Emerge Iowa

Emerge Iowa Hires an Executive Director

Emerge Iowa recently hired its first Executive Director, Judy Downs.

Emerge recruits, trains and provides a powerful network for Democratic women running for office. Our goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in all levels of public office. Emerge Iowa is one of 25 other state affiliates of the national organization, Emerge America.

Women make up 51% of Iowa’s population, but only 12.9% of the state House and 16.19% of the state Senate. Additionaly, Iowa has never had a female congressperson nor a female Democratic senator. According to the Institute of Women’s Policy Research, there are no women of color in statewide elective executive office. Of Iowa’s 33 women in the state legislature, 23 are Democrats. If current trends continue, women in Iowa will not see equal pay until the year 2056.

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 Iowa 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 Iowa’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.

For more information, please contact Judy Downs at judy@emergeia.org

Want to learn more and stay updated on our progress? Join our network!

Make a contribution to Emerge Iowa here!