Pikes Peak Women, a group that's been leading the discussion on local, state and national issues in the region since 2011, is taking up the issue of getting women more involved in running for public office.
The organization held the first of three skills-building workshops — called Run, Girl, Run — Tuesday night. The session engaged women already serving in elected office with about 45 others who might aspire to do the same.
A second event is being planning for Oct. 28 at the Pikes Peaks Area Council of Government office at 14 South Seventh St. in Colorado Springs. Those interested in taking part should contact the organizers at PikesPeakwmn@gmail.com.
Details of a third are still being formulated based on response and questions that arise from the first two.
Former El County Commissioner Sallie Clark, a former president of the National Association of Counties, led Tuesday night's forum with a presentation on the rich history of women in Colorado government.
Though El Paso County has a lot of Republican women, the effort to bring more women into politics is nonpartisan said one of the organizers, Karole Campbell.
Tuesday night was "definitely people of multiple stripes," she told Colorado Politics.
The training focuses on what a prospective candidate might need to understand, the relationships they'll need to cultivate and the obstacles they'll have to overcome to reach office.
“We believe it’s important to provide women both the encouragement and inspiration to run, as well as the hands-on nuts and bolts of running a campaign,” Campbell said in a statement.
“The progression of events will dig deeper into the actual structure of running a political campaign. We are so excited to help launch the next generation of female elected leadership through this series.”
Among those helping women in the first go around were El Paso County commissioners Cami Bremer and Holly Williams, Colorado Springs City Council members Yolanda Avila and Jill Gaebler, state Reps. Terri Carver and Lois Landgraf, School District 11 Board members Julie Ott and Elaine Naleski, Green Mountain Falls Mayor Jane Newberry, former Manitou Springs mayors Marcy Morrison and Nicole Nicoletta, former Colorado Springs Mayor Mary Lou Makepeace, and former Colorado Springs City Council members Jan Martin and Brandy Williams.
“Women need to be asked and encouraged to run,” Makepeace said in a statement. “Women don’t necessarily see the pathway without support from the community and from mentors who provide insight and experience.”
Learn more about Pikes Peak Women by clicking here.