Another great night in Oakland that I can’t wait to share.
Emerge California East Bay hosted a fundraiser celebration last night at Make Westing and I was very fortunate to be able to attend. I had a ball! I want to share the good times with you..so here we go!
Emerge California is part of a national movement that trains women to run for Democratic elected office at the local, state and federal level. So far, Emerge has trained over 600 women across the United States, and at least 40% go on to run for office. Half of those were successful. As SNL’s Miley Cyrus would stay: “That’s pretty cool!”
Last night, Emerge California wanted to celebrate graduates who were running for elected office in 2012, as well as raise a little money for their campaigns. These awesome women are running for offices in the City Council, School Board..all the way up to State and Federal government.
Alumni and the current Emerge California classmates were on-hand to have some drinks and network with the likes of Oakland City Councilmembers Libby Schaaf and Pat Kernighan, Mayor Jean Quan and City Attorney Barbara Parker. However, the party wasn’t just for women. There plenty of men on hand, some of whom were running for local office as well, like Mario Juarez running for Oakland City Council District 4 and Joel Young and Abel Guillen both of whom are running for State Assembly in the 18th District.
Emerge California Executive Director Kimberly Ellis was ecstatic as she applauded all the candidates for 2012. She said Emerge California is about leveling the playing field and addressing the lack of diversity in elected positions. She also appreciated the men who were present for their support and recognizing the value of having more women represented in government.
Ellis also thanked Make Westing, for being such gracious hosts!
Make Westing is a local bar found in the Uptown District of Oakland (17th and Telegraph) that serves cocktails, beer, wine, gourmet snacks..AND delicious (plus nutritious!) cucumber water. The venue is spacious, the bartenders are nice and the owners Bay Area natives. Yes, sports fans, there is a flat-screen TV to watch the latest game while having a beer with friends.
I’m not a huge drinker or sports fan.. so the most compelling feature of the bar is the Bocce Ball Court.
Bocce Ball..what the heck is that?
It’s an Italian ball game, that consists of throwing balls in a dirt lane with the hope that they land closest to the game ball
(or the Pallino). Does that make sense to you? It didn’t to me either (read more about Bocce here ). Yet, when challenged to a friendly “girls vs boys” competition between random strangers, I was down for a little ball throwing action.
Three games later, my teammate (the girlfriend of one of the bartenders) and I emerged as the undisputed winners! I left the bar in good spirits, with lots of contacts, new friends and a promise to play Bocce again.
What a night!
Take home message? Women make up only 17% of elected officials in the United States. That’s really sad considering that the rest of the world is much more enlightened (we rank 84 in women representation, behind Mexico and Pakistan!). We need to support women running for office and demonstrate that America is the liberated country that we say we are!
Besides women are natural born winners.. (my Bocce ball experience is a prime example).
Support local business. Oakland, Make Westing is an awesome place to be. I am sure you will have as great a time there as I did. Go have a drink there some time. Play a little Bocce. Watch some football. Drink the water. It’s tasty!
Have a great weekend!