New local pubic-service training program in Vermont reaches out to LGBT women

Emerge Vermont
Emerge Vermont Local, a new program designed for women seeking local public office positions in Vermont, debuts this fall. Its parent group, Emerge Vermont, has a strong track record of diversity, reaching out to the LGBT community, with more than 20% of its graduates LGBT women and women of color. Photo courtesy Emerge Vermont

Vermont’s state legislature is made up of 40% women—the highest representation than any other US state except Colorado. However there are far fewer women serving at the town level. So a new program, Emerge Vermont Local—sponsored by the women’s public service advocacy group Emerge Vermont—is making its debut this fall, and the program is reaching out to LGBT women and women of color.

Emerge Local training takes place Friday, November 11, through Sunday, November 13, in Rutland; the deadline to apply is October 25, so those interested should check out the Emerge Vermont Local application site now to get the process rolling.

“Only one mayor and 21% of selectboard members in VT are women. Our towns need more women leaders to help create vibrant, sustainable futures for all Vermonters,” notes an October 3 Emerge Vermont  press release announcing the new program.

“Since its inception three years ago, Emerge Vermont has graduated nearly 50 women from throughout Vermont. Ten now hold elected office, and nine are currently running for state legislature. Emerge Vermont has a proven commitment to diversity—more than 20% of its graduates are women of color and/or LGBT women.”

What’s more, an excellent opportunity to learn more about and support Emerge Vermont takes place on Thursday, October 13, with the “Stand Up for Emerge” evening of comedy and socializing. The event, which features comedians Josie Leavitt, Tracy Dolan, and friends, starts with cocktails at 6:30 p.m. at Main Street Landing, located at One Main Street in Burlington. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the organization and the Cheryl Hanna Scholarship Fund.

Emerge Vermont is part of a national network currently working in 16 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.