By Brittany Rosso
NIAGARA UNIVERSTIY, N.Y.- On Saturday, March 24 the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier hosted their Institute for Public Leadership Workshop in the Russell J. Salvatore Dining commons. The day’s itinerary included speakers from women in our local community and politics, as well as presentations on how to run a campaign and what it is like to be a political candidate. Attendees had the opportunity to listen, network and converse with the speakers throughout the event and also received a 200 page source book with further information on political campaigns.
Niagara County Legislator Rebecca Wydysh lead the ceremony, giving the first speech on her experience as a candidate, advice and tips and what is involved in the process. Wydysh touched on several topics including how she got into politics, what is involved in campaigns and typical work days, what to consider before choosing to run for a position and how operate a successful campaign.
Niagara County Board of Elections Commissioners Lora Allen and Jennifer Sandonato continued the event with a presentation with information on how to become a candidate, voting, how to fill out a petition correctly and available political positions across the county.
After a light lunch break, the event resumed with a discussion panel moderated by Niagara University’s Dr. Jamie Pimlott. The distinguished panelists included City of Lockport Mayor Anne McCaffrey, NYS Assemblywoman Francine DelMonte, Niagara County District Attorney Caroline Wojtaszek and Lewiston-Porter School Board President Jodee Riordan.
During the panel discussion, each of the women had an opportunity to answer questions and share success stories. They also discussed what is important when holding political office and what the experience is like. The panelists also touched on how they feel they are responsible to represent women and younger women in our community in a powerful, strong way, and the importance of having women in politics to act as role models for the younger generations.
The event came to an end after hearing from retired Town of Lewiston Clerk Carol Brandon and NYS Parks and Recreation Marketing and Public Affairs Manager Angela Berti about managing finances and campaigns, effective marketing skills and how to best get your message to your audience as a candidate for public office.
This workshop was open to women of all ages and offered excellent leadership advice for all who attended. This event is a great way to network, learn leadership advice or gain political insight to campaigning and running for office.