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Our Values

Running Start is a nonpartisan nonprofit
that trains young women to run for office.

We want to be fully transparent about what that means to us,
and what our core values are:

What do we mean by nonpartisan?

Nonpartisanship means we are issue neutral and politically inclusive: our community is for people of all political ideologies who want to work and learn together respectfully. We’re pragmatic optimists: we think people can and should connect across differences, and we also know you don’t need to be best friends to get things done.

Why do we train young women?

Young people (ages 13-25) have what it takes to lead now, and investing in their political engagement early  is key to a representative future. Research shows that political confidence generally decreases
for young women in high school and college.
We believe (and research shows) that the best debates and decisions happen when governments are representative, which is why all of our programs include people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, nationalities, income levels, religions, abilities, and more.

What do we value in our trainings?

Our trainings equip participants with the confidence, capabilities, and connections they need to run and win. We seek to increase the confidence of our participants while acknowledging the serious systemic barriers to political parity. Nothing beats the power of hands-on learning

and real world practice to build capabilities.

We’re providing a supportive environment where our participants can express themselves authentically and be fully seen, while also recognizing that our society makes it easier for some to be more authentic than others, and expects more resilience from traditionally marginalized people.

We do things collaboratively and prioritize opportunities for shared leadership, including additional leadership opportunities for our alums. We are invested in forming long term relationships with our alums throughout their careers and lives.

We strive to live up to these values every day, to admit the times when we may miss the mark, and to always be improving. If you would like to discuss these values (or anything else!) email us at

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