About Emerge

We Have a Big Problem in the United States 

Despite making major gains in business, education and many other areas, American women are still vastly underrepresented at all levels of government. Women are more than half the population, but hold less than a third of elected offices. The United States currently ranks 104th in the world in the number of women serving in their national legislatures. We are behind Mexico, China and Pakistan. 

  • Only 37 women have ever served as governor across the United States.
  • Only 27 states have ever had a woman governor.
  • Women make up just 19.4% of the U.S. Congress and 24.8% of state legislatures.
  • Women make up only 18.8% of mayors in cities with more than 30,000 population. 

Our Solution 

Emerge gives Democratic women who want to run for public office a unique opportunity. We are the only in-depth, seven-month, 70-hour, training program providing aspiring female leaders with cutting-edge tools and training to run for elected office and elevate themselves in our political system. We currently work in 18 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. Emerge America’s role is to serve the states where we work, open new state programs and build capacity to train more women in each of our current states. We provide our program’s alumnae with a strong, supportive network of women in politics, which includes a national association of Emerge alumnae, the Emerge board and advisory council members.

As the number of elected Democratic women remains flat or even declines, the need for our work is growing across the country. We are working to open new states to offer our programming to more women in more locations. Please click here to see a full list of our upcoming states.

Emerge gets results.

  • Since the first Emerge state was launched in 2002, the Emerge network has trained over 2,000 Democratic women to run for office to date.
  • 52% of Emerge alumnae have run for office or been appointed to local boards or commissions;
  • In the 2016 election, 70% of our 213 alumnae on the November ballot won their elections
  • In addition, we have a strong record of diversity: 39% of our alumnae are women of color.

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.

The entire country benefits when we have more women in elected office. Our legislatures work better and our leaders are able to forge important agreements. Everyone wins. 

Click here to find out more about our training program. 

Why She Runs

Have you thought about putting your name on the ballot? Learn about the Emerge program and why you should run!

Support Our Work

Emerge America needs your help to expand our training.