Grand Valley student Aubrey McMahan won't graduate until next year, but she's laying the groundwork already for a possible political career.
McMahan, from White Lake, will be among the attendees at a workshop hosted by Grand Valley’s Women’s Center that prepares women to run for political office.
Ready to Run Michigan is set for Saturday, April 21, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., in the Kirkhof Center on GVSU’s Allendale Campus. Cost to attend is $125; some scholarships are available. Visit www.gvsu.edu/women_cen for details or call (616) 331-2748.
Ready to Run is a national, bipartisan program that targets states with low numbers of women serving in elected office. In the Michigan legislature, four women serve in the Senate (out of 38 seats) and 27 serve in the state House (out of 110 seats).
McMahan is an international relations major. She attended the Michigan Republican Leadership Conference on Mackinac Island in September and said she was amazed at how much preparation and fundraising are involved in campaigning.
“I do think about running for office at some point and I thought this workshop would be a little taste of how to get started,” McMahan said.
The keynote speaker for Ready to Run Michigan will be Shirley Franklin, the first African American woman elected mayor of Atlanta. Franklin served as mayor from 2002-2010.
Former state Sen. Patty Birkholz will serve as a panelist for one of the breakout sessions, “Politics 101: What Would I Run For? What Would I Run As?” Birkholz served two terms in the Michigan Senate and three terms in the House. She now serves as director of the Office of the Great Lakes.
Ready to Run Michigan is supported with funding from Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Michigan ACE Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education, SMG Strategies, Meijer and Cascade Engineering.