Emerge California to Launch 2018 Class on December 9th




Dec. 7, 2017

CONTACT: Amritha Venkataraman

510.986.0445; amritha@emergeca.org


Emerge California to Launch 2018 Class on December 9th


Oakland, Cali.—Emerge California, the state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women to run for office, will launch their 2018 Northern and Southern California classes this Saturday, Dec. 9. This year’s chosen group of 73 future women political leaders is shaping up to be one of Emerge California’s best ever, with the exciting addition of a new Central Valley Cohort which launches in February.

“Emerge California is thrilled to welcome our class of 2018,” said Maimuna Syed, Executive Director of Emerge California. “This year saw our most talented applicant pool yet with women coming from all industries, from the tech sector to lifelong public servants. These women are talented, intelligent and ready to help Democrats take back all levels of our government.”

Emerge California offers Democratic women a cutting-edge training program that gives women a hands-on campaign learning experience. Women who are accepted receive 70 hours of in-depth education over six months that gives women the skills to win. The program’s trainers are comprised of 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 seen 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 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.

"When I made the decision to run for office, I knew that I had to apply to the Emerge California program as the best way to give me the knowledge I needed and the tools I could use to achieve my goal,” said Lisa Diaz Nash, Class of 2018 Program Member. “Most importantly, being part of Emerge California will give me a sisterhood of powerful women to turn to for guidance and support throughout my journey.  I couldn't be more excited to start my training!"

Emerge California has a proven track record for getting Democratic women elected. Since the organization launched in 2002, the program has trained more than 450 women with the skills needed to bring change to their communities. More than 50 percent of the alumnae have gone on to run for political office or been appointed to local boards or commissions, and of those who have gone on to run for an elected position, 70 percent have won. Emerge California’s commitment to diversity also means that the women selected for the program come from a multitude of different backgrounds and all walks of life. In fact, 55 percent of the program’s graduates are women of color.

“It’s time for the next generation of leaders within the Central Valley to step up to the plate,” said Annalisa Perea, a member of the first Central Valley cohort. “I believe deeply in the promise and potential of the Central Valley and in building the kinds of opportunities to allow our communities to succeed. Participation in the Emerge California program will establish the momentum for myself and others who aspire to use the role of an elected official to lead our cities forward.”

Criteria for selection into the class included, evidence of political leadership experience or potential; meaningful involvement in workplace or community; interest in pursuing political office; demonstrated ability to bring together disparate groups to achieve a goal; ability and desire to build effective networks; ability to articulate a personal political vision; demonstrated ability to inspire others; and commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the trainings. Applicants had to be registered Democrats. Women of all ages, races, nationalities, marital status, religious affiliations, sexual orientations and physical abilities were encouraged to apply.

Below is a full list of Emerge California’s Class of 2018 Program Members.

Northern California

April Anderson
Olivia Anglade
Wendy Askew
Rebecca Bauer-Kahan
Akiba Bradford
Sarah Butler
Julie Caskey
Shelly Covert
Lorien Cunningham
Alida Fisher
Bonnie Hamilton
Natassija Jordan
Rashi Kesarwani
Mary Kay Lacey
Alexis Leifheit
Anne McKereghan
Sharon Montgomery
Olivia Navarro
Doriss Panduro
Gaylon Parsons
Julia Prochnik
Kristin N. Rivers, Ph.D.
Gina Scialabba
Mansi Shah
Sahar Shirazi
Holli Thier
K Patrice Williams


Southern California

Tiffany Ackley
Patricia Berman
Kimberly Carr
Stephanie Castellanos
Violet Cavanaugh
Denise Davis
Emily Dresslar
Erin Edwards
Susan Funk
Rosalyn Lee
Sarah Kate Levy
Margie Llinas
Deborah Klein Lopez
Christina Prejean
Maria Pulido
Arlis Reynolds
Jessica Rivas
Sheri Sachs
Karla Salazar
Isabel Sanchez
Giselle Sorial
Erica Stewart
Tamala Takahashi
Marni von Wilpert
Wendy Wheatcroft


Central Valley

Lisa Diaz Nash
Dee Emmert
LaToya Fernandez
Sharon Golden
Myel Jenkins
Ilana Lipsett
Kristina Molina
Patricia Munro
Autumn Paine
Annalisa Perea
Marilyn Randolph
Medha Rishi
Karina Ryan
Susannah Sallin
Jacalyn Smith
Tara Sreekrishnan
Carolyn Templeton
Rachelanne Vander Werf
Katharine Wanamaker
Kimberly Warmsley
Dionne Ybarra
Lisa Ziska-Marchand


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