The Georgetown law student Rush Limbaugh labeled a "slut" and "prostitute" because of her comments before congressional leaders about insurance coverage of contraception in 2012 has joined a training program for Democratic women with ambitions of running for public office. Sandra Fluke, then a student at the Catholic university, objected to not being able to acquire birth control through the university's plan.
Fluke, a native of Pennsylvania, will be representing Emerge California's class of 2014. She hopes to get women more active in California politics.
"Despite its progressive reputation, California has fewer women serving in public office than many states," Fluke said in a release.
Seventeen of California's 58 counties currently have no women serving on the Board of Supervisors, and the number of women serving in the California Senate has decreased in recent years, Fluke said.
"It's very clear to me that if women are not at the table, decisions about their rights will be made for them, and I believe we can do better," Fluke said.
Each year, Emerge California trains 30 women in polling, field operations, fundraising and the groundwork of campaigning. Since its founding in 2002, the program has trained 250 women to run for office.
According to Emerge California, 50 percent of its alumnae have run for office or been appointed to local boards or commissions, with 70 percent of those who ran winning.
Fluke's membership marks the expansion of Emerge into Southern California.
"Sandra knows how to drive a national conversation on issues that matter," said Emerge California's Executive Director Kimberly Ellis in a release. "Her voice on the Emerge board will help put more women on the ballot and keep them center stage in every election cycle."