Selection Criteria

Emerge California Selection Criteria

Applications for the Emerge California
Class of 2023 are NOW OPEN!
Apply by August 15, 2022.
Click here to learn more about the application process.

Emerge California seeks Democratic women who reflect the communities they serve and who are committed to running for elected office in the next 1-3 years. 


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. We seek to recruit and train leaders who reflect the communities they serve and have the life experiences that allow them to reimagine and rebuild institutions that have resulted in the inequities we are grappling with today. 

Emerge California will select approximately 40-45 women for the Class of 2023. Invitations to participate in the Class of 2023 will be offered to Democratic women who meet the criteria below and who best demonstrate through the application and interview process that they have the experience, interest, and commitment to participate fully in the Emerge California candidate training program and, most importantly, to serve as future elected leaders.

Program Eligibility

  • An applicant must currently be a registered Democrat.
  • An applicant must reside in the State of California.
  • An applicant must identify as a woman. 
  • Full program participation, which entails attendance at all 12 full-day training sessions throughout the 6 months, completing a capstone project, and reading and responding to frequent communications from Emerge California.
  • Residence in the cohort region to which the applicant is applying. Read about our “Cohort Regions” here.

Selection Criteria

  • Track record of values-driven leadership.
  • Commitment to racial justice and equity.
  • Involvement in and commitment to one’s community, in public service and in politics.
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to developing a pathway to elected office.
  • Commitment to running for elected office in the 1-3 years following graduation from the program.
  • Interest and commitment to issues that can be addressed through the desired political office.
  • Understanding of the resources necessary to run for office.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate mission and vision as a future elected official.
  • Demonstrated success in setting and achieving organizational goals. 
  • Demonstrated ability to bring together disparate groups to achieve a goal.
  • Demonstrated effort and thoughtfulness into the completion of the application.