In 2015 and 2016, as Hillary Clinton ran for president, EMILY’S List got a record 920 inquiries from women across the country interested in running for office. Since the election, the number is 16,000, and the organization is ramping up to help as many of them as possible:
EMILY’s List officials said the group is currently in touch with 130 women across 80 U.S. House districts about the possibility of running in down-ballot races. What happens with the 16,000 more broadly comes down, in part, to scale. The team tasked with state and local candidates has nearly tripled in size, but still only stands at 14 people. Eight are “advisers” based regionally in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Montana, Virginia, and North Carolina, officials said.
The revamped training department, led by Mũthoni Wambu Kraal, an EMILY’s List official since 2009, is now working to create a digital platform that
reach the influx of interested women en masse through webinars. The group has already held in-person trainings, and plans to hold 25 this year.
EMILY’s List’s organizing effort is not just about 2018 or even 2020:
Of the 16,000 women who have contacted EMILY’s List, half are under the age of 45, according to Schriock. “These are women who are going to be running for decades to come.”
This is good. Republicans have had a long game for decades and we see it at all levels of government. Democrats need one, too.
Running for office isn’t the only way to make a difference, but whether that’s your path or you’re at an organization like EMILY’s List or you’re pushing for local change in your community or you’re trying to keep another teenager from being deported, there’s one key task: organize, organize, organize.