Emerge Maryland Class Of 2017

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The new class for Maryland’s preeminent training program for Democratic women candidates has been announced and for D20 followers, there’s an interesting pair in the class.

First, the press release:

Maryland’s Future Women Political Leaders Take Center Stage This Week in Baltimore

Baltimore, MD: Emerge Maryland, the political non-profit focused on electing more Democratic women to public office, will debut their 2017 Class of future women political leaders at an evening reception on December 8 at the new Open Works facility in Baltimore. The state’s premier candidate training program is celebrating its fifth year, and has accepted its largest class ever with 23 candidates who represent 7 different counties and Baltimore City. This is also Emerge Maryland’s most diverse class with 10 African American women, 9 Caucasian, 2 Latina, 1 Asian, and one multi-racial woman ranging in age from 29 to 60 years old.
Selected from a pool of nominees and screened by Emerge Maryland’s board of directors, all the women are highly engaged in their local communities, motivated to serve the voters of Maryland, with the raw potential to be winning candidates in the 2018 elections ranging from State Senate, House of Delegates, city and county council, school boards, and Democratic central committees
“After the 2016 elections, where we saw Hillary Clinton defeated for president, and no women elected to Maryland’s federal delegation, more women than ever are expressing interest in Emerge Maryland’s training program and saying they are motivated to run,” said Martha McKenna, board president and leading Democratic political consultant. “We know that equal representation of women at every level of government from Congress to the state house, county and city government will make our democracy more representative and effective, and Emerge Maryland is working hard to fill the pipeline with qualified, compelling women candidates” said McKenna.
The Emerge Maryland program includes 9 sessions and 75 hours of training over a 6 month period of time beginning December 2016 through May 2017. Past Emerge classes have included Brooke Lierman, who was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014, and Shebra Evans, from the Emerge Maryland Class of 2016, who was elected to the Montgomery County School board in the recent November 2016 election.
Here is a link to the other 22 candidates.
Among those in the new Class of 2017 is Robbyn Lewis, a Baltimore city community activist who works at the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange, and has been endorsed by members of the District 46 delegation for the House of Delegates vacancy created by the retirement this week of Delegate Pete Hammen.
Kicking off the organization’s 5th anniversary, the December 8 reception to introduce the Emerge Class of 2017, is also a fundraiser for Emerge Maryland, and is open to the media. The event runs from 6:30 to 8pm at the Open Works studio at 1400 Greenmount Avenue in Baltimore.

Second, a photo of the class:

Third, the D20 pair: two of the most frequently mentioned candidates for the new D20 delegate opening are BOTH in the new Emerge class: MCDCC member Jheanelle Wilkins and Takoma Park resident Lorig Charkoudian. Not only will they be going up against each other over the next month but it’s very likely one or the other will win the delegate seat and they’ll still be together in the class until June.

Just a little awkward. Politics makes for such strange bedfellows, don’t you think?

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