For far too long, our elected officials have not looked like the people they represent. And for the past 15 years Emerge has worked tirelessly to change that—recruiting and training Democratic women to run for office and win at every level of government. We have grown from a single program to a national organization with 27 state affiliates, more than 4,000 alums—740 of whom are currently in elected office and with more than 400 winning their races this November. It’s time for our organization to move into the next phase, and that means setting big goals and a clear vision for the next 15 years.
Goal #1: Expand Our Reach. Ready 100,000 women of the New American Majority—Black, Brown and Indigenous women, LGBTQ+ women, young women and unmarried women—through training and a powerful network. These women will represent all 50 states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories.
Goal #2: Lift As We Climb. Elevate Emerge women to appointed and elected seats as our alums ascend to higher office—and help them get there through advanced training and mentorship.
Goal #3: Repower Political Structures. Redefine “politics as usual” by flipping state legislatures and campaigns and office leadership to majority-woman and filling appointed boards and commissions with Emerge alumnae.
Since 2016, we have seen some of the most diverse groups of candidates, and subsequently, some of the most diverse classes of newly elected officials in the history of the U.S., but we still have a long way to go. It’s critical that we prepare more Black, Brown and Indigenous women, LGBTQ+ women, young women and unmarried women to lead our country, and going forward Emerge will center our work on this New American Majority.
It’s also critical that once we get these women into elected offices that we are setting them up for success and to move up the political pipeline. Kamala Harris may be the first woman to ever be elected Vice President, but her journey to the White House started at the local level when she was elected San Francisco District Attorney. And Emerge New Mexico alum Deb Haaland, who recently became the first Native American Secretary of the Interior, started her political journey as Chair of the New Mexico Democratic Party and then went onto the U.S. House of Representatives. If we want to ensure she isn’t the last, we need to pack the political pipeline all the way to the top with qualified Democratic women who are ready to seize on opportunities when they happen.
Finally, we know that when there are more women in politics more legislation gets passed that helps women and families. The New American Majority must have a seat at every decision-making table so that we can ensure our country heads down a path to a brighter future—one where the policies our leaders put in place benefit everyone.
Allow us to reintroduce ourselves. The vision for Emerge 2035 is one where women of the New American Majority are front and center in our country’s leadership. The revolution to make this a reality is already underway. I hope you’ll join us.
A’shanti F. Gholar
President of Emerge
Danielle Pacifico Cogan
Board Chair of Emerge