About Emerge America

Are you a Democratic woman who wants to run for office? Let us help you!

Emerge America is changing the face of politics by recruiting, training and providing a powerful network for Democratic women to run for office.

Our Mission

To increase the number of Democratic women leaders from diverse backgrounds in public office through recruitment, training and providing a powerful network.

Who We Are

We offer the only in-depth, six-month, 70-hour training program that provides aspiring woman leaders with cutting-edge tools and training to run for elected office and elevate themselves in our political system.

Emerge America is the national organization of the Emerge America network. We oversee the locally-based training programs in our states, open new state affiliates to reach more Democratic women across the country, build capacity to train more women in each of our current states and work to expand our program offerings to meet the growing need for candidate training programs across the country. In addition, we provide our program’s alumnae with a strong, supportive national network of women in politics, which includes a national association of Emerge alumnae, the Emerge board and advisory council members.

There are currently Emerge America affiliates in 25 states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado,  Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin. Emerge America also offers regional boot camps for women running for office in the current election cycle.

  • More than 4,000 women trained to run for office since 2002;
  • More than 500 alums currently serving in elected office across the United States;
  • More than 700 women on the ballot in 2018;
  • In the 2017 election, 152 Emerge alumnae won their elections–a 73% win-rate;
  • 52% of Emerge alumnae have run for office or been appointed to local boards or commissions;
  • Strong record of diversity: 37% of our alumnae are women of color.


Emerge America was founded in 2005 by Andrea Dew Steele to expand and replicate the successful Emerge model first launched in California in 2002. The founders of Emerge California, including Andrea, saw there was no in-depth training for Democratic women who want to run for office and wanted to change that. Democratic women entering politics also lacked a strong network of other like-minded women that could support and advise each other. The success that Emerge California had in recruiting and training candidates caused women from other states to request that the program to be brought there. As the program began expanding, Emerge America was launched to oversee each state’s candidate trainings, support their work and to continue to replicate the proven Emerge model to more states across the country.

Emerge America's Work Is Needed


Only 27 women have ever been elected governor of any state.


Women make up a mere 19.4% of Congress.


Women account for only 24.8% of state legislatures


Women make up only 18.8% of mayors in cities with a population of more than 30,000.

Why Women?

  • Studies have shown women in elected office overwhelmingly support and push forward democratic principles like equality and fairness.
  • When women hold public office they are more actively involved in a variety of gender-salient issue areas, including healthcare, the economy, education and the environment.
  • Women legislators are more responsive to constituents, value cooperation over hierarchical power and find ways to engineer solutions in situations where men have trouble finding common ground.

Emerge alumna and Boston City Councilor Lydia Edwards

In recent years, the demand for Emerge America’s work has grown across the country. We are in the process of opening many new states to offer our trainings to more women in more locations.