Emerge California Announces the Class of 2020

Emerge California Announces the Class of 2020
Prominent Democratic Women’s Organization Announces
its Largest Class in its 18 Year History 


December 18, 2019
Contact: (916) 396-6153

Sacramento, CA — Emerge California, the state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women to run for political office, announced today that it has selected the Class of 2020 – it’s largest class ever in the organization’s history. 

This year’s group of 69 women are doctors, photographers, domestic engineers, community activists, nonprofit leaders, and education leaders. They are immigrants and first-generation Americans, they are expectant mothers and grandmothers, and they identify as LGBTQ, women of color and as multiracial. These women represent a broad tapestry of backgrounds, identities, and life experiences, and we need their voices at decision-making tables.  

“Emerge California is thrilled to welcome the Class of 2020,” said Melanie V. Ramil, Executive Director of Emerge California. “Our organization selects exceptional applicants who are eager to take what they learn and apply it to their candidacies for elected office. This was one of the most competitive years of our program and most of this year’s participants will be on the ballot in 2020. Their candidacies – and victories – next year mark a new era that will be moving us towards a reflective democracy.” 

Emerge California’s signature candidate training program offers Democratic women who want to run for elected office a unique opportunity. Women who are accepted receive 70 hours of in-depth candidate education over six months that provides the necessary tools, resources and support to run a strong campaign – and win. The program’s trainers are comprised of an elite team of campaign consultants, advisors and staff. Participants learn from these experts and develop practical knowledge in areas such as public speaking, fundraising, campaign strategy, voter contact, and media and messaging. Program members also meet an array of dynamic women – including Emerge California alumnae currently serving in elected office, statewide leaders and political power players – and become part of a strong network of women in California politics. 

 “The importance of the 2020 elections cannot be overstated, and Emerge women are prepared to play a significant role in leading the way,” said Janice Rocco, Emerge California Board Chair.  “Today’s exciting announcement is that Emerge California’s 600 alumnae, including the 100 already holding public office, will be joined by our largest program class yet, with cohorts in Southern and Northern California and the Central Valley in 2020.”

The Emerge California Class of 2020 includes: 

Aliya Chisti
Allyssa Victory Villanueva
Alma Hernandez
April Northrup
Artavia Berry
Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz
Carolyn Wysinger
Conna McCarthy
Cristina Medina Dirksen
Destiny Whitfield Briscoe
Esmeralda Cortez Rosales
GeNell Gary
Guadalupe Enllana
IdaRose Sylvester
Jennifer Salerno
Jennifer Esteen
Jennifer Shanoski
Karla Corres Luna
Kyra Mungia
Linda Sell
Lisa Forssell
Lisa Mendes
Magali Limeta
Meghan Marshall
Melissa Shuen-Mallory
Melissa Blaustein
Melissa Stafford Jones
Morgan Aitken-Young
Patricia Hunter
Rachel Farac
Stephanie Williams-Rogers
Zoe Carter

Branda Lin
Bridget McConaughy
Cheylynda Barnard
Denise Delgado
Diandra Bremond
Dulce Vasquez
Eboney Pearson
Helen Tran
Jacqulyn Whang
Katharine Yaroslavsky
Kathleen Treseder
Kathye Armitage
Kellie Shay Hinze
Marina Torres
Meredith Murr
Natalie Moser
Nelly Nieblas
Dr. Raissa White
Sasha Renee Perez
Dr. Tiffany E. Boyd-Hodgson
Tina Arias Miller
Victoria Keen

Adrian Carpenter-McKinney
Destiny Rodriguez
Jamie Simon
Julie Damron
Karen Bayne
Kelly Bennett
Kristi Capra
Leng Power
Mary J. Wardell
Megan Sapigao
Michelle Shaw
Michelle Tucker
Stephanie Williams
Veronica Nelson
Yolanda Peneda


Emerge California’s mission is to increase the number of women in elected office and focuses on delivering their signature 6-month, 70-hour candidate training program to Democratic women across California. Founded in 2002, 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. The organization has trained over 600 Democratic women, including 100 Emerge California alumnae who are serving in elected office today. Alumnae include Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, State Board of Equalization Chair Malia Cohen, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott.