Previously on these pages, I have sung the praises of Emerge Maryland, an organization dedicated to electing more Democratic women to public office. As I have written, what I find especially compelling about Emerge Maryland's organization and their method is that the group trains Democratic women to be great candidates. Period. Not great female candidates. Great candidates.
With several years' experience under their belt, Emerge Maryland alumnae are starting to make an impact in Maryland politics. And Howard County is no exception. Emerge Maryland alumnae Christiana Mercer Rigby and Deb Jung are running for County Council in Districts 3 and 4, respectively, Abby Hendrix, Maureen Evans Arthurs, and Candace Dodson Reed currently serve on the Howard County Democratic Central Committee, and Maureen Evans Arthurs is also a candidate for the Howard County Democratic Central Committee.
But the pipeline from Howard County that runs through Emerge Maryland continues to flow, and the Emerge Maryland Class of 2018 can claim someone who I believe will a future star of Howard County politics among its ranks.
Becca Niburg has been active in helping people and caring for her community since her days as an active Young Democrat and volunteer for a domestic violence crisis line at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Becca eventually went to law school at Washington University in St. Louis and became an immigration attorney. Following law school came a career as an attorney in the Federal Government, first in the Department of Justice and then in the Department of Homeland Security. And in her spare time, she did pro bono legal work in the areas of domestic violence and human trafficking. And also, working on the very important issue of suicide prevention.
Still not satisfied with her level of community activism following the 2016 election (by the way, how y'all feeling out there, couch potatoes?) Becca started the local chapter of the national progressive group Together We Will. And she serves on the HoCo Board of Education policy committee and is on the board of Maryland NARAL. And, she's raising two kids. In other words, a total slacker.
I thought that when I was in my thirties and doing several different activities at once I was kinda badass, but I have to say, this may be even more badasser! Especially since in the first conversation I ever had with Becca, she was trying to get me to join her martial arts dojo, doing Brazilian ju-jitsu or some such stuff. Having boxed as a teenager for a couple years, there was a something a little bit alluring about the concept.
At any rate, this is a woman with a high energy level, a strong commitment to social justice, and a great sensibility that something is wrong in what's going on at this present time, and she's going to do something about it. If that's not a background of not just a future candidate for office, but a future leader on a major level in this community, I don't know what is.
And if there are a dozen Becca Niburgs who Emerge Maryland trains this year, then there are a dozen more great Democratic women in this Class of 2018 who are going to join an impressive, growing cadre of female Democratic officeholders. Be it 2020, 2022, or somewhere down the line.
I like seeing these new leaders emerging (no pun intended) and I love telling you about them.
Let's be careful out there.
#emergemaryland #hocopolitics #mdpolitics #togetherwewill