This Is Our Why: Statement from Emerge California

  • Jun 8, 2020
  • Melanie V. Ramil, Executive Director of Emerge California

To the Emerge California Community,

We are reaching out with a heavy heart and a deep sense of purpose.

The fight for justice and equity for Black Americans must include dismantling systemic racism and eradicating anti-Black policies within the criminal justice system and beyond. The way we do this is by electing leaders who have the life experiences that allow them to reimagine and rebuild institutions that have resulted in the inequities we are grappling with today.

Black lives matter and it is time our institutions and policies reflect that. The power to change these policies exists in our city halls, on county boards and in statehouses across this country.

This is why we train Democratic women to run for elected office.

This is why we are intentional about recruiting Democratic Black women, non-Black women of color and white women who stand up in solidarity.

As an organization, we commit to deepening our work in the fight for justice for Black Americans, as this is the time for all of us to look within and find ways to do more.

Over half of the women we currently train are Black and non-Black women of color. We pledge to increase our partnerships with community and grassroots organizations in order to recruit more Black women leaders to run, win and make change in elected office.

Our signature candidate training includes a session on how to run a culturally competent campaign. We pledge to increase opportunities for deeper growth and learning for current program members and alumnae.

We strive to be a resource for alumnae as they run for office. We pledge to provide the information and resources they need as elected leaders to rethink and implement policies in their fight for equality.

San Francisco Mayor and Emerge California Alumna (Class of 2008) London Breed said this recently:

“We are here to take our experiences, our strength and everything that we represent, and use that to make different and better decisions, so that we can change the outcome of what’s actually happening with Black people, not just in San Francisco, but all over this country.”

Black lives matter. This is why we have trained hundreds of elected leaders like Mayor Breed who know and embody this truth, and this is why we will continue to do so. This is how we shatter the status quo and build a just and equitable world, in honor of the lives of George Floyd, Tony McDade, Breonna Taylor, Stephon Clark and too many more.

We make this commitment because the fight for justice for Black Americans is a fight for our collective humanity and dignity.

This is our why.

Melanie V. Ramil
Executive Director
Emerge California