Essex Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake is up for some very cool national recognition, and you can help her get it with a quick online vote. Timberlake, youngest person ever to hold her office and only African-American woman heading a Freeholder board in NJ, is one of 4 women finalists for Emerge America national Trailblazer of the Year.
I don’t know Britnee; I’m not asking you to vote for a friend, But she leads the first freeholder board in NJ to get behind the effort to raise our state minimum wage to $15 per hour, making a strong living wage argument. So she got my vote. Casting your vote not only recognizes Timberlake but also celebrates the work of Emerge NJ , which is helping build a bench of capable and skilled women ready to run for office and lead New Jersey. Timberlake was in Emerge NJ’s inaugural class last year.
What’s Emerge NJ? Each year Emerge looks for, identifies and train women to run for office here, and that also includes encouraging women who are natural leaders but may not yet see themselves as future elected officials. The training, for about a dozen women a year, is intense – 6 months of skills-building, including public speaking, campaign strategy, and fundraising. Their work is about building a bench of sharp, and capable Democratic women and the support network that goes with it.
Why? Well, you know why. But here are the stats: In the 235 years since its statehood, New Jersey has elected a total of 5 women to the U.S. House of Representatives, 0 women to the U.S. Senate, and just one woman as Governor of New Jersey. Of 120 State Legislators, only 35 are women.