Selection Criteria

Emerge California Selection Criteria

Applications for the Emerge California
Class of 2023 will open this summer.

Click below for the Class of 2023 Interest Form
to stay updated on the application process!

Emerge California seeks Democratic self-identified 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 self-identified 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 self-identified 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 15-20 women for each of our three regional cohorts (Northern California, Southern California and Central Valley) for the Class of 2022. Invitations to participate in the Class of 2022 will be offered to Democratic self-identified 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 self-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.