Frequently Asked Questions

What is Emerge?

Emerge is the nation’s premier organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office. Since 2002, our organization has offered a premier, 70-hour in-depth training program that provides aspiring women leaders with cutting-edge tools and training to run and win elected office. We recruit, train, and provide a powerful network for our Emerge women with staff, alumnae, and volunteers on the ground 365 days each year. Learn more.


What is the Mission of Emerge?

Our mission is to increase the number of Democratic women in office who are reflective of the incredible diversity of the Democratic party by recruiting, training, and providing a powerful network.


How does Emerge differ from other women’s political training programs?

Many political training programs are non-partisan. Emerge exclusively grooms self-identified Democratic women to run for office and connects program members to networks of local Democratic politicians, leaders, and activists. Emerge provides a powerful sisterhood and network for our participants.


Which organizations do you partner with?

Emerge maximizes its impact through strong and strategic relationships with other political groups, including the Democratic Party political committees, EMILY’s List and state women’s training organizations, Planned Parenthood, America Votes, NARAL, national labor unions, Higher Heights for America, Victory Fund, Run for Something, Latino Victory, Moms in Office, Onward Together and many others.


Why focus on women exclusively?  

The US ranks 70th in the world for representation of women in elected office in their national legislatures. At the state level, only 33% of legislators are women and only 8.2% are women of color.

Too often women don’t believe they are qualified to run for political office – whether for school board president or Congress. Moreover, women are less likely to be asked to run for office. Emerge believes that the answer to persistently low levels of women in office lies in early stage recruitment, comprehensive cohort-based training, and ongoing support.


How do you recruit members for an Emerge training?

Emerge recruits program members through political contacts, board members, alums, and relationships with other political organizations, labor unions, and community organizations. We also hold information sessions during the recruitment season for women who are interested in applying. 


How do I join an Emerge Training?

Information on Emerge training programs in our states can be found here on our website. You can find program dates, descriptions of classes, and a link to your state to complete an application.


What makes the Emerge model unique?

Emerge takes a fresh approach to women’s underrepresentation: We are creating a larger pool of qualified women candidates by training them early on in their political careers.   

  • We only train Democratic women.
  • We have a proven commitment to equity and justice and are committed to training the New American Majority.
  • In our Signature Training program, we provide 70 hours of in-depth candidate training over a 6-month period to ensure our participants are fully ready to run upon graduation.
  • In our Boot Camp training program, we provide intensive training over a weekend for active candidates.
  • We are locally-based and provide our program members with strong ties to the local community and political leadership.
  • We make a long-term investment in the women we train, directing them to promising electoral contests, providing them with strategic advice, and connecting to the political community.


Does Emerge train on any issues?

Emerge does not train on any issues, but we do require all program participants to be registered members of the Democratic Party and read and sign the Democratic Party platform, which covers many important issues. Emerge relies on our strong network of partners to provide support to alums on particular issues. Alums are able to go to these partner organizations that are experts in a wide range of issues for additional guidance and information.


How are you funded?

Emerge is funded by donations from individual donors, labor unions, and Political Action Committees. Our supporters share our vision of building a more reflective and inclusive democracy through inspiring, training, and supporting the next generation of Democratic women candidates.  


Are you a 501(c)(3) organization/are donations to Emerge tax-deductible?

Emerge is a 527 political organization and donations are not tax-deductible. Emerge is not a PAC and does not endorse candidates and does not make contributions to, or coordinate its spending with, any candidates or political parties.


Do you have a targeted group?

Emerge’s trainings are for self-identified women, 18 years old and older, who are Democrats, engaged in their communities and interested in running for office. 


Is there an Emerge in my state?

You can find our list of affiliates here.


Can I bring an Emerge training to my state?

Emerge is building back from the impact of COVID-19 and we will not be physically launching new affiliates in 2023. We will be providing national Boot Camp training for active candidates in 2023. You can learn more here. Please sign up to receive more information on virtual opportunities to get trained near you.


How do I learn more about your upcoming trainings?

Please visit our Candidate Training page on our website. Here you can learn about our State Affiliates Signature Training program as well as upcoming National Emerge Candidate Boot Camps and Step Forward Trainings. Additionally, here you can reach out to Emerge about bringing an Emerge training to your state or working on joint training opportunities with like-minded groups on the ground. 


Can I get involved?


There are numerous ways for you to learn more about Emerge, attend one of our training, or be involved.

Join us for a training. Please visit our training page here to learn about upcoming opportunities.

Donate and support us. The vast majority of our funding comes from individual donors across the country. You may donate online here. Checks can be mailed to: Emerge America, 818 Connecticut Avenue NW Ste 450, Washington, D.C. 20006. Please email if you have questions or would like to make a contribution via wire transfer or a donation of stock.

Follow Emerge on social media.


Twitter: @EmergeAmerica

Instagram: @EmergeAmerica

Threads: @EmergeAmerica

YouTube: Emerge America

Snapchat: @EmergeAmerica