whenever I catch myself second guessing whether or not I am qualified or ready for a new project, I remind myself – I won’t know the answer unless I put myself out there first and at least try.

LOOO: What is your favorite campaign memory?

EJ: One of my favorite campaign memories is sitting in the war room on election night in 2014, waiting for the results of the NM Governor’s re-election race, seeing the numbers trail and realizing we had just make history. Not only did we win by an overwhelming majority, but we won back the state house for the first time since 1952. It was one of the best feelings in the world! As you can imagine, there was quite a bit of celebrating that happened that night.

LOOO: What are you reading or listening to via podcast?

EJ: Not specific to women in politics, but an interesting history lesson on the influence of the Bacardi family and business on the search for democracy and capitalism in Cuba, I’m currently ready ‘Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba: The Biography of a Cause.’

LOOO: Who is your favorite baseball team?

EJ: I’m not a huge baseball fan (I promise, I still love America!), but being from North NJ, I have to go with either the Yankees or the Mets. If they are playing each other, then Mets, since I’m a fan of an underdog story.

LOOO: What do you do for fun?

EJ: I love the outdoors, so for fun I tend to hike, fish and find any reason to be outside.

Thanks for chatting with us, Edith!

Learn more from Edith by signing up for Home Base!


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We sat down with League of Our Own Coach, Eva M. Pusateri recently to catch up with her team and learn more about her background.

Check it out below!

 

LOOO: What is your background?

Eva: I started out as a campaign volunteer, and over the years worked my way up to manager. Next, I moved to Washington DC to serve as a campaign consultant providing campaign general strategy, and paid and earned communications to include tv, radio, mail. Been winning campaigns for over 30 years and have also been providing training and coaching to candidates, specializing with women candidates. For the League, I have provided three training sessions on:

  1. Is running for office for you?
  2. Branding
  3. Delivering your message

 

LOOO: Biggest issue facing women interested in politics?

Eva: For women “interested” in politics, as opposed to already in politics, I think we suffer the “tiara effect”. This means we think doing the work is enough and someone will reward us with the ultimate job/elected position. It doesn’t happen that way, instead it requires women to be able to promote themselves, stand tall doing it and fight for what they want.

 

LOOO: What is your favorite campaign memory?

Eva: There are lots of fun and interesting memories, including winning the campaign the first time I served as a campaign manager when everyone was positive my candidate was going to lose. Lesson learned: Keep fighting to fight because it ain’t over, until it’s over!

 

LOOO: What are you reading or listening to via podcast?

Eva: I switch back and forth from “To Live and Die in LA” (off topic) to more applicable topics of leadership speeches on TedTalks with a little “She Said, She Said” which talks with and promotes GOP women.

 

LOOO: What is your favorite baseball team?

Eva: The Cubs!

 

LOOO: What do you do for fun?

Eva: Watch/listen to political talk shows. Travel, enjoy Chicago’s lakefront (in the summer of course) and outdoor concerts!

Thanks for chatting with us, Eva!

Learn more from Eva by signing up for Home Base!


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There’s a misconception that men govern better than women. I’d like to change one word in that sentence. Men govern differently than women. During my time at the Michigan Legislature, I gained first-hand experience working with both men and women and there is a difference between the two genders. But, nothing that one gender governs better than the other.

 

What I do know is everyone can get in a room and talk about ideas and big picture items, but when it comes to taking those ideas and creating a plan to execute, women have the advantage. Women are organized, detail-oriented and we follow through. I’ve attended countless planning meetings with women who are elected to office. During these meetings we come up with a plan and execute that plan. They bring in idea-makers and experts to deliberate and implement the plan. Men, women, republican, democratic, conservative or liberal, those adjectives are left at the door because when it comes to solving problems and implementing real change, it takes a village.

 

Pew Research Center recently released a study about the gender gap and party gap in regard to female leadership and women running for higher office. “Women are better at being compassionate and empathetic (61%), working out compromises (42%), and serving as a role model for children (41%).” However, we still have characteristic disadvantages when it comes to running for office, including men “being assertive, being decisive, being ambitious and showing emotions.”

 

Showing emotion? I don’t know about you, but I have no problem showing emotion. In the past I’ve been told by men that I’m “too emotional.” Somehow our positive attributes of being compassionate and empathetic aren’t translating into emotion with voters. That’s something we continue to battle even as more women are elected to higher office.

 

In 2018, there were more women on the ballot in Michigan than ever before. It’s not about the party you’re running to represent. It’s about women having a seat at the table and impacting real change. The days of letting someone else make the decisions for us are over. My experience has been that women are not only more open to collaborating, but willing to work across the aisle to do make change happen. It’s not always about who gets the PA (public act) but instilling real change in Michigan that affects our children, seniors and everyone in between. When women are elected to office, we don’t just work for the people who voted for us, we work for everyone.

 

Now’s the time to get involved and make a difference. I got involved with politics more than ten years ago by chance and haven’t looked back since.

-Nicole Hankwitz


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As a woman, I have friends that are women. Sure, I don’t know all the women in the world, but I do know several of them – and we talk, a lot. We talk about our day-to-day lives, relationships, careers, interests and so much more. Yet when it comes to talking about life’s next adventure, or a step in an unknown direction, there is a considerable amount of apprehension – among most of my female friends.

 

Why is it that as a woman we are so afraid of failing?

 

At the League, we talk about this a lot. More specifically, we talk about why women put up artificial barriers to running for an elected office. To them, these barriers are very real; however, from an outsider looking in, the barriers do not even exist.

 

I think it’s safe to say those barriers are created out of fear and apprehension. Fear of the unknown. Fear of failing.

 

Yes, it’s true that campaigns are hard. Campaigns are all-encompassing, time consuming, dragging-on-your-feet hard-work. To be successful, a candidate must know a lot about many different issues. As a candidate, you are bound to get questions on very important local, state, and federal public policy issues. You are also likely to get questions on several obscure local, state, and federal public policy issues. When questions like this arise, it’s important you know how to think on your feet and not question every move you are scheduled to make. You must be bold, knowledgeable, well-spoken, confident, sharp, passionate, convincing, put-together, and sure of yourself. All the while managing additional stress, a household, and your personal and professional life balance.

 

Doesn’t that sound like fun? Or perhaps this is where your fear kicks in.

 

That’s why the League is so valuable. We are here to take the fear out of the process. With lessons on time management, public policy issues, campaign organization, fundraising – and more – our goal is to familiarize prospects with the process to make running for office seem less scary.

 

The truth is that your voice is valuable. Your life experiences and input on public policy will make a difference. We don’t guarantee that you will come out at the end without bumps and bruises. However, we do know that nobody expects perfection. And nobody expects you to know it all. Campaigns are an art and a science, which is why we have dozens of coaches from around the state – and country – with decades of experience willing to teach and mentor you. We are confident that with these coaches and their insights, and the network we are building, you will be better off than those who are not part of the League.

 

So, embrace that apprehension and fear. Channel your energy all the way to our website: www.leagueofourown.org where you can sign up. Let’s get YOUR name on the ballot.

 

-Kristin Fair, Training and Mentoring Manager, League of Our Own


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Just because a candidate committee has been granted a Reporting Waiver, it does not mean the candidate committee is completely released from all obligations to report. Certain actions during the course of the campaign can revoke the waiver automatically and it is up to the candidate committee to recognize that these triggers have occurred and file the required disclosures.

In Michigan, a Candidate Committee that does not expect to receive or expend more than $1000 in an election cycle can ask for a reporting waiver which relieves them of the requirement to file financial disclosures either quarterly, or pre or post election. If the candidate raises or expends more than $1000 during an Election Cycle the candidate must report. The Election Cycle is calculated from the first day after the last election to the date of the upcoming election for an office. The candidate committee will need to go back to the last report where expenditures were made under $1000 or receipts came in under a $1000 and bring the report current, but the report can be the current report due dated back to the last report filed.

THIS IS CRITICAL FOR CANDIDATES TO REMEMBER: The date that the expenditure or receipt occurs is the date that the committee loses its waiver.  There are no letters or emails from the Bureau of Elections, the requirement just begins.

One type of expenditure that is a frequent source of confusion is when the candidate uses his or her own funds to purchase items or services during the campaign. The candidate’s own funds count toward the $1000 threshold. So, charges made to a credit card, for example, are considered receipts to the campaign–In-Kind– and must be reported. (Note:  Charges to a credit card over the threshold must also be reported as 48-hour late contribution reports!)

Once an election cycle is complete, following the General Election, Candidate Committees of Judicial candidates who are successful in their election are automatically granted the Reporting Waiver and the Statement of Organization for this successful judicial committee does not need to be amended to obtain the waiver. It is good practice to check with the Bureau that they have actually awarded the waiver to the committee though, before assuming the Bureau has granted it.

Although the waiver allows the Candidate Committee not to have to file pre or post election reports, quarterly or annual reports, it does not waive the need to update a Statement of Organization with correct information, file 48-hour late contribution reports, or waive the requirement to keep detailed records.

After an election, any debt on the books of a candidate committee that exceeds $1000 will automatically result in the denial of a reporting waiver. Lastly it should be noted that a reporting waiver cannot be granted retroactively to avoid paying fines for failure to report, much to the dismay of many candidates–especially those who have lost their race and now find raising any campaign funds next to impossible.

Questions regarding whether your candidate or PAC is compliant or need assistance with your filings? Contact us today.

– Jean Kordenbrock, Entrepreneur, CEO, Attorney, Athlete

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I have said it before, and I will say it again: Women make up 51% of the population but come nowhere near that when it comes to political representation. Gender parity is important. It is important for our legislative bodies to look like our sidewalks and diversity in our public officials means diversity in the life experiences of those public officials. There is no question that doesn’t lead to better public policy.

 

Because more women need to run, we created League of Our Own. If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you have seen the articles. Women are underrepresented and as women, we know that women approach running for office differently. Not only do they need to be asked more than men, but they need to feel supported. They need confidence and credentials. League of Our Own is taking a comprehensive approach to getting women involved in the political process. We are providing them training, support, mentorship, and a COMMUNITY. The League if made up of volunteers who serve as:

 

Fans: the heart and soul of the League. Fans are the backbone of every campaign operation-they support candidates by hosting meet and greets, going door to door, and volunteering on campaigns.

 

Scouts: are the boots on the ground. They are active in their communities and know what qualities a good candidate possesses. They attend community functions often and meet knew people regularly. This is why they are the best resource at finding new talent. They are regularly meeting potential prospects.

 

Prospects: are what this is all about. Talented women who want to run for office, now or in the future. From local office all the way to federal, the League is here to support these prospects.

 

Coaches: are the best and brightest minds in their field and they share in our belief that getting more women elected is important. That’s why they have agreed to coach or prospects and mentor them as they go through the campaign.

 

By working together, our network is going to get more women involved and elected.

 

Here is how it works: we recruit scouts around the state to find prospects. The scouts invite the prospect to join the League. Ideally, this happens long before a woman is ready to put her name on the ballot. Then, we meet with the prospect and learn more about what is driving them to run and what their experience is. After this assessment we pair them up with coaches and curriculum to help them where they think they most need it. Our system allows them to learn and grow in a safe, supportive community over the long term. It is truly the first of its kind.

 

Confidence, credentials, coaching, community, curriculum.

 

Welcome to League of Our Own. Sign up at www.leagueofourown.org an follow us on Facebook and Twitter @ourownleague

 

-Kristin Fair, Training and Mentoring Manager, League of Our Own


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When you are a woman, every day can be a fight. We fight to keep our home lives and work lives balanced. We fight for respect in the workplace. But most importantly we fight for better lives for our families. It is these struggles that define who we are and that is why it is so important that we have women fighting in the political arena.

 

Like most public officials, it was my family and the deep love I have for this nation that got me into public service. I have had the great privilege of campaigning across Michigan, and I am always astounded by the strength of our people. No matter if times are good or bad–we find a way to come together and get the job done. We are the hardest working people in the world and it is vital that we have people in office who will work just as hard for them. Hopefully, we have more woman like me and you who consider running.

 

My experience as a woman has helped me to bring a unique perspective to each of the roles I have been elected to. A perspective that has allowed me to accomplish many great things for my constituents. I am especially proud of the fact that I was able to bring a whole new perspective to the house appropriations committee where I served as its first female chairperson.

 

I now have the great honor to serve as the Chairman of the Michigan Republican Party. I am thankful to stand on the shoulders of the great woman who have come before me. Women like Ronna Romney McDaniel, Betsey DeVos, and Susy Avery. Like these phenomenal republican women, It is my sincere hope that I will be able to use my position as Michigan Republican Party Chair to be a resource for other women that want to serve. If you are thinking about running, and believe in conservative values please contact us. You can make a difference in our state and I highly encourage you to get active. Becoming part of “A league of our own” is a great start!


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