It was a pleasure to attend the first part of 9to5’s Leadership Development Series on August 29, 2015. Before the training, I worked alongside other 9to5 members during the 2014 elections to phone bank. I also attended legislator meetings with 9to5 members at the state capitol and Atlanta City Hall.
I came to the workshop in order to garner the skills needed to become a Thought Leader in a community organization. I had heard through word of mouth that 9to5 training sessions are great. I also learned that 9to5 is strongly led by its members. For example, the Ban the Box campaign came from women within the organization who were discriminated against in the first round of the hiring process because of a past conviction. In 2013, Atlanta became the first city in Georgia to Ban the Box, and in 2015 Gov. Deal made it effective statewide. Now that’s something to brag about!
What I took away from the workshop was wealth of information in campaign planning and holding politicians accountable – specifically as it related to lobbying. At the end of the training session, we had a Congressional Letter Party (haha- I made that up but it sounds fun, right?) This entailed all of us (by choice) writing a letter to Senator Isakson regarding the Healthy Families Act. This is a 9to5 campaign for a national standard mandating paid sick days by allowing one to earn one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours of work.
The workshop was, of course, packed with a room full of women who shared their experiences and plans for running for office. I plan to attend the next training sessions in September, October, and November.
(in photo above)