We’re incredibly excited to introduce our August 2019 endorsement class! These 55 (!) individuals are ready to tackle the issues plaguing their communities, while also ushering in new, bold ideas that push our country in the right direction.
Each of these candidates has their own amazing story about what drives them and why they have chosen public service. From gun reform to childcare — they have seen a problem to solve, decided to get off the sidelines and are taking the reigns of leadership. We couldn’t be more honored to have the opportunity to endorse them for office.
Just to give you a little taste of what’s to come…
Juan Marcano is the son of Puerto Rican migrants and an architectural design professional looking to use his talents to revitalize Aurora, Colorado.
Tami Sawyer is an activist who founded #takeemdown901, the successful movement to remove Confederate statues in Memphis, TN.
Etel Haxhiaj is a community organizer with Mothers Out Front, an organization that helps parents mobilize support climate reform for future generations running for Worcester City Council in Massachusetts.
Eliz Markowitz is a lifelong education advocate who worked for The Princeton Review, focusing on balancing the scales students from all income and academic backgrounds.
Interested in learning more? Check them out below and get the inside skinny on all 55 candidates. And if you’re feeling really inspired, chip in today and help us find even more amazing candidates to run in 2019 and beyond.
Godfrey Plata (2020 Candidate)
State Assembly, District 53
Godfrey Santos Plata is a Filipino immigrant, renter, educator, and organizer running to represent the 53rd district in California’s State Assembly. If elected, Godfrey would be the first person elected in 140 years of assembly history to be both an immigrant and an out member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Urgently, he’d be just the second renter to join the 80-person assembly, putting him in position to be a critical advocate for tenant rights as rent prices and homelessness increase. A former public school teacher and an organizer against the school to prison pipeline, Godfrey fights to build power for communities of color — the beating heart of his district and California as a whole.
Kipp Mueller (2020 Candidate)
State Senate, District 21
Kipp is running to lift working and middle class families. A graduate of UC Berkeley and Columbia Law School, Kipp is a workers’ rights and pro bono asylum attorney. Growing up, his father was a house painter and his mother was a community college counselor for disabled students. At the time, life in the working class was comfortable. Today, working families fear the first of the month. Kipp will work hard to strengthen and build the 21st century working class, and ensure that the needs of working and middle class families are prioritized in Sacramento.
Juan Marcano (2019 Candidate)
Aurora City Council Ward 4
Juan is the proud son of Puerto Rican migrants, a brother, a husband, an architectural design professional, and an unapologetic advocate for his community. He believes Aurora should be a place where working-class people should be able to afford a dignified home, raise a family, and retire with security. He is running for Aurora city council to put people over profit and ensure Aurora becomes the gold standard for dignity in the state of Colorado.
Lauren Simpson (2019 Candidate)
Arvada City Council, District 2
Lauren is seeking the open seat for City Council, District 2 in Arvada, Colorado. A passionate advocate for women, young people and families in her community, Lauren brings broad experience to her campaign, having honed her skills in professional roles spanning the public, private and non-profit sectors for more than a decade.
Within her community, Lauren serves as President of the Jefferson County Young Democrats, is a board member for the Jefferson County Public Schools District Accountability Committee, and volunteers with the ‘Keep Olde Town Beautiful’ litter clean-up group. A wife and mom of one, she drinks lots of coffee and wears comfy shoes to get it all done!
Tommy Butler (2019 Candidate)
Greeley City Council, Ward 1
Tommy Butler is running for Greeley City Council — Ward 1 because he believes that we need more leaders that will fight for working people. From managing field offices on the Obama campaign, to running a hunger study with Feeding America, and now working in healthcare at North Colorado Medical Center, Tommy Butler has lived a life of public service. He will fight for you on the Greeley City Council.
William Lindstedt (2019 Candidate)
Broomfield City Council, Ward 2
William Lindstedt is running for Broomfield City Council. William grew up in a broken household that struggled to make the bills. William put himself through college working multiple jobs and eventually started working in the state legislature as a senior leadership staffer. He has also worked for many progressive causes in Broomfield including his advocacy for better public transportation and his service as the Vice Chair of the Broomfield Democratic Party.
During his free time, you will find him with his significant other, Bria, and their retired racing greyhound, Pax, in Colorado’s beautiful open spaces.
Alex Barrio (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 43
Alex Barrio is the progressive Democrat running for Florida House District 43. Alex is the current Political Director of Alianza for Progress, a non-profit organization dedicated to mobilizing and civically engaging Latinx voters in Florida. If elected he will bring extensive knowledge and leadership experience to the position, having previously served as a legislative aide in the State House and Legislative Analyst in the State Senate. He has also served as District Director for the local Congressman and as Political Director for SEIU Local 1991. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and the Florida International University College of Law.
Dotie Joseph (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 108
The Honorable Dotie Joseph is the State Representative for District 108 in Florida’s Legislature. Representative Joseph was born in Haiti and raised in Miami, where she attended public schools, studied hard, and went on to graduate from Yale University.
At Yale, the young community activist co-founded Yale’s Haitian Student Alliance, and served as the Political Action Chairperson of the Yale N.A.A.C.P. Drawn to public service, the student served as the Legislative Correspondent for U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch in DC, and Acting Youth Director for Eglise Beraca in Miami.
Passionate about civil rights, Ms. Joseph sought to hone her advocacy by earning a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center. Committed to combating discrimination, Ms. Joseph interned with the national Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, externed with the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, and served as the 2003 Frankel Fellow for Human Rights First.
Driven by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Ms. Joseph worked on human rights issues in Egypt and Uganda; interned for the National Coalition for Haitian Rights; and interned with President Carter at the Carter Center, focusing on Latin America, the Caribbean, and West Africa.
Kacie Weicherding (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 108
Kacie is running to amplify the voices of the people in her district that have been left behind and overlooked. She understands the experiences of working families and the hardships they often experience.
Kacie is finishing a degree in Political Science with a certificate in Labor Studies at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dedicated to fighting for working families, Kacie wants to bring better education, health care, and jobs to Southern Illinois to build a better government that works for the people.
Bryan Tanner (2019 Candidate)
Mishawaka City Council, At-Large
Bryan Tanner is running for city council in Mishawaka, Indiana because he believes in the need for collaborative, forward-thinking individuals who will take action, advocate for residents, and plan for our future. Bryan utilizes his background in civil engineering and non-profit leadership, as well as a lifetime of volunteerism to advocate for institutional changes which impact accessibility, public safety, economic and environmental sustainability, and protecting the most vulnerable members of the community. As a husband, father of two young children, and guardian of his teenage nephew, Bryan Tanner works every day toward the assurance that public service should be personal.
James Blanco (2019 Candidate)
West Lafayette City Council, At Large
James Blanco is a recent graduate of Purdue University, working full-time to pay the bills. He is fighting for the interests of workers and students. He is pushing to make local public transit fare-free, and provide recycling services to all apartment complexes. He shows up; he went to a rally with machinists in Valparaiso fighting for better wages and benefits, and is an active member of the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party. Last year, he did extensive canvassing and served as a phonebanking captain for the party.
Matthew Smith (2019 Candidate)
Greenwood Common Council, District 1
Matthew Smith is a father, husband, and proud resident of Greenwood, Indiana. He is currently a member on the Board of Zoning Appeals and Advisory Planning Commission, and has worked as an activist for such causes as equal access to public accommodations and property rights. He is seeking a seat on the Greenwood Common Council to be a part of advancing Greenwood into a fiscally sound future and to help make us a leader in honest and fair governance. Matthew earned his MBA concentrated in Management and Strategy from Western Governors University in 2017 and is a Certified Safety Professional.
Jorge Flores (2019 Candidate)
KCK/Wyandotte County Commissioner, District 4
Jorge Luis Flores files for 4th District Commissioner. “My parents moved to Kansas City, Kansas in the 80’s. My father is a welder and my mother was a tailor. The community resources helped guide my parents towards a better life including residency and citizenship. My parents sacrificed so much to make sure that I had every opportunity to succeed. I decided to run for public office because it’s my turn to GIVE BACK. I am determined to pay it forward and serve the amazing community who made it possible for my family to have the life that we have today”. Mr Flores Is a former police officer and current business owner.
Rui Xu (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 25
Rui is a first generation Chinese immigrant, running for his second term in the House of Representatives in Kansas’ 25th District. He currently sits on the Financial Institutions & Pensions, Education, and Agriculture committees and has focused on state climate change policies in his time in the legislature.
Whitney Wilson (2019 Candidate)
Johnson County WaterOne Board At-Large, Seat 6
Whitney is the only candidate who is a Certified Public Water Official running for the WaterOne Board. She has community board leadership experience through The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and ReDiscover Mental Health. Whitney filed for office because climate change poses increased risks to water quality, quantity, and the infrastructure delivering water to the community’s faucets. She believes it is vital to protect the water supply and to offer community communication about using water wisely. Whitney is also a Population Health Executive and has her Executive Master of Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.
Ethan Ashley (2019 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 97
Ethan Ashley has a track record of improving the lives of youth and families, building coalitions to draft, lobby, and pass legislation on issues of criminal justice and education in Louisiana through the Juvenile Justice Project and Urban League of Louisiana. He was raised by a single mother and educator who leveraged her extended family and government resources to ensure Ethan had food to eat, a roof over his head, and the care he needed while fighting childhood cancer. Ethan serves on the Orleans Parish School Board, is engaged to Arielle McConduit, and is proud second dad to Sage and Jace.
Paris Bienert (2020 Candidate)
Baltimore City Council, District 1
Paris Bienert is a community organizer, social worker, and native Southeast Baltimorean. She is a well-known political activist in Baltimore, as well as a leading voice for women and youth involvement in the political process. In 2018, Paris was elected to the Democratic State Central Committee and was then chosen by her colleagues to serve as Chair of the Committee in Maryland’s 46th District. In that role, Paris led the efforts that doubled voter turnout in the First District in 2018. Now, she is running for City Council to implement bold, progressive solutions with immediate local impact.
Ayesha Wilson (2019 Candidate)
Cambridge School Committee
Ayesha Wilson is running for School Committee in Cambridge, Mass. Being the oldest of three girls, in a single parent household in Cambridge Public Housing, Ayesha witnessed first hand the socioeconomic barriers that families face. Ayesha is the product of the public school system graduating from Cambridge Rindge and Latin and later attending Wheelock College attaining a Bachelor and a Masters degree in Social Work.
With 18 years of public service, Ayesha is committed to make an impact through the combined efforts of students, parents, educators, and the community at large, and is dedicated to being a servant leader who assists students in realizing their abundant potential. Ayesha feels honored to be back at CRLS currently working with students through the Cambridge Housing Authority’s ‘Work Force’ program, which Ayesha is also an alumna of, developing and implementing programs focusing on life skills, job readiness, career awareness, and post-secondary opportunities.
Becca Rausch (2020 Candidate)
State Senator, Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District
Senator Becca Rausch was elected to the Massachusetts Senate in 2018. She represents the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District, which consists of all or part of Attleboro, Franklin, Millis, Natick, Needham, Norfolk, North Attleborough, Plainville, Sherborn, Wayland, Wellesley, and Wrentham.
Rausch is the Chairperson for the Joint Committee on Municipalities, Vice Chair for the Joint Committee on Elder Affairs, and a member of the Joint Committees on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, Public Health, Public Service, State Administration and Regulatory Oversight, and Veterans and Federal Affairs. Additionally, in the first few weeks of her tenure, Senator Rausch served on the Temporary Committee on Rules, an appointment rarely given to first-year legislators.
The granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor and a published author on reproductive health and justice and body size and the law, Senator Rausch is a lifelong advocate for social justice, fairness, and equality for all. Senator Rausch’s legislative priorities include voting rights, universal access to quality and affordable health care, reproductive health and justice, improving public transportation, supporting families, education, information accessibility and data privacy, and transparent and accountable government.
Prior Rausch’s election to the Senate, she served as an elected Needham Town Meeting Member and a Secretariat-level attorney in both the Patrick and Baker administrations. She is a former law professor and scholar, and private sector lawyer. Rausch holds degrees from Brandeis University (B.A.), Northeastern University School of Law (J.D.), and the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (LL.M.). She resides in Needham with her spouse, their two young children, and their floppy, loving Goldendoodle.
Senator Rausch’s election in 2018 flipped a formerly solid Republican district which previously elected Republican Senator Scott Brown. She is the third woman, the second Democrat, and the first Jewish person to hold her seat.
David LeBoeuf (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, 17th Worcester District
David LeBoeuf is a lifelong Worcester resident and proud graduate of the Worcester Public Schools. He began his higher education journey at Clark University before transferring to Harvard College. David worked his way through college and began his career as an interim staff assistant in the Worcester City Manager’s Office. In 2011, he was appointed as the Director of the Initiative for Engaged Citizenship (IEC), a coalition of community-based organizations focused on increasing civic participation in local elections and advocating for election modernization. In December 2015, David joined the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) — a national nonprofit research and advisory organization, and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there.
David is also an advocate for survivors of domestic violence. He served as a family advocate at the Worcester Community Connections Coalition where he worked to make sure survivors had legal representation. In 2017, David was invited to the bill signing for the MA Sexual Assault Survivor’s Bill of Rights (the RISE BILL) for his legislative advocacy and work to champion the cause.
Worcester Magazine named David a “Hometown Hero” in 2011 and GoLocalWorcester named him one of “Worcester’s Ten Coolest People” in 2012. He was one of the inaugural recipients of the Harvard University Presidential Public Service Fellowship. In 2012, the Worcester Democratic City Committee awarded David the prestigious Paul Westburg Award. David is involved in a variety of community development activities in the Worcester area: He currently serves on the boards of the African Community Education program (ACE), the Latin American Health Alliance of Central MA (Hector Reyes House), and the NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center of Central MA/Oak Hill Community Development Corporation, where he served as board president.
In 2018 David won a three way Democratic Primary with 46% of the vote, and a general election with 59% of the vote. David was one of only two representatives who flipped a Republican seat in the Massachusetts legislature in 2018. He currently serves on the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure, the Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons with Disabilities, the Joint Committee on Cannabis Policy, and the House Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change. David is active in the House Progressive Caucus, and the only member of both the Gateway Cities and the Rural Caucus.
Dimple Rana (2019 Candidate)
Revere Councillor At-Large
Dimple is a first generation Indian-American and lifelong Revere resident whose advocacy for Revere residents spans her city’s diverse neighborhoods and generations. Dimple began her career as a community organizer, working with people in Cambodia and Massachusetts on immigrant, youth, women, and public health issues. Over the last decade in Revere, she has broken barriers, becoming the first person of color and one of the only woman to become a city department head. Dimple is running for City Council because to create a future for everyone in Revere the city needs bold leadership and new ideas.
Etel Haxhiaj (2019 Candidate)
Worcester City Council At-Large
Etel is a single mom of two boys and a community organizer. After immigrating to Worcester with her parents, she has fought for every member of the community and taking on some of the biggest issues her community faces- from youth opportunity and education to homelessness. Now, as a Massachusetts community organizer with Mothers Out Front, she helps mobilize mothers to fight climate change and create a livable future for all kids. She is running because she believes that working families, young people and those who have lived in Worcester for generations deserve to benefit from Worcester’s economic growth.
Samantha Perlman (2019 Candidate)
Marlborough City Council, At-Large
Samantha Perlman is running for Marlborough City Council to advocate for the community that raised her and help envision the city’s future. By witnessing youth mobilization and the capacity to be a change agent early on in her life, Sam greatly values public service and understands the unlocked potential of authentic civic engagement.
A proud graduate of Emory University and Marlborough High School, Sam works at a nonprofit dedicated to evidence-based policy and is Chair of her city’s Cultural Council. As Councilor, Sam will be a tireless advocate for an accountable and innovative local government that engages the diverse resident population and vibrant community assets. If elected, Sam will be the youngest woman to serve on the Council. With her passion for civic engagement as well as experiences in collaborative community building and systemic policy change, Sam is ready to serve as a voice for our future for the residents of Marlborough.
Kyra Bolden (2020 Candidate)
State Legislature, House District 35
State Rep. Kyra Bolden is serving her first term representing Michigan’s 35th House District, which includes the communities of Southfield, Lathrup Village, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin. Bolden also serves as Assistant Leader for the House Democrats.
A graduate of Southfield Public Schools, Bolden received her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and went on to attend the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
After receiving her Juris Doctorate, Bolden became a civil litigation attorney. She is also an active member of her community, serving as a member of the National Congress of Black Women-Oakland County, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and as a commissioner of the Total Living Commission for the city of Southfield.
As a lifelong resident of Southfield, Bolden is committed to serve the people of the 35th House District at the Capitol in Lansing by fighting for high quality jobs, criminal justice reform, and a world class education system.
Dr. Theresa Brooks (2019 Candidate)
Troy City Council
Mindy Kimmel (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 16B
Mindy is a New Ulm native and the 7th generation in her family to live in Brown County, MN. As a mental health counselor and family therapist, she is experienced helping people with conflicting ideas find common ground. She is deeply invested in her community including finishing Highway 14 and rural economic growth (expanding broadband internet and affordable healthcare for farmers and families). She believes rural Minnesota needs a strong leader who sees a better way forward based on basic human dignity and allowing all Minnesotans access to financial independence. She seeks to lead with her community values at the Capitol.
Zakiya Summers (2019 Candidate)
State House of Represenatives, District 68
Zakiya is a community activist running for House District 68 in Mississippi. District 68 is Zakiya’s home. It’s where she grew and where she is raising her family. She believes that District 68 can be a community where families can grow and thrive in a safe environment, where all of our children receive a state of the art education, and where every single person has equitable access to good-paying jobs, healthcare, and the ballot box. As a former Hinds County Election Commissioner, Zakiya worked to increase voter education and engagement, and created opportunities for students to understand the elections process. Zakiya will use her 10 years of community advocacy experience, work ethic, and leadership to execute a vision of transformation for District 68. Zakiya is a broadcast journalism graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Eric Woods (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 15
Eric Woods is running for State Representative in Missouri’s 15th district (Gladstone, Kansas City North, Oakwood, Oakwood Park, Oakview, Oaks). He is an active member of the community at the city and county level, and serves on the board of a local non-profit arts organization.
As an IT Audit professional, Eric is very concerned about issues related to data privacy and security and looks forward to advocating for the privacy rights of citizens in Jefferson City. He is also passionate about voting rights, labor issues, ending the influence of Dark Money, and increasing healthcare access in one of the few states that still has not expanded Medicaid. Eric is excited by the opportunity to further serve his community as State Representative.
Maggie Nurrenbern (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 15
Maggie Nurrenbern is running to be the next State Representative for Missouri House District 15. As a mom, a teacher, and a union member, she understands well that we need legislators who will advocate for our hardworking families. She is a teacher at North Kansas City High School, a member of NEA and a former Peace Corps volunteer. She has canvassed extensively for Democratic candidates and for progressive ballot initiatives. She is running for state representative to fight for public education and advocate for affordable healthcare, to defend our workers’ rights, and to secure funding to fix our crumbling infrastructure.
Jen Day (2020 Candidate)
State Legislature, District 49
Jen is running for the Nebraska Legislature, District 49. She is a co-founder, owner, and coach at Artis Strength and Fitness in Omaha, NE alongside her husband, Jon. She is also a mother of two boys, holds a BS in Political Science and has been involved in advocacy, activism, and local politics since 2012. Jen is excited about the opportunity to represent real middle-class Nebraskans in the unicameral and is passionate about education, reproductive rights, and making sure that representatives are creating policy that improves the lives of their constituents.
Crystal Paradis (2019 Candidate)
Somersworth City Council, At-Large
Crystal Paradis is running for Somersworth City Council. A fierce advocate for progressive values, Crystal is a community organizer, small business owner and dog enthusiast. She is the founder of Feminist Oasis, coordinator of New Hampshire’s largest annual Pride event and Vice Chair of the Somersworth Democratic Committee. In 2019, New Hampshire Young Democrats named her Progressive of the Year, recognizing her contributions to the Granite State on issues including reproductive justice, gun violence prevention and feminist community building. A native Granite Stater, she is running on a platform to expand what it means to be a good neighbor.
Rachel Cisto (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, Hillsborough County District 2
Rachel Cisto is a native of Weare, NH and is running as a Democrat in a conservative district. She received a bachelor’s degree in Media and Journalism with a minor in American Politics from the University of Hartford in 2015. She has been a political reporter since 2009, most recently at the Daily News-Record in Harrisonburg, VA and the Chief-Leader in New York, NY. In September 2017, she was appointed to the Weare Town Cable Committee, where she creates programs for the public access channel, including a documentary about FIRST robotics. Her earliest political memory is voting for now-Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for governor at a “kids vote” event in 1996, and her favorite political memory is hiking in Shenandoah National Park for a story with Va. Sen. Tim Kaine.
Zackary Quintero (2019 Candidate)
Albuquerque City Council, District 2
Zackary Quintero is running for City Council District 2 in the heart of Albuquerque New Mexico. If elected Zack would be the first Latino to represent the District since redistricting in 2009 and would be the only economist on the city council. Zack is focused on issues of mental health, chronic poverty, public safety, and human rights. He is committed to applying his background in both economics and law to empower historic communities that are facing serious struggles to survive and live in the District.
Brandon Patterson is a lifelong Staten Island from a middle-class, union household. He was the first candidate in the race and has been racking up endorsements and ID’s on the doors since February; well over 20 months before his election. He is bringing a message of union built, middle-income housing for union members, a well as small business prosperity, and ensuring affordable college with career opportunities for his young neighbors to the district. Brandon has already received endorsements from various unions and elected officials and continues to show a strong fundraising ability.
Jill Basile (2019 Candidate)
Otsego County Board of Representatives, District 14
Jill is running for Otsego County Board, District 14. Jill has lived in Otsego County since childhood and after attending college, choose to stay and raise her family here. She completed her Masters in Higher Education Administration and has worked in higher education and social services fields since then; and is now eager to give back to the community that has provided her with so much. Jill aims to implement a County Manager position, seek and fund effective ways to serve unwanted and neglected companion animals, support opportunities for low and middle income housing and grow our community.
Carmen Eckard (2019 Candidate)
Hickory Alderman, Ward 1
Carmen is running for Ward 1 Alderman in Hickory, NC, because many improvements are being made in Hickory, but most of them are not helping the people who need the most help. Our opioid, crime and homelessness problems are enormous and on the rise, yet our leadership seems to be focused only on massive improvements downtown and on the lake, which don’t address the issues that are threatening our great city. She wants to be sure that Hickory is a safe and wonderful city for ALL people, including the ones who are struggling mightily.
Kelvin Stallings (2019 Candidate)
Goldsboro City Council, District 2
Kelvin Stallings is running for the District 2 City Council seat in the city of Goldsboro. Kelvin Stallings may be a newcomer to the world of running for political office but not to the world of professional politics. In terms of prior employment, Kelvin served as a political and nonprofit professional with years of experience raising money, coaching teams, and running electoral programs to create a tangible difference in people’s lives.
Kelvin moved back home and answered the call to serve because he hopes to cut through the divisive nature of the current leadership in order to pass policies and ordinances will help push all districts of Goldsboro forward in an equal and equitable way.
Sydney Batch (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 37
Sydney Batch currently serves as a NC Representative in District 37. Sydney is a mother, wife, lawyer, social worker, and child welfare advocate who was raised in North Carolina. She is a triple Tar Heel, graduating with her undergraduate, MSW, and her JD from UNC-Chapel Hill. Sydney and her husband opened their own law practice upon graduation. She is a mother to two wonderful sons that keep her life very interesting. Sydney decided to run because she wants to make a difference for those people who feel stressed, and to work with them through our common shared values to make a better North Carolina.
Carrie Hartman (2019 Candidate)
Maumee City Council
Carrie Hartman is a dedicated civil servant running for Maumee City Council. She has worked in the public sector for the last four years and has a range of experience in governing. Her knowledge and experience is exactly what is needed to move Maumee forward!
Carrie is running for Maumee City Council because she cares about the future of Maumee and believes that her neighbors deserve to have safe and clean drinking water, sustainable and livable neighborhoods, and a government that listens to and works for them. She values collaboration and innovation, and will take action to ensure Maumee is the best suburb in the area.
Melanie Farkas (2019 Candidate)
Trustee, Liberty Township, Delaware County
Melanie Farkas is a marketing manager who is passionate about protecting her community while planning for the future. A former journalist, she also has experience working in the non-profit sector and handling federal grant budgets totaling $2 million. Melanie has been married to her husband, Dan, for 12 years. They have two children, Leah, age 9, and William, age 6. She is very active in her church and is a proud co-leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. She plans to bring new leadership to Liberty Township, the fastest-growing area in the state of Ohio, by protecting the township’s services and planning strategically for the future.
Jen Partica (2019 Candidate)
School Director, Moon Area School District, Moon Township
Jen is running for School Director in her Pittsburgh suburb to combine her professional experience as an educational administrator with her success as a fierce organizer & legislative advocate for gun violence prevention. The daughter of two public school teachers, Jen spent a decade in college admissions and enrollment management, jobs that afforded her the opportunity to work with and visit hundreds of school districts across the country. She now owns her own business counseling high school students and their families through the college application process. She’s a true believer in the power of competent, incorruptible governance and knows her community will benefit from having her fresh voice on an established School Board.
Jon Panofsky (2019 Candidate)
Centennial School Board Director, Region II
With a BSEd and Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Secondary Education from Temple University, an MA in Holocaust and Genocide Studies, and a JD from the University of Richmond School of Law, as well as 10 years of classroom experience, Jon will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the position of Centennial School Board Director.
Jon is running for Centennial School Board Director because he is tired of seeing the majority raise taxes year after year, while the educational quality in the district suffers. In the past decade, the board has raised taxes 41%, the highest in Bucks County. Furthermore, under the current majority, Centennial went from a well regarded district to no longer ranking in the top 100 in the state.
If elected, Jon will be the first openly LGBTQ+ official in Warminster Township. He lives in Warminster with his boyfriend and his father.
Rebecca Mirra (2019 Candidate)
Bensalem Township School Board Director
As an attorney and mother of two boys enrolled in Bensalem public schools, Rebecca is uniquely qualified to serve her community as school board director. She is devoted to ensuring Bensalem kids receive the education they deserve while guiding the district to financial stability. Rebecca’s legal practice is dedicated to estate planning and administration. She is an active member of BADGE (Bensalem Association Dedicated to Gifted Education) and the Valley Elementary PTO. She attended public school in her hometown of Brockport, NY, college at State University of NY at Binghamton and earned her law degree at Villanova University in 2007.
Sarah Calvin (2019 Candidate)
Trappe Borough Council
Sarah is running for Trappe Borough Council. Sarah, her husband and two children, chose Trappe when they moved to Pennsylvania. Sarah is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology, who has run her Photography business. Currently Sarah works with her local state representative which allows her to serve her community.
Greg Perry (2019 Candidate)
North Charleston City Council District 7
Greg Perry is a native of North Charleston, SC. He has been involved in several mentoring programs since 2008, and has long worked for positive change in North Charleston. His desire to see less crime and more investment in his community has motivated him to seek elected office. Greg would like to bring fresh ideas and positive solutions to North Charleston City Council.
David Hayes (2020 Candidate)
Knoxville City Council At-Large Seat B
David Hayes is an activist and working-class Knoxvillian who is committed to building a Knoxville for All; a Knoxville where all families, workers, and communities can thrive.
David is running for office and building a progressive majority on city council to work with Black, Brown, and working class communities to make the institutional changes needed for all people to survive and thrive. His experience in politics and community organizing informed his belief that Knoxvillians deserve new political leadership that is accountable to communities. David is committed to improving the daily lives of Knoxvillians and fighting for good jobs with living wages, affordable homes, safe and healthy communities, and real democracy in our local government.
Michalyn Easter-Thomas (2019 Candidate)
Memphis City Council, District 7
Michalyn Easter-Thomas is a longtime resident of District 7 that is committed to further investment in her community. As a public school educator and community organizer, she understands the importance of collaboration between local government and the community to move forward. As a native Memphian, she sees that we have not fully developed in the majority of the district due to inadequate leadership. She is working to bring back honesty, trust, and transparency to District 7. Understanding that accurate representation means listening to the community first, Michalyn is working hard to ensure that ALL of the district has priority as we work towards a better Memphis.
Tami Sawyer (2019 Candidate)
Mayor of Memphis
Tami Sawyer’s life’s work and passion is people: ensuring they’re represented, heard, valued, and included. Tami represents District 7 in Memphis as their Shelby County Commissioner. As a thought leader on social justice, she has been a writer and guest on outlets such as CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, and Huffington Post. In 2017, Tami founded #takeemdown901, the successful movement to remove Confederate statues in Memphis. Tami is listed on the 2018 Ebony Power 100 & 2019 Memphis Business Journal Power 100. She serves on the local boards of NAACP & Planned Parenthood. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Incorporated.
Aurora Martinez Jones (2020 Candidate)
126th District Court Judge
Aurora Martinez Jones is an appointed Associate Judge in Travis County, Texas, overseeing the child welfare dockets since 2015. She is a first-generation American with immigrant parents from Jamaica and Mexico. Before becoming a judge, Aurora had her own civil litigation practice. She’s board certified in Child Welfare Law and nationally recognized as a Child Welfare Law Specialist. Aurora is past President of the Austin Black Lawyers Association, and a board member of the Travis County Women Lawyers Foundation and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ). She and her husband are the proud parents of two precious girls.
Dr. Eliz Markowitz (2019 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 28
A native Texan, Dr. Eliz Markowitz is running to be the next State Representative of Texas House District 28. Eliz received her bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Trinity University, master’s degrees in both Management and Healthcare Informatics from the University of Texas system, and a doctorate in Education from the University of Houston. Eliz currently works at The Princeton Review as a teacher, corporate trainer, content developer, and author. Due to her diverse educational and professional background, Eliz will offer a unique perspective on the myriad of issues facing Texas. Eliz hopes to work with all the diverse communities within the district in order to create a more equitable Texas.
Elizabeth Beck (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 97
Elizabeth is a single mother, veteran, lawyer, community leader. At seventeen, Elizabeth enlisted in the Army Reserves. In 2005, she deployed to Taji, Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
She earned her BA and Master of City and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Arlington then her J.D. from Texas A&M School of Law. Elizabeth is an employment lawyer, representing employees across the country in overtime claims.
Elizabeth wants to work to ensure that all Texans, no matter their circumstances, can achieve their goals and help Texas continue to be a business leader.
Eric Holguin (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 32
Eric Holguin grew up in a South Texas working-class Hispanic family of public servants. His father a public-school educator, his mother a nurse, and two veteran brothers who now serve as Texas State Troopers. Eric worked in NYC government before relocating back to Corpus Christi, TX to fight for his home region as the Democratic nominee for U.S. Congress in 2018. Although gerrymandering affected his chances at being successful, Eric continued to fight for veterans (got a bill signed into law in the Texas) with a veterans organization, and for civil & LGBTQ rights as President of a LULAC chapter.
Rish Oberoi (2020 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 26
Rish is a born and bred Texan and graduate of the University of Houston who once sought to become a teacher before seeing firsthand that our public schools cannot succeed with the resources provided by the state. This sent him on a journey to learn how we can take back control of our democracy and make sure it truly serves the people. Since 2016, Rish has worked as a legislative aide in the Texas Capitol and has held senior positions on congressional and statewide campaigns. It’s time to engage and elevate the next generation of Texans to make sure our government is populated by those ready to take on the challenges of the 21st century. Rish is prepared to use his experience in government in politics to be a voice for Texas’ future and to make sure we can continue to be proud of our great state.
Lindsey Dougherty (2019 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 62
I come from a working class family who values hard work and effective, representative government. I am a mom to two young children, one of which has an autoimmune disorder that impacts his physical and mental health. We regularly have to fight with our insurance company to have treatments covered and I believe that families should not have to choose between quality affordable healthcare and putting food on the table. Professionally, I am a budget analyst for local government, overseeing a portfolio of departments totaling $85M of annual operating and capital budgets. Through this work, and in my previous work in juvenile justice and working on health outcomes at the local and state level, I firmly believe that the changes our community needs are not going to come from Virginia’s current leadership. A new, more representative, voice is needed for our children and education, our families and healthcare, and in comprehensive criminal justice reform.
Sally Hudson (2019 Candidate)
State House of Representatives, District 57
Sally Hudson is an economics professor and community organizer in Charlottesville, Virginia. She teaches statistics at UVA and studies some of the most pressing economic challenges we face, from workers’ stagnant wages to mounting student debt. Sally understands how our broken economics is distorting our democracy, from the lax campaign finance laws that empower corporate interests to the rigged district lines that deny us all competitive elections. She’s running for Virginia’s House to deliver progressive reforms that secure a real and responsive democracy and genuine economic opportunity for all.