550 Rice Street
St. Paul, MN 55103
For more information contact Shirley Nelson, Executive Director
at the above phone number or wocandevcoal@yahoo.com

Who we are

The Women Candidate Development Coalition is a coalition of nine major Minnesota women's/feminist organizations committed to legal and economic rights for women and girls. It was established in 1986. It is a 501 (c)(3) organization.


WCDC's mission is to provide the education and assistance needed to motivate and empower progressive women to become actively involved in all aspects of Minnesota's political and governmental arenas, ranging on a continuum from being a knowledgeable voter -- to voting -- to supporting qualified women candidates -- to encouraging female friends and relatives to run for office -- to becoming candidates themselves. When the Coalition began in 1986, Minnesota ranked 26th nationally in electing women to the state legislature; currently, Minnesota has a national rank of 4th. Minnesota is by far the leading state in the Upper Midwest: Wisconsin is 23rd; Iowa is 27th; South Dakota is 30th; North Dakota is 41st.


WCDC's program of activities was developed by women for women and is designed to open up Minnesota's political system more fully to women. The
Coalition is the first and only organization of its type in the country. It works on the "front end" of the political/governmental arena to identify prospective women candidates and provide early training so that women get their campaigns off to a professional start if they do decide to run for office.

Annual Event

The Coalition celebrates its annual Birthday Party in May at the Woman's Club of Minneapolis, 410 Oak Grove Street.


• Statewide Network of progressive women interested in the election of
women in their communities.

• Statewide political resource coordination and communications linkage.

• Campaign Training workshops for prospective women candidates and campaign workers.

• Research conducted to identify which campaign methods are effective for Minnesota women candidates.

• Public Education projects designed to educate Minnesotans, particularly women, regarding the gross underrepresentation of women in policy-making posts and to alert them to the direct, negative effects this lack of diversity has upon the lives of women and families.

• Awards to honor progressive women candidates and/or elected officeholders: the Coalition's Lucy Hahn   Barbara Stuhler Political Courage Award and the Coalition's Political Achievement Award.

• Speaker available for women's and civic groups as well as academic
organizations and classes. Shirley Nelson holds a Ph.d. in Educational
Administration and Public Policy. Her doctoral dissertation topic was Title IX.




WCDC Coalition Members
American Association of University Women, MN
Business & Professional Women, MN
DFL Feminist Caucus
League of Women Voters, MN
NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota
MN National Organization for Women
womenwinning: MN Women's Campaign Fund
MN Women's Political Caucus
Planned Parenthood of MN/SD/ND


2014 "Wanted" Flyers:


County Commission


City Council

School Board