FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 6, 2016
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA—Emerge Virginia, the state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women to run for political office, has opened applications for the class of 2017. The organization seeks Democratic women who are committed to effective and ethical political leadership. The application process, which includes submission of a resume and several short essays followed by an interview, will remain open from now until October 16, 2016.
“Emerge Virginia is excited to begin accepting applications for our fourth class of aspiring women leaders,” said Julie S. Copeland, Executive Director. “Our organization is committed to selecting Democratic women from across Virginia who want to gain the skills and tools necessary to run an effective and winning campaign.”
Emerge Virginia’s training program offers Democratic women who want to run for public office a unique opportunity. Women who are accepted receive seventy hours of in-depth education over seven months that inspires them to run for office and gives them the tools to win. Program members also meet an array of dynamic women who hold elected and appointed office and become a part of a supportive network, which includes a national association of Emerge alumnae, the Emerge board and advisory council members.
“Despite making some gains over the last decade, women are still extremely underrepresented both as candidates and in our decision-making bodies at every level of government,” said Copeland. “At this rate, it’ll be almost a century before we achieve equal representation in our government. At Emerge Virginia, we’re tackling this problem head on by providing Democratic women the tools and training to run for elected office and elevate themselves in our political system. Our work is having a direct positive impact on the number of women who are choosing to jump into the political arena and are ready to win.”
Virginia currently ranks 38th in the country in terms of women’s representation in elected positions. Women make up just 19.3% of the Virginia legislature. There are only nine women in the Virginia Senate and 18 women in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Emerge Virginia has a proven track record for getting Democratic women elected. Since the organization launched in 2014, the program has trained 75 women on the skills needed to bring change to their communities. Two Emerge Virginia alumnae, Delegate Kathleen Murphy and Delegate Jennifer Boysko, were elected to the House of Delegates and eleven alumnae total currently serve in office since being trained. Emerge Virginia’s commitment to diversity also means that the women selected for the program come from a multitude of different backgrounds, walks of life and across Virginia. Fifty-three percent of the program’s graduates are women of color.
For more information on the application process, please visit Emerge Virginia’s website at www.emergeva.org/training
CONTACT: Julie S Copeland