Who Trains

Emerge California Trainers & Speakers

Our Trainers & Speakers

Emerge California trainers and advisors are a premier team of the most sought after campaign consultants and experts in the state, and our speakers include the state’s most influential political leaders, from elected officials to Democratic Party and Labor leaders.

Our trainers have led and won successful campaigns across the state and nation, and at every level – from school board to gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns. They have decades of experience in all aspects of campaigning, from field and fundraising to strategy, communications and public speaking. Many of our trainers have been part of the Emerge California Training Team for several years. 

We are continuously seeking political professionals to join our growing team of trainers and speakers. We are intentional about ensuring that trainers and speakers reflect the diversity of our program members and communities throughout California. We are especially interested in working with political professionals who have an in-depth understanding and awareness of the challenges that women of the New American Majority — Black, Brown and Indigenous women, women of color, LGBTQ+ women, young, and unmarried women face when running for office. If you are interested in training with Emerge California, please contact us at contact@emergeca.org.  

Trainers & Speakers from
our 2019-2022 Training Sessions



Emerge California trainers lead in-depth training sessions in their field of expertise and provide guidance, expertise and resources to program members and Emerge California alums. 

  • Amber Maltbie, Partner, Nossaman’s Public Policy Practice Group 
  • Andrea Rosenthal, Field Director, California Democratic Party
  • Annie Eagan, Principal, Annie Eagan Consulting & Emerge California Board of Directors and Campaign Advisory Team 
  • Cici Battle, Principal, Cici Battle Consulting
  • Christina Harbridge, Gretchen Schoenstein & Marla Harvey, Allegory Inc. 
  • Daedra Staten, Founder and Chief Diversity Consultant, SCG Consulting
  • David Graham-Caso, Deputy Chief of Staff & Communications Director, Office of Los Angeles City Councilmember Mike Bonin
  • Danielle Cendejas, Senior Vice President, The Strategy Group
  • Emily Campbell, Principal, SKDKnickerbocker
  • Emily Lee, Director, San Francisco Rising
  • Four Waters, Principal, Four Waters Media
  • Jamie Patton, Director of Digital Strategy, Saguaro Strategies & Emerge California Campaign Advisory Team 
  • Jill Golub, Principal, Whitehurst/Mosher Campaign Strategy & Media
  • Jona Olsson, Founder, Cultural Bridges to Justice 
  • Johanna Silva Waki, West Coast Director, EMILY’s List
  • Juhi Gupta, 50+1 Strategies
  • June Diane Raphael, Author of “Represent: The Woman’s Guide to Running for Office and Changing the World” & Actress 
  • Kaori Nagase, 50+1 Strategies
  • Lea Grundy, Sophia Lanza-Weil and Tracey Zeluff, GroundWorks Campaigns
  • Ludovic Blain, Executive Director, California Donor Table 
  • Melissa Watson Ward, Emerge South Carolina Executive Director
  • Natalie LeBlanc, Partner and California Managing Director, The Pivot Group & Emerge California Campaign Advisory Team 
  • Peggy Klaus, Principal, Klaus and Associates 
  • Sarah Carrillo, EMILY’s List MidWest Finance Advisor
  • Stephen and Sharon Edelman, Speak Real Communications 
  • Susannah Delano, Executive Director, Close the Gap 
  • Sylvia Gomez and Jon Duncanson, Aviana Productions 
  • Valerie McGinty, Founder and President, Fund Her 
  • Hon. Wendy Greuel, Former Los Angeles City Controller & Emerge California Board of Directors

Campaign Consultant Advisors 

Our Campaign Consultant Advisors engage with program members in small group and one-on-one settings in order to provide guidance specific to the program members’ intended candidacies. 

  • Adam Kinsey, Director, Uplift Campaigns
  • Andy Barr, Managing Director, Saguaro Strategies
  • Atima Omara, Founder and President, Omara Strategy Group
  • Bill Burton, President, Bryson Gillette
  • Chris Chafee, Owner and Founder, Chafee Group
  • Courtni Pugh, Co-Founder, Shatter 
  • Danielle Cendejas, Senior Vice President, The Strategy Group
  • Douglas Herman, Partner, The Strategy Group
  • Erica Kwiatkowski Nielsen, Frontier Political Director, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee 
  • Erica Walters, Partner, CleanSweep Campaigns & Emerge California Campaign Advisory Team
  • Gerry Vaughan, Campaign Strategist, The Strategy Group
  • Jamarah Hayner, President, JKH Consulting
  • Johanna Silva Waki, Vice President for Training and Community Engagement, EMILY’s List
  • John Whitehurst, Principal, BMWL & Partners
  • Jordan Curley, Senior Strategist, Kaufman Campaign Consultants & Emerge California Campaign Advisory Team 
  • Julie Edwards, Partner, MJE Strategies
  • Kelly Fong Rivas, Chief of Staff, Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg 
  • Juan Rodriguez, Partner, SCRB Strategies
  • Kate Maeder, Partner, Kully Struble
  • Lisa Gasperoni, Principal at LG Campaigns 
  • Maddie Franklin, Independent Expenditure Political Desk, EMILY’s List
  • Michelle Jeung, Partner, MJE Strategies & Emerge California Board of Directors and Campaign Advisory Team 
  • Nicole Derse, Principal, 50+1 Strategies
  • Rose Kapolczynski, Rose Kapolczynski Consulting


Emerge California program members have the exciting opportunity to hear from many speakers throughout the candidate training program, from Emerge California alums who are currently serving in elected office to the state’s top political leaders in advocacy, labor and Democratic politics. 

  • Hon. Aisha Wahab, Councilmember, Hayward City Council (ECA Alumna) 
  • Alicia Mijares, Representative, Sheet Metal Workers Local 104
  • Hon. Amber Childress, Trustee, Alameda County Board of Education (ECA Alumna) 
  • Amber Parrish Baur, Executive Director, UFCW Western States Council
  • Hon. AngelAnn Flores, Board Trustee, Stockton Unified School District (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Arlis Reynolds, Councilmember, Contra Mesa City Council (ECA Alumna) 
  • Bill Wong, Senior Political Director, Assembly Democrats
  • Bryan Blum, Political Director, California Labor Federation
  • Hon. Carlyn Obringer, Councilmember, City of Concord (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Candelaria Vargas, Board Trustee, Stockton Unified School District (ECA Alumna) 
  • Carol Kim, Political Director, San Diego Building and Construction Trades (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Delaine Eastin, Former California State Superintendent of Public Instruction 
  • Hon. Farrah Khan, Councilmember, Irvine City Council (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Heidi Sanborn, Board of Directors, Sacramento Municipal Utility District (ECA Alumna) 
  • Jessica Self, Chair, Stanislaus County Democratic Party
  • Joshua Anijar, Executive Director, Contra Costa Labor Council 
  • Julie Waters, State Political Director, AFSCME Local 3299 & Emerge California Board of Directors (ECA Alumna) 
  • Katherine Valenzuela, Sacramento City Councilmember-Elect (Emerge CA
    Boot Camp Class of 2019)
  • Kathryn Lybarger, President, California Labor Federation & President, AFSCME Local 3299 
  • Kimberly Ellis, Former Executive Director, Emerge California (ECA Alumna) 
  • Kula Koenig, President, Black Women Organized for Political Action – Sacramento Chapter 
  • Lauren Babb, Public Affairs Director, Planned Parenthood Northern California (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Lateefah Simon, President, BART Board of Directors (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Letitia Clark, Mayor Pro Tem, City of Tustin (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Libby Schaaf, Mayor, City of Oakland (ECA Alumna) 
  • Mai Yang Vang, Sacramento City Unified School District Trustee and
    Candidate for Sacramento City Council (Emerge CA Boot Camp Class of
  • Hon. Mara Elliot, San Diego City Attorney (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Melissa Ramoso, Councilmember, City of Artesia & Chair, California Democratic Party Asian Pacific Islander Caucus 
  • Mike Young, Political and Organizing Director, California League of Conservation Voters
  • Myel Jenkins, Director of Conferences, California School Boards Association (ECA Alumna) 
  • Nora Vargas, Vice President of Community & Government Relations, Planned Parenthood
  • Oscar Lopez, Political Director, SEIU California
  • Hon. Rashi Kesarwani, Councilmember, Berkeley City Council (ECA Alumna) 
  • Hon. Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, State Assemblymember (ECA Alumna)
  • Hon. Rhodesia Ransom, Councilmember, Tracy City Council (ECA Alumna) 
  • Rusty Hicks, Chair, California Democratic Party
  • Hon. Sheng Thao, Councilmember, Oakland City Council
  • Socorro Santillan, Director of Public Affairs, Planned Parenthood Fresno
  • Sophia Garcia, Representative, Latinas Lead
  • Hon. Wendy Ho, Board President, Evergreen Community College Board of Trustees (ECA Alumna)