Emerge New Jersey Announces Class of 2024

Emerge New Jersey Announces Class of 2024


Trenton, NJ—Emerge New Jersey, the state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women to run for office, announced it has accepted 17  women into the organization’s Class of 2024. This cohort of trailblazing women come from communities across the state and have already proven themselves as leaders and trailblazers with the unique backgrounds, experiences, and identities that make up New Jersey. Upon completion of Emerge’s six-month signature program, they will join a powerful sisterhood of over 200 New Jersey alums and over 6,000 alums nationwide.

The Class of 2024 represents one of the most diverse classes in Emerge New Jersey history with 89% of the cohort being women of the New American Majority–Black, Brown and Indigenous women and women of color, as well as LGBTQ+, young, and unmarried women. These women come from communities across New Jersey who have been intentionally kept off the decision-making table and will help provide powerful representation both on the ballot and in office as they look to run–and win.

“Emerge New Jersey is thrilled to welcome our Class of 2024,” said Geri Jannarone, Executive Director of Emerge New Jersey. “These women are already exceptional leaders across New Jersey who are eager to learn how to take their next step into public office and bring these tools and skills back to their communities. At a time when we desperately need more women, especially women in the New American Majority, in our public offices and institutions, our cohort members are stepping up to show the power of women in leadership. We’re incredibly proud of them and can’t wait to help guide them on the next step of their political journeys.”

Emerge New Jersey Class of 2024:

  • Aileen Merino – New Brunswick
  • Ameerah McCoy – Paterson
  • Bjana Swinson – Mount Holly
  • Christine Hablitz – Little Falls
  • Crystal Feliciano – Trenton 
  • Debbie Hamilton-Clax – Phillipsburg
  • Elizabeth Calderone – Woodcliff Lake
  • Elizabeth Milhim – West Orange
  • Faith Edwards – Freehold Township
  • Josieanne Payoute – Hillside
  • Lisa D. Palin – Roselle
  • Loretta Rivers – Piscataway
  • Nicole Taetsch – Red Bank
  • Quantavia Hilbert – Orange
  • Rachel Smith – Jersey City
  • Regina Robinson-Harris – Roselle
  • Shayla Nunn – Hasbrouck Heights

Emerge New Jersey’s training program offers Democratic women who want to run for public office a unique opportunity. Women who are accepted receive 70 hours of in-depth education over six months that inspires them to run for office and gives them the tools to win. The program’s trainers are an elite team of campaign consultants, advisors and staff who have been involved in some of the most successful campaigns and initiatives seen in recent election cycles. Participants learn from these experts and develop practical knowledge in areas such as public speaking, fundraising, campaign strategy, voter contact, media and messaging and others. Candidates also meet an array of dynamic women who hold elected and appointed office and become a part of a supportive network, which includes a national association of Emerge alums serving at nearly every level of public office.


Emerge New Jersey has a proven track record for getting Democratic women elected. Since the organization launched in 2014, the program has equipped over 200 women with the skills needed to bring change to their communities. Many of the alums have gone on to run for political office or been appointed to local boards or commissions, and of those who have gone on to run for an elected position, Over 70%  have won including Senator Britnee Timberlake, Assemblywoman Alixon Collazos Gill, Mayor Dahlia Vertreese, Councilwoman Michelle Pirone Lambros and so many more. Emerge is committed to reaching 100,000 women of the New American Majority, repowering political structures, and fostering a lift as you climb culture over the next 15 years. In fact, over 75% of the Emerge New Jersey’s graduates are part of the New American Majority.


Headshots and full biographies available upon request. For more information, please visit emergenj.org.


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