Application Process

The Application period for our signature program is closed for 2021! Please inquire about our Spring boot camp.

Please read through all of the information below in its entirety. It is important to have a complete understanding of the application process and training program before you apply. Applications for the 2021 | Maria Cantwell cohort will be accepted until November 30, 2020. For questions, please contact

We encourage you to begin your application well in advance of the closing date due to the detailed nature of the application.


Who Should Apply?

Emerge Washington seeks Democratic women who are committed to effective political leadership and are interested in running for elective office and who have:

  • Evidence of political leadership experience or potential, and meaningful involvement in workplace or community;
  • Interest in running for political office;
  • Ability and desire to build effective networks;
  • Ability to articulate a personal political vision;
  • Commitment to full participation and attendance requirements of the trainings.
  • Applicants must be women who are Democrats and who reside in the state of Washington.

Emerge Washington will select 20-30 women from across the state who meet the above criteria and who we believe have the potential to be political leaders.

Emerge Washington embraces diversity and encourages applications from all women regardless of age, race, color, national or ethnic origin, marital status, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, socio-economic status or physical ability.  Our mission to build the bench of Democratic women ready to run for office acknowledges both systemic and historic barriers to running for office as well as the barriers women impose on themselves.

To be considered for the Emerge WA | 2021  class, applicants must complete a written application by the stated deadline. Written applications will be evaluated by a selection committee and qualified applicants will be invited to an in-person interview. Invitations to join the 2021 class will be extended before the end of the year.

Time Commitment

The success of the Emerge Washington program depends upon commitment to the program’s entire schedule by each participant.  Over the multi-month period, approximately 80 program hours are scheduled. Some time outside of regularly scheduled trainings will be necessary for homework and preparation. While emergencies sometimes arise, attendance at the first day of training is mandatory and absence for any reason will result in a deferral to the following year.  Please review the schedule below to ensure your availability to attend every training day.

2021 Maria Cantwell Class Dates

January 9

January 23 and 24

February 27 and 28

 March 20 and 21 and 22 (Olympia)*

April 24 and 25

May 22 and 23

*March will include a Monday, as we will spend, depending on COVID restrictions, the day in Olympia shadowing our women legislators.



Emerge Washington will review completed written applications and select finalists for in-person interviews. Finalists will be invited to attend an interview with the selection committee in person in Seattle or via Zoom if you live outside of Seattle.

Application Fee

A non-refundable application fee of $50 is required and must be submitted along with a completed application.  The application fee can be paid here or mail a check payable to Emerge Washington, 1517 12th Avenue #101; Seattle, WA  98122


Tuition for the 2021 Maria Cantwell class is $1795.  If offered a seat in the class, there is an $100 down payment required to hold our spot.  The remaining tuition is $695 is tuition and all making a request are eligible for payment plans or financial assistance and $1000 is a fundraising requirement.  We provide the tools, techniques and training to help you meet your goal. Financial need should not be a barrier to applying to the program.

The multi-month program does take place in various parts of the state one weekend each month.  Travel and overnight accommodations may be necessary depending on your location to trainings. Emerge Washington will endeavor to assist with supporter housing when needed, but travel costs are not covered by the program.

If financial concerns are holding you back from completing your application, please reach out to Karen Besserman ~ Financial need should not be a barrier to applying to the program.