About Us

Are you a Democratic woman who wants to run for office? Let us help you!

Our Mission

To increase the number of Democratic women leaders from diverse backgrounds in public office through recruitment, training, and providing a powerful network.

Our Vision

To change the face of power, politics, and leadership in this country in order to have policies that are responsive to all.

What We Do

Emerge Wisconsin is changing the face of politics by identifying, training and inspiring Democratic women to run for all levels of office.

Our cohort-based, six-month training program is unique – and the national Emerge network is the first state-based training program exclusively focused on Democratic women, building the bench from the ground up.

In addition, because more women are also needed at every public policy and political table in the state, we also encourage our alums to participate in government boards and commissions, political action committees and community-based advocacy organizations. The truth is that public policy begins to take shape well before it gets a vote from an elected body. We need more women at every step of the process!

Our History

Emerge was founded in 2005 by Andrea Dew Steele to expand and replicate the successful Emerge model first launched in California in 2002. The founders of Emerge California, including Andrea, saw there was no in-depth training for Democratic women who want to run for office and decided to change that. Now, Emerge oversees 26 states and continues to replicate the proven Emerge model to more states across the country.

Emerge Wisconsin trained its first class of women in 2008. By design, Emerge Wisconsin only accepts about 25 women into each cohort. This allows our staff to get to know our alumnae better and work with them one-on-one to determine the right race at the right time. We want our alumnae driven by their values, driven by a clear vision—and to be strategic in planning their political path.


Emerge Wisconsin is a state affiliate of Emerge, which has trained more than 4,000 women to run for office since 2002. Emerge alumnae across the country have won more the 1,000 elections to date and hold office at every level of government. There are currently Emerge affiliates in 26 states — Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado,  Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin with plans to expand to more soon. Women who graduate from Emerge Wisconsin’s training program are plugged into both the state network of Emerge Wisconsin alumnae, as well as the national network of Emerge alumnae across the country.

Emerge Wisconsin Is Making an Impact


alums ran for office in 2019


alums serving in state government


local offices held by alums

Over 300

women trained

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.