Tuesday, March 28Welcome

Kathleen Matthews: How the Emerging Changed the Face of Maryland Politics

On election night, Rep. Brooke Learman (Democrat) and her family celebrate her election as Maryland’s first female secretary. Photo by Daniel E. Gaines.

Kathleen Matthews

Leiter ran for the U.S. Congress in Maryland in 2016, served as chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party from 2017-2018, and serves on the boards of Emerge Maryland and Emerge America.

This week, a group of women who have been quietly working behind the scenes to change the face of Maryland politics gathered at a woman-owned brewery in Prince George County. If they got a little rowdy, they had good reason to celebrate: For 10 years, through Emerge Maryland, we trained 175 Democratic women to run for office, and another 17 women to train her in 2023. is getting ready to start.

Among them are Brooke Liarman, who will become Maryland’s first female Commissioner, and Jessica Fitzwater, who scored a narrow victory over the county administrator in purple Frederick County. Both are 2013 She Emerge Maryland first class graduates. Thirty-three of her Emerge alumni ran for her 2022 Maryland general election, and all but three won, giving him a 91% win rate.

Kathleen Matthews.

Victory was fought hard. Jessica Fitzwater won the race with less than 1,000 of her votes, and said Emerge taught her the importance of prioritizing her fundraising, setting goals, creating plans, and talking time.

“What Emerge does best is recognizing the skills and talents that women already possess and equipping them to run, win and lead. Reach out, build on existing relationships, and find yourself in new situations.”

Brooke Lierman, a veteran campaigner when she signed up for Emerge 10 years ago, said the network was invaluable when she ran for Congressman and later Auditor. “What Emerge gave me was the confidence that I was eligible and believed I was eligible to run for state office,” she said. “The women I met there became friends, mentors and colleagues.”

As a blue state, Maryland is ahead of the national trend to increase the percentage of women in elected office. But Emerge, the parent organization founded 15 years before her in California, is making a difference across the country. More than 700 Emerge alumni will run for office in 2022, according to National, representing the new American majority, including Black, Brown, Indigenous, women and women of color, LGBTQ, and young and unmarried candidates. women accounted for nearly 6 out of 10 people who took part in the vote. President Ashanti Golar. According to her, Emerge’s contenders have her 72% win rate nationally, which also includes many red states.

Seven Emerging graduates have been elected to Congress, including women running in major battleground states like Abigail Spanberger of Virginia. Sixteen were elected to statewide office, including Andrea Campbell, the first black woman elected. The candidate that emerged was part of her three new Democratic triumphs in Maryland, Massachusetts and Michigan. And thanks to Emerge’s victory, a Democratic majority was built in Vermont. But this progress wouldn’t be possible without Emerge’s intentions woven into her DNA.

The Rutgers Center for American Women in Politics reports that the number of women in state legislatures has increased fivefold since 1980, but only 32% in the state legislature and 28% in the state senate, with less women of voting age. still lags behind the percentage of I’m a Democrat.

Maryland has 45.6% of its legislatures, the fifth highest percentage of women in the nation. Her 16 graduates, including recently re-elected Senator Sarah Elfreth (D-Anne Arundel), are one of 10 women in the state Senate. But Diane Fink, who has run the Maryland program since its inception a decade ago, says she still has work to do.

“Maryland does not have a woman in federal representation. We are thrilled to have our first African-American Democratic governor, but we want to break the glass ceiling, elect a female governor, and serve in the House and Senate. Added women.

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