Welcome to Emerge Michigan!
In 2002, a group of Democratic women from California believed that we needed greater representation by women at all levels of government – from appointed boards and commissions to elected offices. They realized that women needed to be asked, recruited and trained to run winning campaigns. Their success in California spread to Arizona and then, in 2005, Emerge America was founded. As the premier recruiting and training organization for Democratic women, we are excited to announce the launch of Emerge Michigan!
It is painfully clear that governance is suffering from a lack of women participating in the public arena. From village and city councils to our State House and Senate, the perspective of women – who make up over 51% of Michigan’s population – is limited or altogether absent. To prove the point, here are some sobering statistics:
- In 1993, there were 30 women in the Michigan State Legislature. 27 in the House (15 Democrats) and 3 in the Senate (2 Democrats). A fraction over 20% of the 148 Legislative seats.
- In 2009-2010, we reached the high watermark for women in the Michigan Legislature with 37 women. 28 in the House (22 Democrats) and 9 in the Senate (6 Democrats). 25% of the 148 seats.
- By 2014, the number of legislative women had plunged to the lowest numbers in over two decades to a total of 28. 24 women in the House (16 Democrats) and 4 in the Senate (2 Democrats). Under 19%!
This growing gender gap has consequences far beyond the halls of power. Pay equity, access to health care and child care, gun violence, economic justice, student debt and elder abuse are just a few of the issues male dominated legislatures are failing to address. At a time when we are actually debating whether women should have access to birth control or health care, Michigan is sinking further behind in terms of women representatives in our legislature. And the story on our city councils, school boards and county commissions is the same.
Emerge Michigan will work to change this. By recruiting Democratic women to run for office, providing a comprehensive training program to set them on the course for victory and creating a growing network of successful Democratic women mentors, Emerge Michigan will change the course of government and leadership in our state.
Please join us on the exciting journey by becoming a supporter of Emerge Michigan!
-- Vicki Barnett
Former Mayor and State Representative
WAYS TO GET INVOLVED!
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