The Emerge model works. In just ten months, the Emerge Oregon Executive Director Kathryn Firestone and the Board of Directors, led by Board Chair Elisa Dozono have put together a movement. A "Who's Who" in Oregon politics including Secretary of State Kate Brown, Speaker of the House Dave Hunt and Majority Leader Mary Nolan called Emerge Oregon "a game-changer for Oregon" at the kick-off cocktail party on Saturday.
A 2009 graduate of the program, Joelle Davis, who is running for the Oregon state legislator brought down the house with her commanding passion. I was the closer for the event and in my appeal for donations, I asked for money to prevent another Martha Coakley. The audience got it (along with this video that was played). We had a fat four inch stack of checks at the end of the evening.
Earlier in the day, I did the public speaking training for the new Emerge Oregon program members and my first reaction was "Good thing I didn't to apply to the program amongst these women, because I'm not sure I'd have been admitted." And that thought fills me with glee!
Hats off to the Emerge Board for using their birthdays as fundraising goals, eg, Elisa Dozono is raising $40,000 before her 40th birthday and Jane Hill is raising $5,000 before her daughter's 5th birthday.