Application Process


Emerge California Application Process

Applications for the Emerge California
Class of 2023 are NOW OPEN!

Emerge California’s signature program is a 6-month, intensive training program for Democratic women who are planning to run for elected office. The training equips leaders with the resources, knowledge, connections and community of support necessary for a successful run as a candidate. Emerge California is intentional about recruiting Democratic women from groups that have been historically excluded from politics, including the New American Majority—Black, Brown and Indigenous women, women of color, LGBTQ+ women, and young and unmarried women.

In 2023, we will train a class of approximately 40-45 program members throughout the state. The 6-month training runs from January to June.

Below is information regarding the Application Process, as well as important information to know before applying to the Emerge California candidate training program.

Application Process

The application and selection process for the Class of 2023 runs from June 13 – December 6, 2022. To be considered for the Class of 2023, interested applicants must complete the following:

  • Submit Application:
    The Class of 2023 Application must be submitted by the August 15, 2022 at 5:00 PM deadline. No late applications will be accepted — no exceptions. In order to be considered for the Class of 2023, interested applicants must submit a complete application. This includes an online application, as well as a submission of a resume and two letters of recommendation.

  • Interview Round:
    After the application review, selected applicants will be invited to a virtual panel interview. Applicants must interview Friday, October 21 or Saturday, October 22 in order to be considered for the Class of 2023.

Before applying, we recommend that you review our list of actions to take if you are interested in applying for the Class of 2023. It is especially important to know the following before you apply: 

  • Eligibility Requirements and Selection Criteria
  • Application Deadline and Interview Dates (see below)
  • Class of 2023 Training Schedule  (attendance at all training sessions is required upon acceptance into the program) and how the program will be virtual (the 6-month training will be delivered exclusively on Zoom) in 2023.
  • Program Tuition, as well as Scholarship and Grant Opportunities (see below)
  • Fundraising Commitment (see below)
  • Please note: to ensure a fair and objective review process, it is the policy of Emerge California not to comment on the deliberations of its selection decisions.

Class of 2023
Application Timeline


June 13, 2022
Application opens for the Class of 2023


June 13 – August 12, 2022
Emerge California Class of 2023 Recruitment Period: Join us for a Zoom Info Session! 


Monday, August 15, 2022
5:00 PM PT

Deadline to apply to the Class of 2023

No late applications will be accepted
no exceptions.

Applications must be 100% complete,
including submission of a resume and
two letters of recommendation,
to be considered.


September 27, 2022
Notification to all applicants regarding the Interview Round


October 21-22, 2022
Interview Round

We recommend you hold both dates for
the Interview Round,
as applicants must
interview to be considered for
acceptance into the program

— no exceptions.

Interviews will be held virtually (via Zoom). Interviews will be approximately 30 minutes and require a relatively quiet space with internet and computer access, as we require you to participate via video. If you have limited access to any of these items, we will work with you to help ensure you can participate successfully.


November 22, 2022
Notification to all applicants regarding acceptance


December 6, 2022
Public Announcement of the Emerge California Class of 2023!


December 14 and December 16, 2022
from 12:00 – 1:30 PM

Emerge California Class of 2023 Orientation

Orientation is mandatory for all program members accepted into the Class of 2023.
The orientations will take place virtually via Zoom. You only need to attend one of the above dates.

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required at the time of the application. Fee waivers are available — more information about fee waivers can be found in the Class of 2023 Application.

Cohort Regions

The Emerge California Program has three cohort regions: Northern California, Southern California and Central Valley. We require applicants to apply to the regional cohort in which they live. Please see below for the geographic breakdown of each cohort and select the corresponding region in your application.

  • Northern California includes the following counties: Del Norte, Siskiyou, Modoc, Humboldt, Trinity, Shasta, Lassen, Mendocino, Tehama, Plumas, Napa, Lake, Sierra, Alpine, Calavernas, Mono, Tuolumne, Inyo, San Benito, Monterey, Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Solano, Contra Costa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Mariposa
  • Southern California includes the following counties: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial
  • Central Valley includes the following counties: Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Nevada, Colusa, Sacramento, El Dorado, Sutter, Yuba, Yolo, Placer, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern

Tuition, Scholarships, and Grants

Tuition for the Emerge California candidate training program is $1,500 to cover program costs that are otherwise subsidized by Emerge California. Tuition can be paid in full or through installments.

Emerge California believes that individual circumstances should NOT be a barrier to participation. That is why scholarships have been available to program members since Emerge California’s founding. Program members can apply for a program scholarship of up to $750.

Through Emerge California’s Child Care Initiative, established in 2019 to increase access to the training for caregivers, program members can also apply for a child care grant for up to $350, in the event that child care is needed to ensure your full participation in the program.

Finally, we understand that the global pandemic and economic downturn is still having a significant impact on many families. In an effort to provide additional funding support to program members who may be impacted by this unprecedented time in our lives, and to support program members who may not currently have the technological resources to train virtually, in 2020 we launched our Sisterhood Grant. Program members in the Class of 2023 can apply for a Sisterhood Grant of up to $250.

We encourage those applying for scholarships and grants to consider all possible program related expenses when applying, including but not limited to: tuition cost, technology upgrades, child care, potential travel (there may be in-person meet up opportunities arranged by program members outside of your city).

Please note that all scholarships and grants come in the form of a tuition reduction from the $1,500 program tuition cost. We understand that the scholarships and grants offered do not cover tuition expenses in full. Program members can also opt to fundraise to cover the tuition cost. Please note that this would be in addition to the fundraising commitment (see below).

Emerge California will review all scholarship and grant applications and make awards based on eligibility and funds available. To ensure a fair and objective review process, it is the policy of Emerge California not to comment on the deliberations of its award panel. All information provided through these applications, and related to your request, will be kept confidential and only shared internally.

Equity is a foundational value of ours at Emerge California, which is why we ensure that our candidate training program is accessible to all who are interested in participating. We will work with each accepted program member on an individual basis to create a plan to cover the cost of tuition and other related program costs.

Note to current candidates: Please note that current candidates (at the time applying for a scholarship or grant applications) are ineligible for funding support. We HIGHLY encourage applicants to contact Emerge California to discuss their options at contact@emergeca.org. Emerge California is a NON-PAC 527 organization. Thus, we cannot endorse candidates or provide financial support (including via monetary contributions or in-kind donations) to current candidates. This is why current candidates for elected office are NOT eligible for the scholarship and grants.

Fundraising Commitment

Our training curriculum is comprehensive, and includes a heightened focus on two specific themes: fighting for racial justice and equity as an elected leader, as well as building one of the most important of candidate skills – the skills and confidence to fundraise.

To help program members develop their fundraising skills, each program member is required to raise a minimum of $1,000 for Emerge California during the training program. These funds go directly back to Emerge California to train the next class. This fundraising component is separate from the $1,500 tuition cost of the program.

The program offers ample opportunities and support for participants to fulfill the fundraising requirement. The program is committed to helping Democratic women become excellent fundraisers, and raising funds for the organization is one of the best—and most fun—ways to build this skill.

During the program year, we will train you on how to raise funds and we will work with you on the best way to approach your fundraising commitment.

Time Commitment

The success of the Emerge California program depends upon each program member’s commitment to the entire 6-month candidate training program. This includes: 

  • Attendance at all 12 day-long training sessions throughout the 6-month training, 
  • Completing pre-work prior to each training, 
  • Submission and presentation of a Capstone Project — the “Campaign Toolkit,” and
  • Reading and responding to frequent communications from Emerge California.

Over the 6-month period, program members will meet virtually for six training sessions (12 training days total). Time outside of the regularly scheduled training sessions is mandatory and expected on a near weekly basis. All six training sessions (12 training days total) are mandatory — missing a training session may impact participation in the program and one’s ability to graduate and be considered an Emerge California alumna.