Eleanor Clift Headlines Emerge Massachusetts Fundraiser in Easthampton

Easthampton, MA: Emerge Massachusetts, an organization that trains Democratic women to run for office welcomed more than 80 guests to Coco on Main Street in Easthampton on Monday evening, February 27th.

Eleanor Clift, Newsweek columnist and author of Madame President, was the keynote speaker for the evening.  She reflected on the state of women in politics today and what more needs to be done to ensure equal representation in politics.  "Encouraging more women to run for elected office has long been my cause and I'm happy to support Emerge Massachusetts in their quest to send more women to City Hall, the State House, and the halls of Congress,” said Clift.

Other speakers included Emerge MA board member Alexandra Russell, Mary Olberding, alumna from the Class of 2011 and current candidate for Hampshire County Register of Deeds, and Ayanna Crawford, alumna from the Class of 2011. Crawford, a Springfield resident, reflected on her experience in the Emerge program in 2011. She said “Tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today; I will not only be running for office someday, but I will encourage and inspire the pipeline of Emerge women behind me.”

The host committee for the event included women from across all four counties in Western Massachusetts: Lisa Baskin; Ayanna Crawford; Dori Dean; Clare Higgins, Former Mayor of Northampton; Deb Kozikowski; Nicole LaChapelle; Leslie Tarr Laurie; Gladys Lebron-Martinez, Holyoke City Councilor; Rebecca Lisi, Holyoke City Councilor; Elizabeth Maynard; Mary Olberding; Carla Oleska; Alexandra Russell; Pamela Schwartz, Northampton City Councilor; Elizabeth Silver; Ellen Story, State Representative; and Agma Sweeney, Westfield City Councilor.

Since its inception in 2007, Emerge Massachusetts has trained 74 women to run for office and of the fifteen women who have run for office, eight have won. The current Class of 2012, with 20 women, is the most geographically diverse class yet.

About Emerge Massachusetts:
Emerge Massachusetts is the premier political training program for Democratic women in the state. We inspire them to run; we hone their skills to win. Our goal is clear: to increase the number of Democratic women in office.  For more information, see www.emergema.org.

Photo Attached (L-R)
Alexandra Russell, Emerge MA Board member
Judy Neufeld, Executive Director
Eleanor Clift, Guest Speaker
Lisa Baskin, Emerge MA Advisory Council member
Ayanna Crawford, Emerge MA Class of 2011 alumna
Mary Olberding, Emerge MA Class of 2011 alumna

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