Emerge California Announces Groundbreaking Child Care Initiative
The Child Care Initiative will offer child care grants
to women during their candidate training program
Sacramento – Women are running for office in ever-increasing numbers, but there is still a major barrier to their success — the high cost of child care. Finding and paying a qualified caregiver so that mothers can take the first steps needed to run for office is preventing many from even trying.
In an effort to address this issue and further close the gender gap in elected office, Emerge California – in honor of Mother’s Day – announces the launch of its new Child Care Initiative. The initiative will expand the scholarship fund to offer child care grants to any Emerge California program member during their candidate training program.
“At our first training session this year, almost every hand in the room went up when our program members were asked how many of them are moms. Women candidates overcome plenty of hurdles on their road to victory and we want to ensure that the need for child care is not a barrier for Emerge women as they prepare to run for office,” said Janice Rocco, Emerge California Board Chair.
While child care can affect all office-seekers, it primarily impacts women — which is why Emerge California’s Child Care Initiative is so significant. Women make up half the state’s population, yet constitute just 30 percent of the state legislature and 31 percent of local elected seats. By increasing resources for women to participate in the candidate training offered by Emerge California – whose alumnae win nearly 70% of the time when they do run for office – government will better reflect the state’s diversity and needs.
“People need to realize just how groundbreaking this initiative is,” said Adonica Shaw, a marketing consultant and current Class of 2019 program member. “I have three children and I know firsthand that lack of child care often leaves some of the most politically inspired women on the sidelines.”
Shaw is one of 51 women currently in the program, a 5-month, 70-hour training program offered in Northern California, Southern California and the Central Valley. The program members represent a wide range of women, from a foster child turned class valedictorian and Guatemalan immigrant now a district attorney’s chief of staff, to a Marine Corps veteran and community college executive.
“In the political climate we live in today, it is important now more than ever to get women elected to office,” said Melanie V. Ramil, Executive Director of Emerge California. “However, we cannot help them build the skills required to win elected office if they are not able to attend our candidate training. This initiative will break down traditional barriers and help open the floodgates for women who are ready to lead.”
Emerge California is the premier candidate training program for Democratic women who want to run for office in California. Founded in 2003, Emerge California has been changing the face of California politics by recruiting and training women to run for public office and win, by providing comprehensive training and access to a powerful network. Our intensive 5-month, 70-hour training is the only one of its kind in the state and includes top-flight instruction on fundraising, field work, communications and more. We offer the training programs in Northern California, Southern California and the Central Valley. Alumnae include Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, Board of Equalization Member Malia Cohen, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott, to name a few.
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