2016 Ready to Run® New Jersey

Douglass Student Center
100 George Street
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ

Registration fee is $199 through Feb.12, 2016 or $250 after February 12. Fee includes meals and all conference materials.


R2R 2016

Friday, March 18, 2016
Diversity Initiative Programs
8:00 am Registration opens
8:30 am – 9:45 am   Welcome and Opening Keynote 
Welcome: Debbie Walsh, Director, Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)
10:00 am – 12:00 pm Diversity Initiative Programs
Elección Latina, Run Sister Run, Rising Stars
Ready to Run®

12:15 pm – 1:45 pm

Welcome and Lunch Plenary Session: What Women Candidates Need to Know
Welcome: Debbie Walsh, Director, Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP)
Speaker: Celinda Lake, Lake Research Partners







Track 1: I’m Ready to Run, Now What?
Track 2: I’m Not Ready to Run Yet, But


2:00 pm – 4:00 pm    

 Track 1: Launching Your Campaign
This session provides an overview of the key elements of a campaign, including assessing and establishing oneself as a candidate, developing a campaign plan, structuring a campaign organization, and voter contact. 

Presenter: Michael DuHaime, Mercury.

2:00 pm – 4:00 pm  Track 2:  Political Parties, Appointments, and Advocacy – Tools and Tips for Getting Started
This session, designed for those who are not ready to run but want to have an impact on important issues, offers an overview of the “nuts and bolts” of government and political parties in the state. Topics covered will include positioning oneself for appointment to a public board or commission, getting active in a political party, and using effective advocacy techniques. The first half of the panel will address how to become active in the political parties. The second section of the panel will cover positioning oneself for appointment to a public board or commission and learning how to be an advocate on legislative issues.

 Part 1: New Jersey Government and Political Parties – An Overview
Part 2: Appointments and Advocacy – Tools and Tips for Getting Started
4:15 pm – 6:00 pm     Plenary: Fundraising for Success
Fundraising is one of the most crucial aspects of a campaign. This interactive workshop covers key components of campaign fundraising, including special emphasis on understanding why people give and the in-person “ask.” The session will also address developing a strategy for your campaign, building a donor list, recruiting and motivating a finance committee, and special events.
6:00 pm Networking Reception
















Saturday, March 19, 2016
8:00 am   Registration Opens   
8:15 am – 8:30 am     Welcome Back: Jean Sinzdak, Associate Director, Center for American Women and Politics
8:30 am – 9:15 am  Keynote: My Story on the Campaign Trail
9:30 am –11:30 am  Track 1: Navigating New Jersey’s Political Parties As a Potential Candidate
The session will highlight the power dynamics of party organizations, building relationships with party operatives and gaining the party’s support, and will address how to respond when the party organization is not supportive.
9:30 am – 11:30 am 

Track 2:Political Campaign Careers for Women
This session, designed for those who are not ready to run but want to work and volunteer on campaigns, offers an overview of the opportunities of getting involved in campaigns at every level and offer advice on how to build on those experiences.

11:30 – 1:45 pm

Plenary Session: Conquering the Camera – An Interactive Media Training
This interactive media training workshop will include tips for successful interviews on tough topics, how to look poised and professional on camera, staying on message, and public speaking techniques. Selected participants will take part in mock interviews and on-camera practice sessions.

Presenter: Christine Jahnke, President, Positive Communications

2:00 – 3:30 pm


Plenary Session: Internet Strategies for Candidates, Campaigns and Advocate
Internet outreach is a key aspect of today’s political and advocacy campaigns. Online tools including blogs, social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and other online organizing and communications resources are increasingly important for getting campaign messages out to a broad audience of potential voters or stakeholders. This session will provide an overview of best practices and offer practical tips on how to get started or enhance your online presence.

Presenter: Francesca Dulce Larson, Mosaic Strategies

Directions to the Douglass Campus Center can be found here.

Nearby Accommodations:  Please note that this list is provided for informational purposes only. All participants are responsible for their own lodging reservations. Please check with the hotel for current rates.

Rutgers University Inn, New Brunswick

The Heldrich, New Brunswick

Hyatt Regency, New Brunswick

Hampton Inn, North Brunswick

Holiday Inn Express, East Brunswick

Interested in becoming an exhibitor? Download the form here

We rely solely on grants and donations to provide scholarship funding to program participants. At this time a small number of scholarships are available. To apply, please download and complete the application form here.

For more information, contact Jean Sinzdak at 848-932-8781 or by email at sinzdak@eagleton.rutgers.edu.


"[Ready to Run®] is extremely encouraging and gives participants the necessary tools to run campaigns in an informative and fun manner." – Ready to Run® 2015 participant

"New Jersey and the United States need more female leadership. I attended Ready to Run® before I ran for the legislature. It's a great way to learn about the nuts and bolts of politics and things that you may not know about when you're starting out like fundraising, grassroots organizing, or who you get to volunteer on your campaign. All of those questions will be answered from some of the state's premier women leaders."—Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande, Legislative District 11(NJ)

“I found Ready to Run to be inspirational. It was encouraging to see other women who are mothers, wives, grandmothers, caregivers—all kinds of women—prepared to run for office. – Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter, Legislative District 35 (NJ)

What participants are saying about our Diversity Initative Programs....

  • "[Run Sister Run] was very inspiring and made the run for office attainable. You convinced me to run!"
  •  “Elección Latina was so insightful and provided very practical advice.  It encouraged and enlivened in me the desire to become more involved.”
  • “This is an excellent platform for Asian American women to learn about public appointed positions, non-profit work, politics, and running.  It was a worthwhile experience!”