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Democratic Women Emerge From Bergen To Ocean County

Emerge New Jersey, the premier political training organization for Democratic women in the state, has selected 18 progressive Democratic women for its 2017 class, who represent communities from Bergen County to Ocean County.

“We had an unprecedented number of women apply for our 2017 training program,” said Emerge New Jersey Executive Director Truscha Quatrone. "After the election, we saw a significant surge in women interested in running for office and for the first-time ever, we had nearly 70 applicants apply for our training program.”

Now in its fourth year, Emerge New Jersey provides Democratic women with the fundamental essentials needed to run a successful political campaign. Over the course of six months, women in the training program learn a variety of campaign basics, such as field operations and fundraising, media and messaging, networking and other key areas to ensure the women are ready to run upon graduation.

The women who have been selected for this year’s class are the following: Alexandra Harwin, Bergen County; Reshma Ketkar, Essex County; Antoinette Gingerelli, Monmouth County; Parul Sharma, Middlesex County; Zonie LeSane, Bergen County; Katilia Velez, Essex County; Sakeema James, Hudson County; Patricia Guerra-Frazier, Union County; Andrea Martinez-Mejia, Mercer County;Michelle Harris, Essex County; Naima Ricks, Union County; Sarah Collins, Ocean County; Ariagna Perello, Essex County; Lisa Douglas, Essex County; Maria Del Cid-Kosso, Union County; Janna Sheiman, Mercer County; Kim Keyes, Middlesex County; and Kristen Zadroga-Hart, Hudson County.

"Emerge represents everything that we as a society should hope to see in our elected representation nationwide. An organization that embodies the values of unbiased civic engagement, gender neutral political opportunities, and equity, not equality for woman in a male dominated arena,” said Sakeema M. James, Chief of Staff to New Jersey Senator Sandra Cunningham and Emerge New Jersey 2017 class member.

To date, more than 40 women have graduated from the Emerge New Jersey training program, including Essex County Freeholder Board President Britnee Timberlake, Neptune Township Committeewoman Carol Rizzo and Roselle Board of Education Vice President Jazmine Sandifer, to name a few. The variation in elected officials speaks to Emerge New Jersey's ability to equip Democratic women with the tools and resources needed to succeed in politics. It also compliments the organization’s efforts to “build the bench” of Democratic female leaders throughout the state.

In a time where so much uncertainty looms, Emerge New Jersey rises as a solution to fill the void of women in politics and bring more qualified Democratic female leaders to the forefront.

To learn more about Emerge New Jersey, visit or contact Emerge New Jersey Executive Director Truscha Quatrone at

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