Campaign Her keynote speaker encourages UVU women to pursue political office
Reading Time: 2 minutes Local women in politics visit UVU campus to educate students about the importance of running for office and making their voices heard.
Elect Women Utah teamed up with UVUSA to create Campaign Her, an event on campus where students could come and learn about running for office and interact with local politicians.
Becky Edwards, the keynote speaker, served on Utah’s House of Representatives for ten years starting in 2008. She has since run for the U.S. Senate and remains involved in Utah politics. Edwards gave a speech imploring the women in attendance to get involved with local elections, and even consider the possibility of running for office one day.
As of 2022, Utah is ranked forty-two out of the fifty states in terms of women’s political empowerment. According to Utah State University’s Utah Women and Leadership Project report, Utah has never had any women senators; additionally, only 20% of Statewide executive offices seats are held by women and 26% of state legislators are women.
Elect Women Utah was founded by Sarah Brinton in 2019 with the goal to persuade women who have never imagined running for office to reconsider. “We want to help close the gap between the huge number of qualified women in Utah who could run for office and the currently too-small number of women who are willing to run for office,” Brinton states.
Mickelle Newkirk is the Parliamentarian on the Executive Council UVU and worked with Elect Women Utah to organize this event. “I think UVU has a lot of opportunities to practice politics and I think there’s a lot of resources that we have here to network,” Newkirk says. “I feel very supported by faculty, staff, and my peers at UVUSA as well. [UVU] have done a great job making sure that it is known that I have a voice just like everyone else.”
After Edwards’ speech, three different breakout rooms were available for participants to attend. A panel on ethical campaigning was moderated by 16-year-old Alexa Dadson with three panelists, Alisa Allred Mercer, Chloe Roblyer, and Ashley Heaton who are all involved with local politics and Elect Women Utah. Next door, a second breakout room was led by Matt and Rachel Armstrong. And finally, a legislation simulation was run by Sarah Brinton.
The night concluded with a second panel, Conversations with Political Powerhouses. Three Bountiful city council members, Millie Segura, Bahr Kate Bradshaw, and Cecilee Price-Huish, were asked thoughtful questions by Sarah Brinton, who moderated the forum.
For more information regarding Utah women in politics or hosting an event, contact Elect Women Utah at 801-508-4085 or [email protected].