Today is the deadline to apply for the 2017 class of Emerge Maryland, a terrific program that prepares and trains women to run for office and otherwise be active in the political process. I spoke with executive director Diane Fink just a little while ago, and she gave me this statement:
Today is the deadline to apply to the Emerge Maryland Class of 2017 candidate training program. This class will be our 5th Anniversary Class. We are very excited about the pool of women who are applying; they are breaking records with nearly 3 times as many women who have begun the process of filling out their applications than ever before. This is the momentum we need to put Maryland on the right track with gender equality at every level of government.
I also received an email from former CD8 candidate and new Emerge Maryland board member Kathleen Matthews:
After running for Congress in 2016, I understand the challenges facing women in local, state and national politics. I wanted to pay it forward by enabling more women to run in Maryland where there will be no Democratic women in our federal delegation. I joined the board of Emerge Maryland because I believe that closing the gender gap in elective office will raise the bar and level of discourse in our politics.
Two Emerge alums will be taking office this year: my friend Shannon Sneed will be joining the Baltimore City Council, and here in MoCo, another fri no, Shebra Evans, is heavily favored to be elected to the Board of Education next month. There was a time not long ago (around 2004, I believe) when Maryland was ranked in the top three states in the country for number of women in elected office. We’ve now slipped down to #16. We can do better, and Emerge is on the front lines of that fight.