Honored for service, advice for women candidates

On an evening when she was honored for her public service,  Becky Lourey offered advice for new women leaders seeking office. She was recognized along with former Minneapolis Mayor  Sharon Sayles Belton and Elizabeth Kupchella, who is emerging as leading campaign talent for the House DFL caucus.

A Night to Honor Women Leaders was sponsored by the DFL House Caucus Sept. 15, 2016 in Minneapolis. The honorees were encouraged to answer five questions regarding their early political influences, and offering advice to women who are seeking leadership roles in Minnesota public service.

Becky focused most closely on looking to the future, offering advice for achieving success based on her extensive experience.  After losing two close general election races for the Minnesota House in the 1980s, she was elected to the House three times from 1990-94, and defeated a 26-year state Senate incumbent in 1996. She served three terms spanning 10 years in the Senate.

At the event where Becky was honored, she praised the Women Candidate Development Coalition as a key resource for recruiting and preparing women in Minnesota to run for office.  She pointed to other important offices besides the legislature or Congress that are worthwhile on their own, or as stepping stones to higher office. "Not enough women are mayors, city council members, county commissioners, county attorneys, soil & water district representatives, or sheriffs."

Becky offered some common-sense ideas on how to get started that were particularly well received by the women attending event, and state party leaders who reviewed the comments.  "You know what you care about - pick several issues that grab you and start or join groups that work on those issues. Volunteer for non-profits that help your cause move forward, or apply for jobs in those areas," Becky said. 

Research indicates that campaign divisiveness tends to discourage women from seeking elected office. Becky has consistently addressed that concern and insisted on civility throughout her career. 

"Get to know all sides of an issue, understand both those who support and oppose your goals.  Listen to those who oppose and think a lot about their opposition - put yourself in their place. Then see how you can incorporate some of their ideas into yours still moving in the right direction for your cause.  If there is no common ground, agree to disagree respectfully."