RED BANK, NJ - On April 29, 2011, 60 students from 12 area high schools will come together at Monmouth Regional High School to participate in a program designed to encourage them to become leaders in their communities and beyond. The students will interact with – and learn from – nineteen women who currently serve in elective office or who provide executive support for elected officials.  This year marks the fifth anniversary since Running and Winning, was initiated by the Greater Red Bank Area League of Women Voters (GRBA-LWV) in 2007. Each year the League of Women Voters has been joined by three other sponsors, the AAUW –Northern Monmouth County Branch, the Junior League of Monmouth County and the Red Bank Chapter of Hadassah in planning and executing the day long workshop (from 8 am to 1:45 pm.)

Running and Winning introduces high school junior girls to the political process by providing them with access to women who currently serve as elected officials. During the day-long event, student participants have an opportunity to interview the women in government and to learn directly from their experiences. Following these interviews the students are guided by trained facilitators in a mock campaign exercise where they assume the roles of candidate, campaign manager, legislative aide or publicist. The day culminates with a presentation by each candidate to the full group of participants. Because a free press is essential in a democracy, this year the program has been expanded to include four student journalists who will cover the day for their communities.

Running and Winning seeks to encourage student participants to consider how public policy affects the lives of individuals and communities and to consider public service and political participation as goals in their adult lives, according to Co-Chairs Bobbie Goldstein of the GRBA LWV and Marian Wattenbarger of AAUW. The co-chairs stated that the participation of women leaders is essential in reaching these goals and they were pleased to note that the following officials are participating this year: Joy Bastelli, Long Branch Councilwoman; State Senator Jennifer Beck; Stephanie Brannagan, Little Silver Bd. Of Ed.; Pamela Brightbill, Middletown Deputy Mayor; Lillian G. Burry, Monmouth Co. Freeholder Director; State Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande; Wilda Diaz, Perth Amboy Mayor; Nancyanne Fama, Tinton Falls Councilwoman; M. Claire French, Monmouth Co. Clerk; Janice Fuller, US Congressman Pallone’s District Director; Eileen Higgins, Director Monmouth Co. Div. Of Employment and Training; Sharon Lee, Red Bank Councilwoman; Anna Little, Highlands Mayor; Amy A. Mallet, Monmouth Co. Freeholder; Randi Marder, Marlboro Town Council President; Teri O’Connor, Monmouth Co. Administrator; Rosemarie Peters, Monmouth Co. Surrogate; Amy Quinn, Vice Chair of Monmouth Co. Democrats; Michelle Roth, Manalapan Township Committeewoman.      

Participating schools are Henry Hudson High School, Keyport High School, Long Branch High School, Middletown High School North and South, Monmouth Regional High School, Red Bank Regional High School, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School, Academy of Allied Health and Science, Biotechnology High School, Communications High School, and Marine Academy of Science and Technology.