Project Elect: Women in Public Service is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization launching today with the primary goal of supporting women members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as they seek public office. Recognizing that the experiences and perspectives of women of faith are not being adequately represented in local, state, and national politics, Project Elect will recruit and encourage women Latter-day Saints as they campaign for and participate in public service.
Project Elect is unique in its focus on developing political candidates from among the deep bench of Latter-day Saint women qualified for public service. Project Elect is a nonpartisan organization and will help women across the political spectrum.
Project Elect’s Mission
Project Elect believes that having more Latter-day Saint women run for office will help solve our nation’s most intransigent problems. “Most women members of the Church already know about their communities’ problems and have ideas on how to solve them,” said Audrey Perry Martin, Founder and CEO of Project Elect. “Women Latter-day Saints have deep networks and the experience and skills they need to be incredible elected officials. They really are ideal candidates; they just might need a push to recognize that fact.”
Among the many organizations helping women run for political office, Project Elect is uniquely poised to address the barriers that prevent Latter-day Saints women from seeing themselves as eligible for public office. These barriers can include time-intensive Church and community volunteer roles, demanding family obligations, and unexamined assumptions about what makes someone “qualified” to run for office. Project Elect seeks to gather women of the Church to, first, educate members about the importance of women’s involvement in public service; second, encourage and recruit each other to run for public office; and third, support each other in campaigning for and participating in public service.
Project Elect’s Programs
Project Elect is launching several programs today to accomplish its mission:
A mentorship program where experienced campaigners can connect with women who are considering a run for office. Speaking of the power of mentorship, Rachelle Price, an elected School Board Trustee in Rocklin, California, said, “While running my first campaign I made a phone call to a mentor who had fundraising experience. This conversation and her advice was a complete game changer for me and gave me the confidence to fundraise. I no longer felt overwhelmed as she gave me some ideas and helped me develop a plan. Her confidence seemed to rub off onto me. I will forever be grateful!” https://projectelectwomen.org/mentor/
Candidate recruiting tools, including a form that allows individuals to send to a woman they know a digital certificate that, first, identifies the skills that that woman has developed while serving in the Church; and, second, “declares” her qualified to run for public office. In this way, people can easily reach out and encourage the women Latter-day Saints they know to run for office. https://projectelectwomen.org/certificate/