September 15, 2016
By Andrea Dew Steele
President and Founder, Emerge America
As America enters the final leg of the 2016 presidential campaign season, we recognize and celebrate what an incredible year it is for women in politics. We have the first woman presidential nominee of a major party. This is truly momentous and should be a reason for women all over this country to feel proud and realize that women are indeed making progress. At Emerge, we celebrate the record 330 Emerge graduates who are running up and down the ballot this year. It’s important to take a moment and pause to celebrate these successes and we also must look toward the future.
Fourteen of our state affiliates are currently accepting applications for their next classes of aspiring Democratic women leaders. As women working to increase our representation in government, we know we have to keep moving forward even as we also focus on winning elections in November.
The reason we have to focus on the future is because we have a lot of ground to make up. Between 2008 and 2015, Democrats lost 13 Senate seats, 69 House seats, 913 state legislative seats, 11 governorships and 32 state legislative chambers, according to data compiled by University of Virginia professor Larry J. Sabato. Women are key to taking back important Democratic seats. Even though we’ve made some headway during the last decade with the numbers of women serving in federal office, women are still extremely underrepresented in our decision-making bodies at every level of government. At this rate, it’ll be almost a century before we achieve equal representation in our government. That’s just not fast enough. That’s why we’re tackling this problem head on by providing the aspiring female leaders of today with cutting-edge 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.
Since 2002, we’ve trained over two thousand women to run for office across the country, from California to Maine and Kentucky to Wisconsin. Our alumnae currently hold hundreds of offices across the country—everything from local school board members and city councilors to mayors and state representatives. We’re committed to continuing our successful track record of building the bench and our recruitment process is a vital part of identifying those women and putting them on a path to success.
After years of training women candidates at the local and state level, we know that our program gives Democratic women a unique opportunity. Program members receive six months of in-depth training that inspires them to run for office and gives them the tools to win. Our program’s trainers are an elite team of campaign consultants, advisors and staff from all over the country, who have been involved in some of the most successful campaigns and initiatives in recent election cycles. Participants learn from these experts and develop practical knowledge in areas such as public speaking, fundraising, campaign strategy, voter contact, media and messaging and others. Candidates are also part of a class cohort where they develop life-long relationships that sustain them through tough political challenges. In addition, they meet an array of dynamic Democratic women and men who hold elected and appointed office and become part of a supportive network of political leaders.
Selecting the best and most qualified women—ones who can master political skills and take advantage of the opportunities presented to them—for our programs each year, is absolutely critical if we want to continue to produce winning candidates. Do you have a friend, coworker, neighbor or other woman in your life that would be a good fit for our program? Now is the time to encourage them to apply!
States Opening for Recruitment
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergeaz.org/training
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergeca.org/training/application
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergeco.org/training
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergeky.org/apply
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergemaryland.org/content/application-process
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergema.org/training
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergemi.org/training/application
· Nevada – open on Nov. 14, 2016
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergenv.org/training
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergenj.org/training/application
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergenm.org/training/application
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergeor.org/training/application
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergepa.org/training/application
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergevt.org/training/application
Application information and criteria: http://www.emergeva.org/training/application
Application instructions and criteria: http://www.emergewi.org/apply