Political Party/527

Emerge America




San Francisco, CA

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:



Originally called Emerge California 2002 and became Emerge America in 2005


Andrea Dew Steele, 2002-2019

Interim President:

Amanda Renteria, 2019-Current

President's Compensation:

Gross Salary: $128,000

Total Disbursements: $128,000 [16]

Emerge America (EA) is a left-of-center candidate training organization that vets and prepares female Democrats who aspire to run for local, state, and federal offices. The organization conducts training to prepare and assist female candidates who choose to run within two to three years of the training.  The group was founded as an ostensibly non-partisan “social welfare” lobbying organization, but the IRS ordered the group reclassified as a “section 527” political organization because its activities are run for the benefit of the Democratic Party. [1]

Emerge America has a number of ties to Hillary Clinton’s political network, perhaps most prominent being advisory board member Susie Tompkins Buell, a major polticial donor and reported close friend of Hillary Clinton.


Emerge America (EA) was founded in 2002 as Emerge California by Democratic political activist Andrea Dew Steele. For eight years Steele was the political and philanthropic advisor to major liberal political donor Susie Tompkins Buell; both Steele and Buell are reportedly close friends with Hillary Clinton. [2]

The organization was originally a 501(c)(4) tax-exempt “social welfare” organization from 2002 to 2012.  The IRS changed the group’s status to a Section 527 political organization after finding the organization was “not operated primarily to promote social welfare because [its] activities are conducted primarily for the benefit of a political party and a private group of individuals, rather than the community as a whole.” [3]

Candidate Training Classes

Emerge America trains Democratic female candidates to win elections at all levels of government by providing training sessions, mentorship, consultants, advisors, and access to Democratic donor and activist networks. The group claims that it has trained over 4,000 women to run for office. [4]

Emerge America’s “signature program” is a six-month, 70-hour training program taught by Emerge staff, campaign advisors, labor union leaders, and election consultants; it is only offered in the 24 states that have an Emerge affiliate. Emerge also runs local and national boot camps starting at $350 with a similar curriculum to the “signature program” in a compressed timeframe. Upon completion, alumni gain access to Democratic political networks, fundraising platforms, media resources, and continuing education. Tuition varies by region and state and must be paid by the candidates personally or by a campaign. “Taste of Emerge” is a $25 half-day training for women thinking about running for office that pushes a liberal world view. The “taste of emerge” does not grant access to resources, networks, and Democratic facilitators but seems to be more of a vetting tool for potential candidates. To take any of EA’s courses, students must be female, members of the Democratic party, and running for elected office at any level in the next two to three years.


Amanda Renteria was appointed the EA’s interim president in early 2019. She worked as the national political director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run. [5]

Andrea Dew Steele is the founder and former president of EA from 2002 to 2019. She is a close political advisor to Hillary Clinton. [6]  She is a close friend of Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) and helped with Harris’ first campaign when Steele ran Emerge California. [7]

Advisory Board Members

Emerge America maintains an advisory board with a number of prominent Democratic Party officials and liberal activists. [8] Members of the advisory board include Heather Booth, a far-left political strategist, former student of Saul Alinsky, onetime member of the radical-left group Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), and executive director of Americans for Financial Reform;[9] Cecile Richards, a social-liberal activist and former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America from 2006 through 2018; gun control activist Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action Against Gun Violence; Liz Shuler Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO labor union federation; Joan Blades, the co-founder of MoveOn Civic Action (MoveOn.org) and MomsRising; Celinda Lake, president of Lake Research Partners, feminist writer Gloria Steinem, LaToia Jones of the company Hustle, a peer to peer texting platform that caters to left-wing organizations providing technical support to contact volunteer agitators for Rapid Resist Action; Wendy Davis, a Texas Democratic politician; Quinn Delaney, the founder and President of Akonadi Foundation, the most significant single contributor to EA from 2014-2018; and Louise Gund, a moderately well-known Democratic activist and philanthropist. [10]

Advisory board members notable for their connections to Hillary Clinton include Susie Tompkins Buell, president of the Susie Tompkins Buell Foundation, liberal political donor, and close friend of Hillary Clinton; Donna Brazile, the former Chair of the Democratic National Committee; Barbara Lee of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation; Ann Lewis, President of No-Limits.org; and Emmy Ruiz, a former strategist and consultant for Clinton’s advocacy group Onward Together. [11]

Former advisory board member Margery Tabankin is a radical-left activist and philanthropic consultant[12] notable for being the first female student of Saul Alinsky’s School of Community Organizing in Chicago. [13]



According to Emerge America’s IRS filings from 2005 to 2016, the group reported $5.9 million in total revenues, $5.4 million in total expenditures, and $1.9 million in net assets.

YearContributionsRevenueExpensesGrantsPayments AffiliatesProgram ServicesNet Asssets

Emerge America’s ten largest funders from 2012-2018 are the left-leaning racial equality and illegal immigration advocacy organization the Akonadi Foundation, which gave $915,000; the at-risk youth non-profit organization Laurel Foundation contributed $375,205;[14] the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, a member of the AFL-CIO labor federation, donated $329,920; Progressive Women of Silicon Valley gave $287,500; Florida-based addiction prevention organization Hanley Foundation gave $162,350; Tao Capital Partners, a private technology investment firm, contributed $139,500; Hillary Clinton’s Onward Together advocacy group contributed $100,000; America’s largest labor union, the National Education Association (NEA), granted EA $85,752; America’s most significant, controversial, and politically involved labor union the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) contributed $66,750; and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) labor union donated $56,250. [15]


  1. Cohen, Rick. “IRS Strips Electoral Group of 501(c)(4) Status; Will Widespread Crackdown Follow?” Nonprofit Quarterly, June 11, 2012. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/irs-strips-electoral-group-of-501c4-status-will-widespread-crackdown-follow/. ^
  2. Representation2020.com. “Emerge America.” Represent Women. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://www.representwomen.org/andrea_dew_steele. ^
  3. Cohen, Rick. “IRS Strips Electoral Group of 501(c)(4) Status; Will Widespread Crackdown Follow?” Nonprofit Quarterly, June 11, 2012. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/irs-strips-electoral-group-of-501c4-status-will-widespread-crackdown-follow/. ^
  4. “About Emerge.” Emerge America. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://emergeamerica.org/about/about-emerge-america/. ^
  5. “Amanda Renteria.” Emerge America. Accessed August 16, 2019. https://emergeamerica.org/about/board-of-directors/amanda-renteria/. ^
  6. “Andrea Dew Steele.” Emerge America. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://emergeamerica.org/staff/andrea-dew-steele/#. ^
  7. “Don’t Tell Kamala Harris To Wait Her Turn.” Emerge America. April 27, 2018. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://emergeamerica.org/dont-tell-kamala-harris-wait-her-turn/. ^
  8. “Advisory Board.” Emerge America. Accessed August 21, 2019. https://emergeamerica.org/about/advisory-board/. ^
  9. Kurtz, Stanley. “Obama’s Radical Past.” National Review. October 13, 2010. Accessed August 22, 2019. https://www.nationalreview.com/2010/10/obamas-radical-past-stanley-kurtz/. ^
  10. “Advisory Board.” Emerge America. Accessed August 21, 2019. https://emergeamerica.org/about/advisory-board/. ^
  11. “Advisory Board.” Emerge America. Accessed August 21, 2019. https://emergeamerica.org/about/advisory-board/. ^
  12. Cohen, Rick. “IRS Strips Electoral Group of 501(c)(4) Status; Will Widespread Crackdown Follow?” Nonprofit Quarterly, June 11, 2012. https://nonprofitquarterly.org/irs-strips-electoral-group-of-501c4-status-will-widespread-crackdown-follow/. ^
  13. “A Radical Move : Margery Tabankin Has Fled the Center of Power for the Center of Status, but Without Missing an Activist Beat.” Los Angeles Times. August 13, 1989. Accessed August 16, 2019. https://www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-08-13-vw-786-story.html. ^
  14. “Our Mission.” The Laurel Foundation. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://www.laurel-foundation.org/. ^
  15. “Emerge America: Top Contributors, 2018 Cycle.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?ein=900787684&cycle=2018.

    “Emerge America: Top Contributors, 2016 Cycle.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2016&ein=900787684.

    “Emerge America: Top Contributors, 2014 Cycle.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2014&ein=900787684.

    “Emerge America: Top Contributors, 2012 Cycle.” OpenSecrets.org. Accessed August 20, 2019. https://www.opensecrets.org/527s/527cmtedetail_contribs.php?cycle=2012&ein=900787684. ^

  16. 990: Emerge America, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2016, Part VII, Section A. ^

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Margery Tabankin
    Advisory Board Member
  2. Heather Booth
    Advisory Board Member
  3. A’shanti Gholar
    Political Director
  4. Liz Shuler
    Advisory Board Member
  5. Cecile Richards
    Advisory Board Member
  6. Louise Gund
    Advisory Board Member
  7. Susie Buell
    Advisory Board Member
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Emerge America

44 Montgomery ST STE 2310
San Francisco, CA 94104