Emerge America is a non-profit national political organization based in San Francisco with the mission to increase the number of Democratic women leaders from diverse background in public office through recruitment, training and providing a powerful network.
Andrea Dew Steele is the president and founder. Steele co-founded the original affiliate, Emerge California, which was formed in 2002. After initial success, Emerge was expanded to a national organization known as Emerge America by Steele in 2005. Emerge America added affiliates in 6 states in its first year and by the 2016 presidential election, it had affiliates in 23 states. The organization's strategy is to have affiliates in all 50 states by 2020. Steele says the initial aim is for women to achieve 30% representation for women in government, noting evidence suggests this level passes a critical mass to effectively enact institutional change. According to Steele, Emerge America has had 3,000 graduates, of which 500 have been elected and are currently serving a political office.
Hillary Clinton has praised the group as an organization helping to elect Democrats since the 2016 election by using coaching on public speaking, fundraising, networking, and ethical leadership. A’shanti Gholar, the Political Director, said enrolment has increased across the board since the 2016 presidential election, and some classes have seen attendance almost double. Overall, Emerge has seen an 87% increase in the number of applications since the 2016 election. Gholar notes that at the end of 2017, there were 427 women running for a position in the U.S. Congress, compared to 219 women running at the same time in 2015.
Andrea Dew Steele is an American activist who co-founded Emerge California in 2002, which expanded to Emerge America in 2005, and now has affiliates in 24 different states of the U.S., with the goal of having an affiliate in all 50 states by 2020. The goal of Emerge affiliates is to increase the number of Democratic women in all areas of the government. Steele spent her career in Democratic activism and has been a director at Human Rights Watch. She is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.Ann Lewis
Ann Frank Lewis (born December 19, 1937) is a leading American Democratic Party strategist and communicator. Lewis served as White House Communications Director in the Clinton administration and in senior roles under Hillary Clinton. She is currently the Co-Chair of the Democratic Majority for Israel.Emerge California
Emerge California is a non-profit organization and affiliate of Emerge America, created by Andrea Dew Steele, that seeks to identify and help more women and minorities in California be elected to public office and is run by Maimuna Syed. It was praised in 2017 by Hillary Clinton in an email, as a group that has impressed her since the 2016 election at helping get Democrats elected to office.History of the United States Democratic Party
The Democratic Party is the oldest voter-based political party in the world and the oldest existing political party in the United States, tracing its heritage back to the anti-Federalists and the Jeffersonian Democratic-Republican Party of the 1790s. During the Second Party System (from 1832 to the mid-1850s) under Presidents Andrew Jackson, Martin Van Buren and James K. Polk, the Democrats usually bested the opposition Whig Party by narrow margins. Both parties worked hard to build grassroots organizations and maximize the turnout of voters, which often reached 80 percent or 90 percent of eligible voters (at this time, suffrage was granted only to white males). Both parties used patronage extensively to finance their operations, which included emerging big city political machines as well as national networks of newspapers. The party was a proponent for slave-owners across the country, urban workers and caucasian immigrants.
From 1860 to 1932 in the era of the American Civil War to the Great Depression, the opposing Republican Party, organized in the mid-1850s from the ruins of the Whig Party and some other smaller splinter groups, was dominant in presidential politics. The Democrats elected only two Presidents to four terms of office for twenty-two years, namely Grover Cleveland (in 1884 and 1892) and Woodrow Wilson (in 1912 and 1916).
Over the same period, the Democrats proved more competitive with the Republicans in Congressional politics, enjoying House of Representatives majorities (as in the 65th Congress) in 15 of the 36 Congresses elected, although only in five of these did they form the majority in the Senate. Furthermore, the Democratic Party was split between the Bourbon Democrats, representing Eastern business interests; and the agrarian elements comprising poor farmers in the South and West. The agrarian element, marching behind the slogan of free silver (i.e. in favor of inflation), captured the party in 1896 and nominated William Jennings Bryan in the 1896, 1900 and 1908 presidential elections, although he lost every time. Both Bryan and Wilson were leaders of the progressive movement in the United States (1890s–1920s).
Starting with 32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1932 during the Great Depression, the party dominated the Fifth Party System, with its progressive liberal policies and programs with the New Deal coalition to combat the emergency bank closings and the continuing financial depression since the famous Wall Street Crash of 1929 and later going into the crises leading up to World War II. The Democrats and the Democratic Party finally lost the White House and control of the executive branch of government only after Roosevelt's death in April 1945 near the end of the war and after the continuing post-war administration of Roosevelt's third Vice President Harry S. Truman, former Senator from Missouri (for 1945 to 1953, elections of 1944 and the "stunner" of 1948). A new Republican Party President was only elected later in the following decade of the early 1950s with the losses by two-time nominee, the Governor of Illinois Adlai Stevenson (grandson of the former Vice President with the same name of the 1890s) to the very popular war hero and commanding general in World War II, General Dwight D. Eisenhower (in 1952 and 1956).
With two brief interruptions since the Great Depression and World War II eras, the Democrats with unusually large majorities for over four decades, controlled the lower house of the Congress in the House of Representatives from 1930 until 1994 and the Senate for most of that same period, electing the Speaker of the House and the Representatives' majority leaders/committee chairs along with the upper house of the Senate's majority leaders and committee chairmen. Important Democratic progressive/liberal leaders included 33rd and 36th Presidents Harry S. Truman of Missouri (1945–1953) and Lyndon B. Johnson of Texas (1963–1969), respectively; and the earlier Kennedy brothers of 35th President John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts (1961–1963), Senators Robert F. Kennedy of New York and Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts who carried the flag for modern American liberalism. Since the presidential election of 1976, Democrats have won five out of the last eleven presidential elections, winning in the presidential elections of 1976 (with 39th President Jimmy Carter of Georgia, 1977–1981), 1992 and 1996 (with 42nd President Bill Clinton of Arkansas, 1993–2001) and 2008 and 2012 (with 44th President Barack Obama of Illinois, 2009–2017). Democrats have also won the popular vote in 2000 and 2016, but lost the Electoral College with Al Gore and Hillary Clinton, respectively. The 1876 and 1888 elections were other two presidential elections in which Democrats won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College (the Democrats candidates were Samuel J. Tilden and Grover Cleveland). Social scientists Theodore Caplow et al. argue that "the Democratic party, nationally, moved from left-center toward the center in the 1940s and 1950s, then moved further toward the right-center in the 1970s and 1980s".IRS targeting controversy
In 2013, the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) revealed that it had selected political groups applying for tax-exempt status for intensive scrutiny based on their names or political themes. This led to wide condemnation of the agency and triggered several investigations, including a Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) criminal probe ordered by United States Attorney General Eric Holder.
Initial reports described the selections as nearly exclusively of conservative groups with terms such as "Tea Party" in their names. According to Republican lawmakers, liberal-leaning groups and the Occupy movement had also triggered additional scrutiny, but at a lower rate than conservative groups. The Republican majority on the House Oversight Committee issued a report, which concluded that although some liberal groups were selected for additional review, the scrutiny that these groups received did not amount to targeting when compared to the greater scrutiny received by conservative groups. The report was criticized by the committee's Democratic minority, which said that the report ignored evidence that the IRS used keywords to identify both liberal and conservative groups.
In January 2014, James Comey, who at the time was the FBI director, told Fox News that its investigation had found no evidence so far warranting the filing of federal criminal charges in connection with the controversy, as it had not found any evidence of "enemy hunting", and that the investigation continued. On October 23, 2015, the Justice Department declared that no criminal charges would be filed. On September 8, 2017, the Trump Justice Department declined to reopen the criminal investigation into Lois Lerner, a central figure in the controversy.In late September 2017, an exhaustive report by the Treasury Department's inspector general found that from 2004 to 2013, the IRS used both conservative and liberal keywords to choose targets for further scrutiny.In October 2017, the Trump Administration agreed to settle a lawsuit filed on behalf of more than four hundred conservative nonprofit groups who claimed that they had been discriminated against by the Internal Revenue Service for an undisclosed amount described by plaintiffs' counsel as "very substantial." The Trump Administration also agreed to settle a second lawsuit brought by forty-one conservative organizations with an apology and an admission that subjecting them to "heightened scrutiny and inordinate delays" was wrongful.Jennifer L. Lawless
Jennifer L. Lawless (born March 12, 1975) serves as the current director of the Women & Politics Institute, as well as a Professor of Government at American University.Karen Middleton (politician)
Karen Middleton (born February 24, 1966) is a former member of Colorado House of Representatives in the State of Colorado.Lateefah Simon
Lateefah Simon (born January 29, 1977 in San Francisco) is the president of the Akonadi Foundation and an advocate for civil rights and racial justice. In 2003, she became the youngest woman to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, for her leadership of the Center for Young Women's Development (now the Young Women's Freedom Center) from age 19.Under San Francisco district attorney Kamala Harris, Simon led the creation of San Francisco's Reentry Division, with Back on Track, an advocacy program for young adults charged with low-level felony drug sales.
Simon has been the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the program director of the Rosenberg Foundation.She was elected to represent the seventh district on the Bay Area Rapid Transit District board of directors in 2016. Her motivations for running included her reliance on BART, as someone legally blind and unable to drive.Simon studied social entrepreneurship at Stanford University and public policy at Mills College, where will be the 2017 Commencement speaker.
She is the mother of two children and has written about the difference in how she was treated as an unwed mother and as a widowed mother.Libby Schaaf
Elizabeth Beckman "Libby" Schaaf (born November 12, 1965) is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party. She is the mayor of Oakland, California and a former member of the Oakland City Council. Schaaf won the November 4, 2014, Oakland mayoral election in the 14th round in ranked choice voting with 62.79% of the vote.Schaaf won re-election in 2018.List of political action committees
This list of political action committees is organized by the nature of each particular U.S. PAC's work. The Center for Responsive Politics also maintains a comprehensive and continuously updated list of PACs on its website OpenSecrets.org.Lois Lerner
Lois Gail Lerner (born October 12, 1950) is an American attorney and former United States federal civil service employee. Lerner became director of the Exempt Organizations Unit of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2005, and subsequently became the central figure in the 2013 IRS targeting controversy in the targeting of conservative and liberal groups, either denying them tax-exempt status outright or delaying that status until they could no longer take effective part in the 2012 election. Both conservative and liberal groups were scrutinized. Only three groups - all branches of the Democratic group Emerge America - had tax exemptions revoked. Lerner resigned over the controversy. The Obama Administration attempted to clear itself of wrongdoing in a 2015 investigation that claimed to find "substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia" but "no evidence that any IRS official acted based on political, discriminatory, corrupt, or other inappropriate motives that would support a criminal prosecution."Mia Satya
Mia Satya, also known as Mia Tu Mutch, is an American community organizer and activist for social justice, youth, LGBT and transgender rights. Satya was named a California Woman of the Year by the California State Senate.Michelle Wu
Michelle Wu (born 1985) is an American lawyer and politician who is a member of the Boston City Council. She is the first Taiwanese American and first Asian American woman to serve on the council, as well as the youngest current member. From January 2016 to January 2018, she served as President of the council and was its first woman of color president.Onward Together
Onward Together is an American political action organization founded in May 2017 by former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to fundraise for progressive political groups including: Swing Left, Indivisible, Color of Change, Emerge America, and Run for Something. Clinton described the group as an effort "to advance the vision that won nearly 66 million votes" of a "fairer, more inclusive, big-hearted America."The 2012 Project
The 2012 Project is a nonpartisan national campaign of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers University to identify and engage accomplished women to run for the United States Congress and state legislatures following reapportionment and redistricting within each state. U.S. Census data collected every 10 years include information on population shifts across the nation and are used to redraw congressional and state legislative districts resulting in new and open legislative seats. This work is done in order to comply with the 1965 Voting Rights Act and the "one person, one vote" principle. As of the 2010 Census, women made up 50.8% of the population. In terms of congressional and legislative seats, women currently make up 17% of the U.S. Senate and 16.8% of the U.S. House of Representatives. They make up a slightly larger percentage of the state legislatures at 23.6%. The aim of The 2012 Project is to increase the number of women running for state legislative and congressional office in 2012.