Last year a group of women who were tired of men dominating Oregon electoral politics got together to form Emerge Oregon
. The organization is affiliated with a national movement active in other states.
Emerge Oregon puts participants through seven months of training to prepare them to run for elected office. Yesterday, three current or former Emerge participants filed to run for the Multnomah County commissioner's seat in District 2: Roberta Phillip
, a lawyer who just joined the County Chair's office; Irma Linda Castillo a Multnomah County program manager
, and Maria Rubio
, who worked in former Mayor Tom Potter's administration.
Several other Emerge candidates will also be on the ballot this year elsewhere in Oregon: Clackamas County Commissioner Ann Lininger
; Metro Commission District 1 candiate Shirley Craddick
; House District 26 candidate Sandy Webb
(D-Sherwood); and House District 37 candidate Joelle Davis
"Our mission is to provide candidates with the skills they need to run competitively and win," says Emerge Oregon's executive director Kathryn Firestone. "About 25 percent of our first class  is currently running for office and we're proud of that."