Lincoln will be guest speaker

Wednesday, January 2, 2002

On Jan. 12 women from all over Arkansas will gather in Jonesboro to hear important information concerning their role in the political process. "Ready to Run: A Seminar for Arkansas Women in Politics" is being presented by the Craighead County Democratic Women in the hopes of inspiring more females to seek elective office.

The highlight of the day's events will be a luncheon with U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln serving as special guest speaker. As one of Arkansas' most successful female politicians, Lincoln will offer her special insights on what it takes for a woman to engage in a bid for office in the state.

The seminar, to be held at the Holiday Inn of Jonesboro, will also feature informative panel discussions before the luncheon on issues such as fundraising, organizing a campaign and the role of women in Arkansas politics. The afternoon sessions will offer even more valuable information from Arkansas State Treasurer Jimmie Lou Fisher and Secretary of State Sharon Priest.

According to Carol Johnson, president of the Craighead County Democratic Women, the seminar was organized with all women in mind. "We hope to have people attend who may run for everything from governor to city councilwoman," Johnson explained. "Even women who never plan to run for office can find out how to help other women in politics by attending this seminar."

Since its inception, the event has gained enormous positive support, even outside Arkansas. In an open letter to the Democratic women of Arkansas, former Texas Governor Ann Richards expressed her enthusiasm for "Ready to Run."

"As many of you know, I have always been a strong proponent of greater accessibility for women in public office on all levels," Richards stated. "Given the current political atmosphere in the country, I believe it is more important than ever to encourage Democratic women to take an active role in government."

Richards continued by noting the need for all women to commit to the cause of women in politics. "Although many of you may not be considering a bid for office yourselves, I urge you to attend this seminar if only to find out how you can help minimize the huge gender inequities in virtually all of our nation's elected positions," she explained. "Please plan to attend on Jan. 12 and help women achieve a greater voice in Arkansas politics."

The seminar will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Holiday Inn of Jonesboro, 3006 Caraway Road. The cost for the event, which includes the luncheon, is $25. Persons wishing to register may send their name, address, phone number and registration fee to the Craighead County Democratic Women, 256 CR 755, Jonesboro, Ark. 72401 or fax their information to (870) 933-4519. For additional information, interested persons may contact Carol Johnson at 933-4560 or Tracey Yates at (870) 486-9972.

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