News Briefs, State News

Emerge Vermont announces next class of aspiring women political leaders

Emerge Vermont, a statewide organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office, announced Dec. 15 that it has selected its 2022 class. This year’s chosen group of 26 future women political leaders is Emerge Vermont’s largest and most diverse class, with women from all parts of the Green Mountain State who come from diverse backgrounds and span the spectrum of race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic levels, and professional experience.

Elaine Haney, executive director said: “Our organization selected exceptional applicants who will seize political opportunities once they have the tools necessary to run an effective campaign. Democrats need to maintain and build the power and success they have had over the last few cycles, and now, more than ever, these women’s voices are needed in our government.”

Emerge Vermont’s training program offers Democratic women who want to run for public office a unique opportunity. Women who are accepted receive 70 hours of in-depth education over four months that inspires them to run for office and gives them the tools to win. The program’s trainers are an elite team of campaign consultants, advisors, and staff from Vermont and all over the country who have been involved in some of the most successful campaigns and initiatives seen in recent election cycles. Participants learn from these experts and develop practical knowledge in areas such as public speaking, fundraising, campaign strategy, voter contact, media and messaging, and others. Candidates also meet an array of dynamic women who hold elected and appointed office and become part of a supportive network that includes a statewide and national association of Emerge alumnae and Emerge cabinet members.

“I believe that there are not nearly enough women serving in elected offices in Vermont,” said Charity Clark of Williston. “I’m excited to be a part of Emerge Vermont’s 2022 class and I’m looking forward to expanding my skills and experience in politics. I hope my classmates and I will go on to become Vermont’s next generation of women political leaders.”

Emerge Vermont has a proven track record for getting Democratic women elected. Since the organization launched in 2013, the program has equipped 149 women with the skills needed to bring change to their communities. Dozens of alumnae have gone on to run for political office or been appointed to local boards or commissions, and of those who have gone on to run for an elected position, 38% have won. Currently 44 Emerge Vermont alumnae are serving in elected office, with 24 in statewide office or the Legislature. Emerge Vermont’s commitment to diversity also means that the women selected for the program come from a multitude of different backgrounds and all walks of life. In fact, 23% of the Class of 2022 are women of color.

“I am concerned that there is not enough representation of women—especially women of color—in Vermont government. I want to ensure my voice and the voices of BIPOC women are represented in these spaces,” said Esther Thomas of Middlebury. “I knew I wanted to be an active member in my community, so I asked myself why not me? When it was time, I stepped up.”

Criteria for selection into the class included evidence of political leadership experience or potential; meaningful involvement in workplace or community; interest in pursuing political office; demonstrated ability to bring together disparate groups to achieve a goal; ability and desire to build effective networks; ability to articulate a personal political vision; demonstrated ability to inspire others; and commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the trainings. Applicants had to be registered Democrats. Women of all ages, races, nationalities, marital status, religious affiliations, sexual orientations, and physical abilities were encouraged to apply. For more info, visit

Emerge Vermont’s Class of 2022:

  • Julia Andrews, Westford
  • Tara Arneson, Richmond
  • Susan Barrett, Norwich
  • Ellie Beckett, Williston
  • Daisy Berbeco, Winooski
  • Charity Clark, Williston
  • Edee Edwards, Halifax
  • Mary Erdei, White River Junction
  • Rey Garofano, Essex
  • Sarah Hackett-Dalgliesh, Bennington
  • Iris Hsiang, Essex Junction
  • Amanda Janoo, Burlington
  • Emilie Krasnow, South Burlington
  • Saudia LaMont,
  • Morrisville Angela Lawrence, Dummerston
  • Christy Liddy, Jeffersonville
  • Erica Marthage, Manchester Center
  • Susan McClure, Hinesburg
  • Haley Pero, Burlington
  • Monique Priestley, Bradford
  • Julia Rogers, Stowe
  • Brenda Siegel, Newfane
  • Anna Tadio, Rutland
  • Esther Thomas, Middlebury
  • Olivia Toomey, Essex Junction
  • Drake Turner, Burlington

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