Political group urges more women to run for office in LA

WEST MONROE, La, (KNOE) – A state political group is recruiting democratic women to run for office.

The group is called “Emerge Louisiana”, and is trying to train more women in the state to get involved in state politics.

This group says it wants more diversity in elected seats and wants to bring change to a state government dominated by men.

“We don’t have enough women elected to office to fight for this state,” said the program’s executive director Melanie Oubre.

And that’s one of the reasons why Alicia Calvin and 21 other women decided to be a part of Emerge Louisiana.

“Everyone is pretty excited about this movement we have going on where women are not afraid to step up and speak out,” said Calvin.

Emerge Louisiana is a state organization that recruits and trains Democratic women to run for office.

Over the weekend they were in West Monroe, trying to change the outlook of Louisiana politics.

“I want to run for office because I believe that it’s important to change the landscape,” said Calvin. “It kind of looks like a boys club.”

And Calvin says she’s already got some political experience.

But, still took away some knowledge that she says will help her when she’s ready to start campaigning.

“We have covered messaging,” said Calvin. “We’ve covered fundraising all different components of a campaign. We’ve also been able to bring in legislators and other elected officials to support.”

Oubre says her goal is to inspire the younger generation.

“They don’t see themselves in office because we’re not represented in office right now and that’s why representation matters,” said Oubre.

And she’s right. According to the state’s website, there are only 18 women in the legislature.

“So you have young kids,” said Oubre. “Well, what does that look like when you’re thinking about running for state legislature? We go over the hurdles and we’re real with the women. We realize running for office isn’t easy.”

A push to reverse a male-dominated industry in Louisiana.

“Why not give it try and elect women because I don’t think men are doing a good job,” said Oubre.

“I think that we should get ready and open our arms and welcome change in this great state of Louisiana,” said Calvin.

The training is from January to June every year. Applications will open in Fall 2018.