Emerge Washington

Announcing the Sen. Patty Murray Class of 2018!

Emerge Washington began training its first class, the Sen. Patty Murray Class of 2018, in January.

Emerge Washington launched in early 2017 as the premier campaign-training program for Democratic women in the state. Emerge inspires women to run for public office, and hones their skills to win. Our goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in all levels of public office throughout Washington State. Emerge Washington is one of 24 state affiliates of the national organization, Emerge America.

While women comprise more than 50% of the electorate, they still hold just 29% of elected offices in this country. In the 127 years since statehood, Washington has sent only ten Democratic women to Congress and has had only two female Governors. Washington State did make history by becoming the first state to have two women as U.S. Senators and one as Governor simultaneously. However, women’s representation in the Washington State Legislature has declined, from 40.1% women in 1994 to 30.6% today. While the national representation of women in the legislature has been trending upward, Washington State has been trending downward, and the pipeline for future female leaders is decreasing.

Studies show women tend to introduce more bills in Congress, be more collaborative and consensus driven, and lead on issues related to family, health care, childcare, education, violence against women and reproductive health. That’s why increasing the number of Democratic women candidates is so important. Emerge Washington intends to level the playing field, de-mystify the process of engaging in politics, and identify and train women who have thought about running for office, but who may assume they lack the necessary experience or connections to mount a successful campaign.

Emerge Washington‘s role is to:

  • Recruit women to run for office at all levels of government
  • Train them to run effective campaigns and win races
  • Provide a powerful network to support women running for office

The Emerge model is an intensive 70-hour, cohort-based training program, designed explicitly to address the extra challenges that women face in the political arena by offering early-stage recruitment; top-notch, comprehensive training; and an ongoing network of support. We use a rigorous, highly selective application and screening process to ensure that our participants are great future candidates. Our recruitment effort focuses on all levels of diversity, so we can add depth and breadth to the Democratic candidate pool.

The track record of Emerge America’s program model speaks for itself. Founded only 10 years ago and operating in 24 states, the Emerge affiliates have trained over 4,000 Democratic women nationwide, creating a powerful pipeline of Democratic women running in politically important districts. In 2016, over 330 Emerge alumnae ran for office across the country and of those who appeared on the November ballot, 70% won their elections.

Emerge Washington is part of this powerful national network, reaching every region of the country. For more information, please contact us at karen@emergewa.org and join our email list. To learn more about Emerge America, please visit our website at www.emergeamerica.org.