Political Training Ground Gives Women a Jumpstart on Politics
Emerge Vermont, a political training program for Democratic women, graduated its inaugural class in July, as 17 participants, some holding children, dug into a barbecue dinner at a home in Rutland.
The Emerge group met for seven days of training from March to July, convening a weekend a month in towns around the state. More than 30 speakers brought their expertise from a variety of professions and fields: covering the basics of campaigning, fundraising, media and messaging and approaches to ethical leadership and cultural competency.
The candidates consider Emerge key in laying the groundwork for a run for office, but perhaps just as important, they said, is the camaraderie and community they have forged.
The Vermont Legislature is 40 percent female, with a higher percentage of women than all states except Colorado. But there are far fewer women than men at the town level, on selectboards and in local governance, McCall said. And Vermont is one of four states that has never sent a woman to Washington, D.C.
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