The annual Leap Into Leadership Conference begins Monday in Cheyenne. It’s hosted by the Wyoming Women’s Legislative Caucus as a way to encourage women, and give them the tools to run for public office. This year the focus is on civil discourse and debate, with one of the panels titled “How Do We Disagree Without Being Disagreeable?”
Former Maine Republican Senator Olympia Snowe will be the event’s keynote speaker. Snowe built a career in Washington D.C. on bipartisanship, but ended up leaving the Senate in 2012 after she felt it had become too polarized and dysfunctional.
“I loved the Senate. I loved public service and public office,” Snowe said. “But I realized it wasn’t working the way it should and the way it had in the past, and it had fundamentally changed. So I wanted to contribute to the discourse on the outside, and I do that through my speeches and through the Bipartisan Policy Center that I joined here in Washington to develop bipartisan solutions.”
Snowe said her speech Monday will focus on how her personal experiences made her such a champion for bipartisanship. Leap Into Leadership takes place at the Little America Hotel in Cheyenne through Tuesday.