By Kaitlyn Tyra
Wednesday began with our normal quick, yet nutritious breakfast before our morning session of classes began. Our first speaker, Rebecca Sive, is a lecturer and academic director at the University of Chicago where she teaches Women in Public Leadership. Ms. Sive is also the author of Every Day is Election Day: A Women’s guide to Winning Any Office, from the PTA to the White House. During Ms. Sive’s lecture, she stressed turning on our own internal GPS and creating our own paths. Essential to her discussion, she reinforced the fact that everyone has their own path in life. For some, that may be to public office, but sometimes it isn’t.
Ms. Sive’s discussed her six “easy” steps to run and win for office which provided helpful guidelines for NLT participants to think about. In addition, Ms. Sive was nice enough to sign copies of her books for everyone. Personally I found the session extremely helpful because it laid out concrete steps to help candidates run for office.
After Ms. Sive’s presentation, we paused for lunch. Unsurprisingly, lunch time is everyone’s favorite time of the day because it gives us the opportunities to continue our discussions about controversial topics, our common experiences as college students, and about our career goals.
Following lunch, we had the opportunity to work our political action project and prepare for the HB5 panel of experts. The panel consisted of experts from various perspectives concerning HB5. The distinguished panel included the current High School Director from Austin Independent School District…
…an attorney previously in the Texas Legislature who assisted in writing the bill for various House Representatives, a Texas Tribune Education Reporter, and an Educational Administration Professor from UT. Each provided a unique perspective and helped prepare NLT participants for our mock committee hearing on Friday by answering questions and addressing concerns on the specific details of HB5.
The last presentation of the day focused on managing your message as a candidate. Marjorie Clifton, CEO of Clifton Consulting, provided extremely helpful advice on effective communication and how to achieve it. She provided us with three key components to address while speaking: who is your audience? What is your message? How are you going to deliver it? Ms. Clifton noted that personal experience helps make you more credible and gives the candidate the opportunity to connect with voters. Ms. Clifton’s presentation was engaging and an upbeat way to end our sessions for the day.
The evening was devoted to dinner and finishing up our political action project. Tomorrow is an exciting day because we get to tour the capitol and meet with influential women within the Texas Legislature. In preparation of an eventful day, and mentally drained from learning an extensive amount knowledge in such a short time, we headed up to our rooms to end the evening.