The Campaign School is running a session next month to help women run for public office or manage a campaign.

By Chris Rhatigan, Patch Staff

NEW LONDON, CT — The Campaign School at Yale is running a low-cost campaign training class next month. "The Basics" provides an overview on how to run for office, manage a campaign, or become an active participant in the public sphere.

The session is intended to encourage women to run for office in Southeastern Connecticut and is sponsored by the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.

Currently, women hold 37.4 percent of seats in the Connecticut state legislature.

"Women traditionally have not had the same opportunities as their male counterparts in politics," The Campaign School Executive Director Patricia Russo said in an interview. "Often, men are better connected in their communities, and actively involved in their political parties. As a result, when an opening becomes available, the usual 'go to' is a man. Thankfully, we are moving, toward more women running and winning. The Campaign School at Yale offers critical training and ongoing mentoring and coaching for women to achieve this reality."

The Campaign School is party- and issue-neutral and trains members of all parties together to foster understanding and collaboration.

Russo said that women "bring their life experience to any run" which makes them effective candidates for public office because they are so relatable.

"Women come to the business of politics — and it IS a business — for different reasons," she said. "They are more able to check their egos at the door to serve the greater good. They run for office because they want to make improvements in their communities, in their states or countries. Our training provides the ability to launch themselves politically with the knowledge and competency to be confident in next steps in the political process."

The school counts political figures at the local, state, and national levels as alums. This includes U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-3) and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) as well as local figures like Stamford Mayor Caroline Simmons and Westport First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker.

In the half-day session, participants will learn speaking techniques, effective networking skills, and receive insights and inspiration from school alums.

Register here for The Campaign School at Yale’s The Basics session. The session is also appropriate for young people just getting interested in public and political life. College and high school students are welcome.

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut has underwritten the cost of the session, a $250 value, so the cost to attendees is $25. Scholarships are available. The session will be April 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in New London.

The exact location will be provided upon registration. The deadline to register is April 11.