Inspiring candidates to run for office at Creating Change

Last weekend, Victory Institute conducted a workshop at Creating Change titled “Representation Matters: Running for Office as an Openly LGBTQ Candidate.” The session – led by Sheila E. Isong, Director of Domestic Programs and Ana Flores, Domestic Programs Manager – consisted of a teaser Candidate & Campaign Training and a question and answer session with Pennsylvania State Representative Brian Sims.
The workshop gave participants the preliminary tools they need to ask themselves the right questions about whether to seek elected office. It covered the basics on how to develop a messaging, fundraising and voter contact strategy – and how to run as an openly LGBTQ candidate. Rep. Sims then shared with the group his political journey and how Victory Institute’s Candidate & Campaign Training helped him improve his chances of successfully running for office as an openly gay man. Currently, Rep. Sims serves as Pennsylvania’s only openly LGBTQ state legislator and he’s a fierce advocate for the entire LGBTQ community.
The session was very well attended (standing room only) and garnered the attention of a diverse group of participants – college students, non-profit leaders, Democrats and Republicans. Everyone was there with one goal – to learn what it takes to run for office. A few people even told the crowd they plan to run in the next cycle. We encouraged anyone who was serious about running for office to attend Victory Institute’s four-day Candidate & Campaign Training to take their skills to the next level.
It’s incumbent upon us to advocate on behalf of our community and be at the table when LGBTQ rights are being discussed. Victory Institute is excited to play an integral role in development of the LGBTQ community’s future advocates. We’re thrilled so many LGBTQ people at Creating Change were interested in running for office and we hope they will take the next step and equip themselves with the tools they need to run, and most importantly, win.Onward to Victory!