Hundreds of offices from Town Board, to County Legislature, to City Councils, mayors, and supervisors will be elected across rural New York in 2017. In an effort to increase the pool of qualified candidates, on Saturday, Jan. 14 from 1 to 6 p.m., at the Radisson Hotel in Corning, New York, the Democratic Women of the Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes (DWSTFL), in cooperation with the Democratic Rural Conference of New York State (DRCNYS), are co-sponsoring a unique training opportunity for local residents contemplating elective office and/or seeking to support someone who may be considering such a run.

“For the past year and beyond, millions of Americans have become consumed with various campaigns and disillusioned by the results. This is because individually, as well as collectively, we feel compelled to become civically engaged and one of the most important ways we can fight back and bring about much needed positive change at the local level is by running for elective office,” explained Margherita Rossi, President of the Democratic Women of the Southern Tier and the Finger Lakes.

“No election can take away our voice, unless we let it,” added Leslie Danks Burke, 2016 candidate for State Senate (NY SD 58), Founder/Past DWSTFL President, and organizer of the training event.

“Often, there are many obstacles, such as money and time, and fear of the unknown that hold people back from running or becoming involved in the political process. Yet, if one knows what to expect and is realistically prepared, it removes most of the mystery, making it less intimidating and more attainable,” stated Danks Burkes.

Democratic Women of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes

The training, featuring speakers Danks Burke, Marci Daniels, Vice President and General Manager of WETM (NBC affiliate in Elmira-Corning), and Denise King, New York State political expert, past Director of Eleanor’s Legacy, and past Chair of the Democratic Rural Conference, will enable attendees to learn strategies for organizing and conducting field outreach, approaches to fundraising and network building, and insight on working with the media to best communicate candidate and campaign messages.

This training experience is available for only $30. A special fee of $50 is being offered for new and returning members, which covers the cost of the training and a one-year membership to DWSTFL.

To register for the conference or the conference with membership option, visit (scholarships available). “The primary purpose of a democracy is for citizens to have a voice in government. However, democracy only works if citizens are involved so while we recognize that many are reluctant to step outside of their comfort zone, nothing will change until we do. Both the DWSTFL and the DRCNYS are confident that our training will enlighten many and encourage others to take the plunge,” concluded Rossi.

The Democratic Women of the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes is an independent, grassroots organization dedicated to bringing more Democratic women into the political process from the 14 neighboring counties. The Democratic Rural Conference of New York State’s mission is to support upstate rural New York and elect Democratic candidates at all levels of government through uniting as a single force from individual counties.