Organizers of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics' Ready to Run program are touting a record number of participants attending this year's workshops.
Now in its 10th year, Ready to Run is a campaign training program designed to encourage women to run for elective office, position themselves for appointive office, work on a campaign or become involved in public life as leaders in their respective communities.

More than 100 participants attended the first two workshops, held in February at Iowa State University, and 83 percent of those surveyed afterward said they planned to run for elected office in the future, according to a news release on the Catt Center's workshop. When the program launched in 2007, a total of 45 women attended the workshops.

The first workshop of the February session, "Getting Started in Iowa Politics," opened with Dianne Bystrom, director of the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women and Politics, who provided an overview of women's current political status in Iowa in elected and appointed office. Her remarks were followed by a panel discussion focused on serving on state, county and local boards and commissions in Iowa. The panelists discussed the importance of more women serving on these boards, the different application processes and what it is like to serve.

The February session concluded with a panel on "Women's Campaign Experience," during which presenters gave a behind-the-scenes look at what it is really like to run for office.

The next two Ready to Run Iowa workshops will be held on March 31 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames. Registration is open online, and seats are limited. 

Ready to Run Iowa will conclude on April 28 with the final two workshops: "Communicating With Voters" and "Winning Internet Strategies." Registration will open on March 31.