It doesn’t matter if you jog, speed-walk or sprint, Vineyard Mayor Julie Fullmer and other prominent elected women around the state are asking others to just run — for office, that is.
From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Vineyard Grove Park, 350 N. 100 East, Fullmer is inviting all interested women throughout the state to join her for a Utah Women Run event. It is free and attendees can register to win a trip to Washington, D.C.
The idea is for women to help women learn why they should run, how to run for office, what they have to do and where they can go for help.
Fullmer said it’s about giving back by showing up.
“The power of people is how we can get things done in our communities,” Fullmer said. “Stand up and show up for what you want to see happen. Invest time to meet with these people and gain opportunities from these connections.”
One panel on how to run for office will include Aimee Winder Newton, Salt Lake County Commission; Amelia Powers Gardner, Utah County Commission; Dianna Anderson, Pleasant Grove City Council; Dawn Ramsey, South Jordan mayor; Carolyn Gonot, UTA executive director; and Tawnee McCay, Riverton City Council and candidate for Utah state treasurer.
Fullmer said she wants women to run toward leadership. Provo Mayor Michelle Kaufusi will also be there to give some of her insights into running for office.
According to Fullmer, Project Elect, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with the primary goal of supporting women members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they seek public office, heard about the event and reached out to help support it.
Many of those helping with the event have been ask to share some of the things they have learned in their leadership journey.
In a recent interview, Kaufusi noted that she was often asked by women why they should run for office — particularly in Utah, since so many of them had been taught to be home nurturing their children.
“What we really need is someone who gets pushed to the front, humbly, and can take the bows and arrows that come with an office,” Kaufusi said.
“We need women who can lead out with confidence where they can,” Kaufusi added.
Bev Uipi, a member of the Millcreek City Council who will be speaking, said she believes women should not let others’ perceptions of them define who they are.
“Never let others’ shame and judgement of your shortfalls or failures define your worth, your ability to forgive others and yourself, and your lessons that are now woven into you authentic makeup. Be you,” Uipi said.
At the Utah Women Run event, there will be breakout networking opportunities and lessons on how to take away stress through yoga and meditation. Professional headshots will also be provided.
“Real women win real elections by focusing on their strengths, which can take many different forms,” said Beth Holbrook, Utah Transit Authority trustee. “You never know where the next great leader will be from, but you know she will have multiple layers just like an onion and each can bring tremendous value to our communities.”
Holbrook noted that this is where thinking “outside the box” is most valuable.
“Remember that there isn’t any one way to be a leader — there is your way and what you bring to this table,” Holbrook said.
Fullmer said she expects there will be more events like this one throughout the year and into the future. Fullmer is running for a second term as the mayor of Vineyard.