See Jane Run is a grassroots organization co-founded by Rothesay Councillor Tiffany Mackay French, Grand Bay-Westfield mayor Brittany Merrifield, and former election campaign communications director Katie Bowden.
The organization was founded in early 2021 and aims to encourage women and gender- and sexually-diverse individuals to run in the future municipal elections in New Brunswick.
“The White Paper on Local Government Reform has started the ball rolling for a November 2022 municipal election, and we’re excited to announce that See Jane Run will be there for female candidates no matter where they live in the province,” Bowden said in a press release on November 26.
Mackay French and Mayor Merrifield successfully ran a “campaign college” which included support on a private Facebook group for candidates and their campaign managers to collaborate.
“There is no party system at the municipal level, so candidates are on their own,” Mackay French said in the press release. “See Jane Run fills that void, building a non-partisan community of support around our candidate group, helping them navigate the election process, ask questions in a safe space, tackle challenges together, and understand how to be successful at the job they’re running for.”
See Jane Run is in the process of becoming a non-profit organization and intends on fundraising in the future to ensure the accessibility of campaign college materials in both French and English.
The 2021 municipal election saw an increase in the number of women who offered their candidacy and many of them were successful in winning their election contests.
“The 2022 election means we don’t have to wait another four years before taking another step toward [seeing diversity in our communities], so we will be continuing to encourage black, Indigenous, people of colour, and gender diverse folks to offer as candidates and join our group,” Bowden said. “Ensuring there is a wide variety of perspectives heard both in the upcoming election and around the council table will be a huge win for our province.”
For more information or to get involved, contact Katie Bowden at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their Facebook page @SeeJaneRunGSJ