Instead of watching from our office, Running Start spent two weeks in July in Cleveland and Philadelphia during each party’s National Convention!

You can find even more photos in our Facebook album:

Cleveland, Ohio: Republican National Convention

Pathways to Power

DSC_0263 During the Republican National Convention (here’s Susannah on the importance of our presence there), we rocked out in Cleveland by holding Pathways to Power, a forum on women in politics, with All In Together, She Should Run (produced by The Atlantic).

Speakers included: Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn; Steve Clemons, Washington Editor at Large at The Atlantic, Laura Cox Kaplan, Principal-in-Charge of Government, Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy at PwC; Ohio State Representative Christina Hagan; Bettina Inclan, Senior Vice President at Mercury LLC; Ohio State Representative Sarah LaTourette; Lauren Leader-Chivee, Co-Founder and CEO at All In Together; Erin Loos Cutraro, Co-Founder and CEO at She Should Run; Barbara Palmer, Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Women and Politics of Ohio at Baldwin Wallace University; Kathleen Parker, Opinion Writer at The Washington Post; Glo Smith, Florida Congressional Candidate; Alex Wagner, Senior Editor at The Atlantic; Katie Walsh, Chief of Staff at the RNC; and Susannah Wellford, our very own President & Founder.



We also held an Elect Her-style training for young women,  cosponsored by Baldwin Wallace University, Cuyahoga Community College, and The Washington Center. Participants learned important political leadership skills, like making an elevator speech and figuring out their issues.

Inspiring Women Luncheon


The Inspiring Women Luncheon brought together many organizations working to bring more women to politics. It was a fantastic opportunity to make connections for potential collaborations and find inspiration to continue our important work.



Our VP, Melissa Richmond, also served as an Alternate Delegate to the Convention from Virginia. She had a behind-the-scenes view of what it’s like to be a delegate and how the formal party nomination process works. She also signed a National Federation of Republican Women bus!

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Democratic National Convention

Pathways to Power

DSC_0673In Philadelphia, we swung by Independence Hall and then held another Pathways to Power forum at Field House.

Speakers included: Silvia Aldana, Manager of Federal Affairs at PG&E; Molly Ball, Staff Writer at The Atlantic; Congressman Don Beyer; Muriel Bowser, Mayor of Washington, DC; Laura Cox Kaplan, Principal-in-Charge of Government, Regulatory Affairs and Public Policy at PwC; Congresswoman Debbie Dingell; Christian Herald, 8th Grade Elected Student Council Member; Sally Kohn, Columnist and Political Commentator at CNN; Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence; Lauren Leader-Chivee, Co-Founder and CEO at All In Together; Erin Loos Cutraro, Co-Founder and CEO at She Should Run; The Honorable Penny Pritzker; Sally Susman, Executive Vice President of Corporate Affairs at Pfizer; Erin Schrode, Social Entrepreneur; Alex Wagner, Senior Editor at The Atlantic; and our Founder & President, Susannah Wellford.

Inspiring Women Luncheon


At Philadelphia’s luncheon, we met with even more groups working to bring more women to politics and continued to learn more about how others are contributing to our shared goal.

Friedrich Ebert Foundation


We also participated in a panel organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation on international women in politics with Germany’s Secretary General of the Social Democratic Party, Katarina Barley; Vice President of Global Communications at The Atlantic, Emily Lenzner; New York State Assemblywoman Nily Rozic; and Co-Creator and Co-Founder of Project Mine the Gap, Jessica Grounds.

YIP Story Slam


Young Involved Philadelphia held a Story Slam where tshirt sales generously benefited Running Start. Aspiring orators practiced telling their personal political stories for fun prizes and Melissa gave a quick intro of Running Start.


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Along the way during these whirlwind weeks, we attended fascinating receptions and panels held by Politico, CNN, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, Twitter, Cosmopolitan Magazine, The Creative Coalition, and more!


Everywhere we went, we met people doing amazing work to bring more people to politics—Susannah wrote about some of these “political disrupters” and what we do to improve the political landscape here.



At the end of week two of our travels, we saw Hillary Clinton make history as the first woman to win the nomination of a major political party to run for President. Susannah wrote about what that moment means for how we imagine leadership here. We hope more young women than ever before will see this shattered glass ceiling and feel that they, too, can be political leaders.

You can find even more photos in our Facebook album: