VoteRunLead is featured in Redbook's November issue in a four-page spread featuring inspiring stories, powerful tips, and easy ways you can get involved right now!
VoteRunLead alum Ihan Omar won her primary for Minnesota's State House. She is poised to become the nation's first Somali-American legislator.
We need more elected Latinas! 25,000,000 Latinas live in the United States. Of the 8,236 seats in state and national political office, only 109 are held by Latinas. This must change. Get the facts, understand the barriers, and learn about unique opportunities.
Hi! I am Lorrie Janatopoulos, and I ran for St. Louis County Commissioner in 2010 and for Minnesota State Representative in 2012. And, although I have been involved in electoral politics since eleventh grade – always helping other candidates – I never thought that I would actually run for office myself.
I said all those things to myself that so many women do – I didn't think that I was qualified enough, I worried about what would come out about me in the press and I always thought that there was a better candidate. The truth is that running for office was one of the best things that I have done in my life and I wish that I had run earlier than I did. VoteRunLead helped me realize that I was the best candidate. I realized that I shouldn't be asking why me, I should be asking why not me?
My lived experience and my beliefs and views are ones that aren't represented often by men. I have started nonprofits, served on numerous boards and worked in the trenches for women's, children's and LGBT justice for over three decades. A survivor of domestic violence, I went back to school and graduated college at the age of 40, summa cum laude. I worked for St. Louis County Commissioner Liz Prebich for nearly a decade and knew the job inside and out. Vote, Run, Lead gave me the tools and confidence I needed to realize that not only could I run, I should run.
Now, I didn't win either time and although that matters because I would love being an elected official and I would be good at it, the experience was invaluable regardless. I met such great people, I learned so very much and I learned a whole lot about myself. I also learned that my voice matters and I was able to make public those things I believe in. Your voice matters, too. And you should run for office – we need you!