QoTD: Emerge NJ

Last night was the kickoff event of Emerge New Jersey, a group singularly devoted to finding, training and supporting forward-thinking, idea-generating and campaign-worthy Democratic women for office. Sheila Oliver, New Jersey's first-in-history African-American woman to serve as Speaker of the Assembly and an honorary chairwoman, gave a rollicking speech I can't begin to capture (and wish I had on video). A lot of good money was raised to set up Emerge's first 7-month training program (launch date September 2013). Energy was high, including a piercing war whoop from a group of young women attending shouted out when the dream of America's first woman president was mentioned.

But my Quote of the Day is from Elissa Grodd Schragger, an attorney who will be a key player in Emerge NJ's ambitious plans to ready a new crop of emerging women leaders for campaigns and follow them through to election. Elissa:

"Why Emerge? Because it's a program that works and there's no sense reinventing the wheel.  Of the alumnae of the program who've run [Emerge is national; NJ its 12th state] 60% win.  Over 40% of the graduates are women if color.  After all, we are quickly becoming a minority-majority country and state.  And so who else do we want representing us? I want women veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan working on foreign policy.  I was a mom who has written hundreds of dollars in checks to daycare every week to work on the budget.  Emerge NJ will train you and give you the tools to win.  

Ready for a little gender parity, Jersey Girls?

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