Shenna Bellows, Emerge Maine Class of 2010, is biding her time, looking for the right race. She considered a run this year for the U.S. House of Representatives when it appeared Chellie Pingree might run for Senate, and her Emerge contacts “pitched right in” to help, Shenna said. “Emerge gave me the confidence to know that I CAN run for office someday, and I will.”
In the meantime however, Shenna is putting her Emerge training to use in her 7th year as Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine where she is one of the most important and recognizable advocates for Mainer’s civil rights. “Emerge gave me hard skills in communications and campaign planning that I have put to work in my professional life,”
Shenna is active in the Maine Freedom to Marry Campaign, the Maine Immigrants Rights Coalition, and the Maine Choice Coalition. She serves on the Maine Right to Know Advisory Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition. She also co-chaired the successful 2011 Protect Maine Voting Rights
campaign to preserve same day voter registration.
Raised in Hancock County, Shenna attended Middlebury College and then served in the Peace Corps in La Arena de Chitre, Panama, where she facilitated the development and execution of a micro-credit lending program for artisan groups. She also served in AmericaCorps VISTA at Community IMPACT! in Nashville, Tennessee, creating youth-centered
programming in economically and racially diverse neighborhoods.
Shenna was familiar with Emerge before she joined the class, because she knew many of the women involved with the organization. “The Emerge network is a group of incredible women whom I deeply admire. I knew it was something I wanted to be involved in --the camaraderie of a group of dynamic women,” Shenna stated. “There is real power in what Emerge does, in bringing women together to get more involved in politics, because too few women ARE involved.”