The 2018 midterm elections saw a record number of women elected to Congress. Now, women are organising to make the moment into a movement
Just days after the most female freshman class in American history was sworn into the 116th Congress in January, the next wave of aspiring women candidates gathered in the basement of a university building in downtown Richmond, Virginia.
Together over the next six months, these women will learn the fundamentals of running for office how to build a campaign team, deliver a stump speech and raise money.
The prospective candidates mostly lack political experience, but they have ambition a trait that is celebrated at Emerge Virginia, part of the Emerge America national training program for Democratic women started in California in 2002. The non-profit aims to help women overcome the obstacles that have long kept the corridors of power overwhelmingly male.
One of the new trainees in the Virginia program is Ivory Dean, a science policy fellow in Washington DC, who plans to start her career in local politics. But, with Washington in turmoil and a nation divided, she fully intends to one day run for president of the United States.
We need leaders now more than ever, Dean said. So I asked myself, why am I waiting for someone else to come along and be that leader?
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