Application Process

Emerge California Application Process

Applications for our 2019 class are now closed.
Applications for the next class will open after June 2019.
If you would like to be notified of future training programs and seminars, please send your request to:
and we will add you to our mailing list.

Class of 2019 Application Timeline
Nov 26, 2018 — Extended Application Deadline
Dec 1-12, 2018 —  Reading Period
Dec 20, 2018 —  In-person interviews extended
Jan 26 – 27, 2019 — Interviews
Feb 6, 2019 —  Class notified

Application Fee
A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required at the time of the application.

Region Details
The Emerge California Class of 2019 will have three distinct programs: Northern California, Southern California and Central Valley.

  • 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, Contra Costa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Mariposa

  • Central Valley includes the following counties: Shasta, Tehama, Glenn, Butte, Colusa, Sacramento, El Dorado, Solano, Sutter, Yuba, Yolo, Placer, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, Tulare, Kern

  • Southern California includes the following counties: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Riverside, San Diego, Imperial


Tuition for the Emerge California program is $1,500, to cover some of the costs associated with trainings that are otherwise subsidized by Emerge California. Emerge California believes that individual circumstances should NOT be a barrier to participation in the program. Partial (up to 50%) financial aid may be awarded after admission to the program. Emerge California can also assist in brainstorming ways to raise funds to cover the rest of your payment.


As part of fundraising skills development, program participants are required to raise a minimum of $1,000 for Emerge California during the program year in addition to the tuition fee discussed above. The program offers opportunities and support for participants to fulfill this requirement. The program is committed to helping women become excellent fundraisers, and raising funds for the organization is one of the best—and most fun—ways to perfect this skill.


Traveling to the training sessions is a requirement of the program. The first training weekend is the only training session in which all cohorts will come together in the same region. Therefore, Emerge California will cover the cost of transportation and a one-night hotel stay only for any program member who resides 30 miles or more outside of the training location. Please note that all other travel expenses are not included in the program and must be covered by program members (hotel, airfare, mileage, toll, taxis, shuttles, etc.).


The success of the Emerge California program depends upon commitment to the program’s entire schedule by each participant. Over the five-month period, approximately 70 program hours are scheduled. Time outside of regularly scheduled trainings will be necessary for homework and training preparation. All five training sessions are mandatory – missing a training session may impact graduation and further participation in the program.


Emerge California seeks Democratic women in the state of California who are committed to run for elected office at the local level. Selected applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • A commitment to running for identified local political office in the next few years
  • Anticipated ability to perform well as a candidate following Emerge’s training
  • Commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the trainings
  • Residence in the program region they are applying to

Scoring criteria for selection to the program are listed below. Emerge California understands that the strengths and weakness of each program applicant varies.

  • Evidence of political experience and leadership potential
  • Meaningful involvement in community seeking to represent/with subject matter of office (e.g. education for school board)
  • Demonstrated ability to bring together disparate groups to achieve a goal, previous leadership roles, etc.
  • Existing networks & ability to build necessary political coalition
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service
  • Ability to articulate a personal political vision
  • Professional written and oral communications/presentation
  • Ability to inspire others
  • Past experience and anticipated aptitude for fundraising

Applicants must be women who are registered Democrats and who reside in the state of California.

Emerge California anticipates selecting a Northern California cohort of between 20-25 women, a Southern California cohort of between 20-25 women and a Central Valley cohort of between 20-25 women who meet the above criteria and who we believe have the potential to be elected officials.

Emerge embraces diversity and encourages applications from all who identify as women (both cis and transgender women) regardless of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, marital status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, disability status, or other such characteristics.