Women Candidate Development Coalition

550 Rice Street
Saint Paul, MN  55103

For more information contact Shirley Nelson, Executive Diector
at the above phone number  or


Who we are
The Women Candidate Development Coalition is a coalition of eight 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.

Annual Event
The Women Candidate Development Coalition holds an Annual Event, typically in May, at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis.  Delicious hors d’oeurvres and desserts are provided.  This is the Coalition’s only fundraising event of the year.  Your donation is tax deductible and provides critically needed support for WCDC’s vital work on behalf of prospective pro-choice women candidates.  The Coalition’s Political Courage Award and the Political Excellence Award are presented.  For more information on this event or how to donate to the Coalition, contact Shirley Nelson at 612/724-6348 or To contribute online, click here.

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.

• Statewide network of progressive women interested in the election of women in their communities.
• Campaign Training 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 organization 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
Minnesota Business Women
DFL Feminist Caucus
League of Women Voters, MN
NARAL Pro-Choice Minnesota
MN National Organization for Women
womenwinning:  MN Women’s Campaign Fund
Planned Parenthood of MN/SD/ND