Application Process

Applications for the 2020 Class are now closed.

Are you interested in applying to a future class? Let us know here and you’ll be among the first to know when applications for the Class of 2021 open.


Emerge Wisconsin seeks Democratic women who are committed to effective elected leadership, are interested in running for elected office and who have:

  • Evidence of professional or voluntary public policy or political leadership experience;
  • Meaningful involvement in their community;
  • Interest in running for political office;
  • Ability and desire to build effective networks;
  • Ability to articulate a personal political vision; and
  • Commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the trainings.

Emerge Wisconsin will select about 25 women from across the state who best meet the criteria above and who we believe have the potential to be elected leaders.

Emerge embraces diversity and encourages applications from all individuals who identify as women regardless of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, marital status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or physical ability. Our mission to build the bench of Democratic women ready to run for office acknowledges both systemic and historic barriers to running for office.

Applications will close at midnight on Sunday, October 27th, 2019 and then be evaluated by a selection committee. Qualified applicants are then invited to interview, and invitations to join the class are extended by year’s end.

Time Commitment

The success of the Emerge Wisconsin program depends upon commitment to the program’s entire schedule by each participant. Over the six-month period, approximately 70 program hours are scheduled. Some time outside of regularly scheduled trainings will be necessary for homework and training preparation. While emergencies sometimes arise, attendance at the first day of training is mandatory and absence for any reason will result in a deferral to the following year. 

2020 Training Dates

The 2020 trainings will take place on the following dates. Locations are currently TBD but typically alternate between Milwaukee and Madison.

January 25 & 26 – Absolutely Mandatory Attendance

February 22 & 23 

March 21 & 22 

April 18 & 19 

May 16

June 12 & 13 (at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s 2020 Convention in Wisconsin Dells)

We will also schedule a shadow day. We typically schedule on a Wednesday in February or March as soon as the legislative calendar is known. Attending Shadow day is HIGHLY encouraged, but we will work with you if there is a conflict.

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $35 is required and must be submitted along with a completed application. The application fee can be paid here or mail a check payable to Emerge Wisconsin, PO Box 599, Milwaukee, WI 53201.


Tuition for the Emerge Wisconsin Program is $500. There is an additional $250 fundraising requirement for a total of $750. We will work on the raise requirement as a class. Tuition offsets the cost of Emerge Wisconsin’s out-of pocket costs for providing the weekend training sessions.

Emerge Wisconsin believes that individual financial circumstances should NOT be a barrier to participation in the Program. Partial financial aid may be awarded after admission to the Program.

Each year many program members choose to fund-raise their tuition from personal friends and family, with support and guidance from Emerge staff. Payment plans are also available as an option.

The six-month program does take place in various parts of the state. Travel and overnight accommodations may be necessary depending on your location to trainings. Emerge Wisconsin will endeavor to assist with supporter housing when needed, but travel and hotel costs are not covered by the program.

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Click here to start your Class of 2020 application today!