Emerge New Jersey, the premier political training organization for Democratic women in the state, will host its Second Annual Building The Bench Breakfast at 8am on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the New Jersey Education Association office on 180 West State Street in Trenton, New Jersey.

“Today, our work is more important than ever, as recent actions by the new administration have shown how real the threat is to women’s collective rights and liberties,” said Emerge New Jersey Executive Director Truscha Quatrone, “The Building The Bench Breakfast will bring these issues to the forefront through our selection of dynamic Democratic women, who understand the importance of working together and have become catalysts for change in New Jersey’s communities.”

The event will begin with opening remarks delivered by U.S. Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, a long-time supporter of Emerge New Jersey. Thereafter, a political power panel with prominent New Jersey female legislators sharing their journey to elected office, the challenges they have overcame, and why women should run for office will take place. The panel will be moderated by award-winning reporter Deb Howlett and will feature the following female legislators:

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  • Senator Sandra Cunningham
  •  Assemblywoman Valerie Huttle
  •  Assemblywoman Mila Jasey

After the panel, Emerge New Jersey will honor the states female movers and shakers with its "Bench Builder" award for their Democratic efforts in the Garden State. Each woman has a proven track record of driving positive change in New Jersey’s communities and counties. Last year, the award was presented to Princeton Public Affairs Group Partner Sonia Delgado, McManimon, Scotland & Baumann, LLC Lillian A. Plata; Ginger NJEA Governance Director Gold Schnitzer, and Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. This year, the award will be presented to the following recipients.

  • Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr
  • New Jersey State Democratic Committee Vice Chair (NJSDC) Lizette Delgado-Polanco
  • Kaufman Zita Group Principal Trish Zita

The Second Annual Building The Bench Breakfast serves to inspire audiences to run for elected office and educate them on the resources available to them in New Jersey. Today, women make up 19.4 percent of the U.S. Congress and 20.7 percent of mayors in cities with populations greater than 30,000, according to data provided by the Center for American Women and Politics. The event fosters the dialogue of why women need to run and encourages women to take the next step toward elected office in the Garden State.

General admission tickets for the event are $175.00 per person and $100.00 for Emerge New Jersey alumnae. The RSVP deadline is Tuesday, April 18, 2017. To purchase a ticket or event sponsorship, go to

For more information, please contact Emerge New Jersey Executive Director Truscha Quatrone at truscha@emergenj.org or (973) 519-0033