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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Women Come Together To Learn The Ropes Of Running For Office

"VOTE" By Flickr User Theresa Thompson / (CC X 2.0)

U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos and State Rep. Litesa Wallace are guiding women on everything from making campaign buttons to creating yard signs and explaining different political office positions.

Participants will learn skills like forming a committee and making a press release, according to Barb Verni-Lau, a Rockford resident who helped organize the event.

She’s joining efforts with Bustos and Wallace, both Democrats, to guide women who are interested in the political field but don’t know where to begin.

Verni-Lau says the event is meant to bring people together to solve problems.

“It’s not a Democrat and Republican issue," she said. "It’s how can we make our community better, how can we make the state better, and what can we do at the federal level.”

She says people don’t have to immediately pursue a state-level position but can start at a smaller scale like library boards or township positions.

Verni-Lau says she also hopes to reach young people in high school or fresh out of college thinking about running for an elected office.

“There’s the library board, there’s township ... You know, the feeling that you have to start at the state level, like a state rep? No. You can start at any level," she said.

The workshop will be from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Katie’s Cup, 502 7th St., in Rockford.