Emerge Oregon: More Women & Wins to Celebrate!


We have more women and wins to celebrate! 

Yesterday, we shared with you those women from our core training program who were on the ballot. Now, we share with you the women we worked with in new recruitment and training efforts we’ve implemented this year.

Six women who attended these trainings went onto run – and five won: An 83% win rate!

That is incredible! But even more important, the story to be told is not just about running for office – or even winning. These women embody a core value of Emerge Oregon: women showing up for women! 

These trainings not only included future candidates, but also women who would support candidates on the campaign trail.

Here’s what Nichole Van Elkeren, an attendee of our Taste of Emerge training in Bend, had to say:

“In February something started and evolved that I had no idea how it would turn out. I took a one-day campaign training from Emerge Oregon. I was inspired to help first time candidates get involved. From that I decided to take on three campaigns as their Campaign Manager. I didn't know these women, but I was continually impressed and proud of them.”
THIS quite literally, warms our heart!

Women who attended that same training and went onto run and win include:
Lauren Sprang, Bend Park and Recreation District
Erica Skatvold, Central Oregon Community College
Julie Craig, Bend-LaPine School Board

Similarly, we met these three women in Silverton – all of whom went onto run in very competitive races, taking on the all-male school board for the Silver Falls school district.

Jennifer Traeger, Shelly Nealon and Michele Stone Finicle

These three candidates launched their campaigns in a living room, surrounded by a group of women who made it clear that win or lose, they would have their backs all the way to Election Day.

Jennifer and Shelly won their races – and Michele got close with 46% of the votes! Now, the board will have two women with classroom experience as members, and we can’t wait for Michele to run again!

Similar to Nichole above, a special shout out to Amanda Petrik who stepped up to manage the campaigns in Silverton – and to Naseem Rakha who introduced us to all of these amazing women!

These are the stories that keep us going as an organization. This is why we do what we do!

Join us in celebration of women showing up for women!  


Jillian Schoene
Executive Director

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