Fellows and Volunteers

Emerge California Fellows Program & Volunteer Opportunities

About Emerge California

Emerge California is changing the face of California politics by identifying, training and encouraging self-identified Democratic women to run for office and win. We offer an in-depth, six-month, 70-hour candidate training program that provides aspiring women leaders with cutting-edge tools and training to run for elected office and elevate themselves in our political system. Training sessions cover everything from fundraising and field game to communications, storytelling and running a culturally competent campaign.

Too often, women do not see themselves running for office—they assume they do not have enough experience, or they do not know where to begin. While women make up more than half of the population, women hold only 30% of seats in the California State Legislature and in local seats across the state. 

Emerge California’s premier candidate training program has proven tremendously effective in increasing these numbers. Since 2002, Emerge California has trained 550 women. Over half of them run for office just years after graduating from Emerge California’s premier candidate training program, and when Emerge California alumnae run for office, they win nearly 70% of the time. Its success spurred the founding of Emerge America, our national partner that focuses on replicating the Emerge model across the nation – there are currently 30 Emerge affiliates in the United States. 

Today, 100 Emerge California alumnae hold elected office throughout the state, including Lieutenant Governor Eleni Kounalakis, State Board of Equalization Chair Malia Cohen, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, San Francisco Mayor London Breed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff, San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott.


Emerge California Digital Office Volunteers support projects and work of Emerge California that can be performed remotely. Digital Office Volunteers will support all the operations and programs of Emerge California, from fundraising and development to recruitment and the training program, and communications and alumnae engagement.

If interested, please click here to learn more and submit your information.



Overview – Emerge California Fellows Program

Emerge California Fellows will be responsible for supporting all aspects of the candidate training program, including training program logistics, recruitment and selection of the program class, alumnae relations and tracking, and communications. Fellows will be an integral part of the Emerge California team and will gain experience working with all aspects of the organization, and will report directly to a Regional Program Director. The ideal candidate will be a self-motivated, organized, detail-oriented, strong communicator who is passionate about electing Democratic self-identified women to office!

We are seeking three Fellows for our inaugural Fellows Class of 2019-20: Southern California Fellow, Central Valley Fellow, and Northern California Fellow.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Support the execution of the candidate training program, including: trainer and program member communications, training logistics, materials preparation, program member tracking and attending all training weekends. 
  • Assist with program member recruitment and selection, including: recruitment outreach, logistics for recruitment events, communication and follow-up with prospective program members, applicant tracking, coordination of the application reading period and support setting up interviews. 
  • Participate in weekly team meetings and weekly in-person meetings with their Regional Program Director
  • Create and update communications materials
  • Provide support at Emerge California regional events, including fundraisers, house parties, receptions and meet and greet events, and attend other regional political events 
  • Lead special projects, ranging from social media and communications to volunteer management, research and fundraising, and organization-wide responsibilities as assigned


  • The Emerge California Fellows Class of 2019-20 will work with the Emerge California team from mid-September 2019 to July 1, 2020 
  • Fellows must live in the region in which they are applying (Southern California, Central Valley, Northern California) and have the ability to meet on a weekly basis with their Regional Program Director in Los Angeles, San Francisco or Sacramento, respectively
    • Check here to determine which Cohort Region you are in 
  • Fellows must be able to work remotely, and will be working an average of 16 – 20 hours per week on a set schedule 
  • Fellows must be able to travel to and attend all in-person recruitment, selection and training events in their respective region. Please check all dates: 
  • Fellows must be able to travel within their cohort region and carry boxes of supplies of 10 pounds or less 

What We’re Looking For

Strong candidates will have: 

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the skills to attend and speak at events as a representative of Emerge California 
  • Solid organizational skills and experience managing multiple projects at once
  • Attention to detail 
  • Self-starter who takes initiative and can work well remotely
  • Current and past experience in California politics and/or women organizations, and knowledge of regional politics and organizations are a plus
  • The Emerge California Fellowship Program is ideal for young Democrats who are committed and passionate about getting women elected to office, and are seeking to move their career forward in this arena! 


  • Fellows will be paid $15 per hour and will be paid on a biweekly basis 
  • Travel to and from program events (not including weekly meetings) will be compensated for any travel 50 miles or more from the Fellow’s place of residence 
  • Fellows will have the opportunity to get to know and support the Emerge California Class of 2020, and learn what it takes for women to get elected to office  
  • Fellows will have the opportunity to attend and participate in political events throughout California, from the California Democratic Party Convention to fundraisers, events and meetings of regional and statewide organizations 
  • Opportunity to be part of an amazing, passionate, fun team who are dedicated to the mission of increasing the number of women in elected office! 

To Apply

To apply, please send your cover letter, resume and references to contact@emergeca.org. In the subject line, please include “Fellows Program” along with the region in which you are applying (Southern California, Central Valley or Northern California.) If you are not certain which region you reside in, please click here and scroll down to “Cohort Regions.” 

The deadline to apply for the
Emerge California Fellows Class of 2019-2020
is Friday, September 20, 2019.