Montclair, NJ – Longtime housing advocate Deirdre Malloy was curious about what it would take to get to the next level of service, including running for public office. Now, she has the support of Emerge New Jersey, who announced her acceptance into its 2023 Cohort, a premier candidate training program for Democratic women leaders.

Emerge New Jersey is one of 27 affiliates of Emerge America, a national organization founded by Vice President Kamala Harris.

“Emerge New Jersey recruits and trains women in the new American majority — Black, Brown, Indigenous, LGBTQ+ and unmarried young women — and removes barriers for a group that has been historically unrepresented,” says Geri Jannarone, Emerge New Jersey’s executive director.

Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake was part of the 2014 Emerge New Jersey class.

Jannarone says the 2023 cohort, comprised of 23 women selected from a competitive process, hails from all over New Jersey and is one of the larger cohorts across the country, joining a powerful, national network.

Deirdre Malloy

Malloy, who has been a housing advocate at the state level, a commissioner of housing for nearly 12 years, and chairwoman of the Township of Montclair’s Landlord and Tenant Advisory Committee, has been interested in considering different opportunities to serve her constituency base.

“I wanted to explore how can I serve with purpose and make a significant impact at the community and state level, but also really understand the appropriate process,” says Malloy about her decision to apply to Emerge New Jersey.

Malloy serves as chair of the economic development committee of the Montclair NAACP in addition to being installed as the Chapter’s assistant secretary. She also teaches at Rising Tide Capitol, an organization, recognized by President Obama for social innovation, that teaches and trains entrepreneurs to create and scale businesses.

Montclair is a just a little over a year away from holding its municipal elections, but Malloy says she is in the exploratory phase now and has no specific intention for any office at this time.

“I’m looking forward to really understanding what is required to prepare for a run for public office,” she says.

Whatever Malloy decides to do next, Emerge New Jersey will be there to help pull her over the finish line.

“Emerge New Jersey helps women make that decision,” says Jannarone, adding that by the end of the training cycle, many women have already put their name on the ballot.

Essex County Commissioner Brendan Gill, who wrote a recommendation letter for Malloy, is thrilled that she was accepted. Gill’s wife, Alixon Collazos Gill, was accepted to Emerge’s 2015 cohort.

“Emerge New Jersey is such a dynamic training program and Deirdre Malloy is joining an amazing group,” said Gill.

Montclair NAACP joined in congratulating Malloy in a message to its membership, stating:

We congratulate Deirdre Malloy, Montclair community activist and NAACP Assistant Secretary as she has been selected for the Emerge NJ Class of 2023. Emerge has one goal: To increase the number of women in office who are reflective of the incredible diversity of the Democratic party by recruiting, training, and providing a powerful network. Since 2002, Emerge has trained over 4,500 Democratic women to run for office, and currently more than 1,000 Emerge alums serve in elected office.

To learn more about Emerge New Jersey, visit their website. If you are interested in applying to the next Emerge New Jersey cohort, email