A path to participation: Iron Range Civic Engagement Forum coming up on Saturday

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Three powerhouse organizations–100 Rural Women, Revive Virginia, and Vote Run Lead, will hold a civic engagement forum with representatives from local government and elected officials before the 2024 elections to increase civic engagement and women’s political representation.

The Iron Range Civic Engagement Forum takes place on Saturday, May 20th, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Iron Trail Motors Event Center. The event is open to the public and free to attend.

The event aims to increase participation on local boards, commissions, and to encourage those interested to run for public office.

As Teresa Kittridge of 100 Rural Women shared, “At 100 Rural Women, we know demystifying paths to leadership and raising awareness of opportunities to serve will broaden representation and strengthen our democracy.”

Volunteering and participation in these activities have declined for years, but the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has reduced participation at an even greater rate. The event will allow members of the community to meet with local leaders and hear about their experiences and provide a roadmap on how they can become involved.

“During the height of the pandemic, many of us had to prioritize our time, but we also decided now is the time to rebuild leadership in our communities,” “said Beth Peterson of Vote Run Lead.” We believe that each of us — everyday folks — have all the life experiences, skills, and knowledge we need to lead. The Civic Engagement Forum is the next step, offering tools that will help us participate in boards and commissions and even run for elected office.”

The schedule for the event is as follows:

●     1:00 – 1:45 PM Panel with Local Board and Commission Members

●     1:45 – 2:15 PM A Roadmap to Joining Boards and Commissions

●     2:15 – 3:00 PM Panel Discussion with Local Elected Officials

●     3:00 – 3:45 PM Steps to Grow Your Political Know-how and Network

●     3:45 – 4:00 PM Action Step Planning

There is also a networking event at the Lyric Center in Virginia at 7pm on Saturday.

The co-facilitators for the event are Beth Peterson of Vote Run Lead and Teresa Kittridge of 100 Rural Women.