Albany, NY City Councilmember Dorcey Applyrs
The Hon. Dr. Dorcey Applyrs has built a personal and professional life in the City of Albany devoted to improving the quality of life for residents in her community, Albany’s First Ward. The Washington, D.C., native tackles health disparity, environmental safety and other quality of life issues affecting her constituents with a persistence and passion that city leaders have come to recognize and depend upon. Applyrs was elected to the City of Albany Common Council in 2014 and re-elected in 2018.
Dr. Applyrs has been acknowledged for her strong leadership and commitment to advocating for others. She has been instrumental in the start-up of new economic development projects and growth happening in the City's First Ward and securing community benefits for her constituents. Dr. Applyrs took the lead on advocating for the inclusion of an affordable housing requirement in the City of Albany's rezone legislation. Applyrs has hosted several economic empowerment summits city-wide focused on empowering women to become entrepreneurs and leaders in their field. She was named 40 Under 40 by the Albany Business Review, Young Alumni of Excellence by UAlbany and 2017 Women and Girls Ambassador by Girls Inc. of the Capital Region. Dr. Applyrs has been featured on the cover of HerLife New York Magazine and honored by U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand with the 2017 Off the Sidelines Equality Advocate Award.
West Palm Beach, FL State Attorney Dave Aronberg
Elected State Attorney for Palm Beach County, Florida, in November 2012, Dave Aronberg leads an office of 120 prosecutors with more than 120,000 cases each year. As State Attorney, Dave has overseen a dramatic improvement in conviction rates; a reduction in the "direct filing" of juveniles into adult court; an expansion of drug court and veterans court, which emphasize rehabilitation over incarceration; and the creation of innovative diversion programs for first-time domestic violence and DUI offenders that have reduced recidivism rates and saved taxpayer dollars.
Before taking his current office, Dave served as a Florida State Senator (2002-10) and a White House Fellow (2000-01) in the U.S. Treasury Department.
New York, NY Assemblymember Michael Blake
Blake began his first term on the New York State Assembly in 2015, and serves on the Banks, Correction, Election Law, Housing, and Veterans’ Affairs committees. He is passionate about urban entrepreneurship, Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises, education, community learning, building sustainable communities, equality for all and empowering young men of color. Assembly member Blake serves on the Correction, Housing, Election Law, Governmental Operations, Banks and Veterans Affairs committees and is the Chairman of the Mitchell-Lama (Affordable Housing) subcommittee. Blake has passed significant bills, including his signature prompt pay bill which will require New York State to pay contracted companies with 200 employees or less in 15 days instead of 30 days. Moreover, Assembly member Blake led the effort to secure $20 million for a pilot My Brother’s Keeper program in New York State, making it the first in the nation. Furthermore, Blake has secured funds for Bronx entrepreneurs through the American Entrepreneurship Award, for New York City Housing Authority improvements for developments in his district, for schools in his assembly district, and has addressed gun violence among residents.
Michael has extensive political experience. He has held significant positions working on both of Barack Obama’s presidential campaigns, as well as serving as Obama’s Associate Director of Public Engagement and Deputy Associate Director in the Offices of Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement from 2009 to 2011. He created the White House Urban Entrepreneurship Summit series, which sought to foster public, private and not-for-profit partnerships and provide strategic advice in seven cities across the nation. Blake also continues his work in the community. He serves on the My Brother's Keeper Alliance as a national advisory board member (the only state legislator in the nation) and is a board member of iVOTE, which focuses on protecting voting rights across the country.
Douglas County, KS District Attorney Charles Branson
District Attorney Charles E. Branson, was first elected as District Attorney of the 7th Judicial District on November 2, 2004 and took office January 10, 2005. Since then Charles has been re-elected without opposition in 2008, 2012 and is unopposed in 2016.
Charles believes the prosecutor’s office must be more than just a mechanism to incarcerate offenders. He believes the office should support all facets of the community; from developing an active consumer protection division, starting a first of its kind property crimes compensation board to reimagining how victims of crime are addressed by the court system. Charles is an integral part of planning a local behavioral health court that will divert those with mental health problems away from the court system, sparing them criminal records that can jeopardize their support and housing.
Charles is also leading the charge in finding fair justice. He is actively engaged in state and national efforts to determine the best practices for prosecutors’ offices across the country. These efforts are aimed at making sure the rights of individuals are protected while serving the interests of justice. Where defendants are held accountable for their actions and crime victims are afforded the respect and dignity they deserve.
West Sacramento, CA Mayor Christopher Cabaldon
For two decades, Christopher Cabaldon has been the mayor of what was the forgotten old-industrial small town on the other side of the tracks (in this case, the tracks are the Sacramento River), transformed under his leadership into the fast-growing, dynamic, entrepreneurial city at the forefront an emerging American metro. A small city punching way above its weight, West Sacramento has been named Most Livable City in America by the US Conference of Mayors, and as a leading LRNG digital badge city, Startups in Residence incubator, and 2015 Code for America city. Mayor Cabaldon’s innovations promoting progressive economic growth have been featured at the world expo, Federal Reserve, SXSW, White House, Governing, and other national and international forums. He is Jobs, Education & the Workforce chairman for the US Conference of Mayors. He might also be the country’s leading heretic on the topic of civic engagement.
Cabaldon served as vice chancellor of California’s 113-campus community college system and director of the state legislature’s higher education committee, and led high-impact statewide education startup organizations. He has been appointed to state government posts by four California governors from both political parties.
Santa Barbara, CA School Board Member Laura Capps
Laura Capps, a proud graduate of Santa Barbara public schools, is a member of the Board of Education for Santa Barbara Unified School District. Her son is in the first grade at the elementary school she attended, and she is the only member on the board with a student currently in the district. In the short time she has been in office, she has lead the charge to solarize campus buildings, instituted a new program to register eligible students to vote, and worked with her colleagues to close a $2 million dollar budget shortfall.
Laura has devoted her career to public service, serving as a White House speechwriter for President Clinton, a communications director on John Kerry’s presidential campaign, an advisor in the United States Senate to Senator Edward Kennedy, part of Al Gore’s climate change campaign, and an ocean conservation advocate. In addition to her service with the Santa Barbara Unified Board of Education, Laura manages her own public affairs practice collaborating with non-profit organizations on issues of climate, poverty, immigration, and childhood hunger. Active in the community, Laura is President of the Board of the Community Environmental Council and a Director of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She recently served on the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women and on the Board of Trustees for her alma mater, University of California, Berkeley. She has taught college courses on Congress and politics at the University of California Washington Center and holds a Masters in History with Distinction from the London School of Economics.
Mountain View, CA City Councilmember Chris Clark
Chris Clark is a City Council Member and former Mayor of Mountain View, California, which is located in the heart of Silicon Valley and home to Google, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, and numerous startups. He was elected to Council in 2012 and became Mayor in 2014.
As Mayor, Chris led the city through a period of significant growth and forged consensus on several key issues including housing growth, permit streamlining, and environmental sustainability. He is the youngest person ever to serve as a Mayor and Council Member in Mountain View.
Chris grew up on a farm in rural Illinois and served as a Page for the US House of Representatives before moving to Silicon Valley to attend Stanford University. He studied International Relations and Economics and interned with the US State Department in Berlin and Munich. In addition to City Council, Chris serves on several San Francisco Bay Area regional planning boards and leads operations at Y Combinator Research.
Huntsville, AL House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels
Anthony Daniels currently represents the 53rd District in the Alabama State House of Representatives and is the youngest and first African American Minority Leader of the Alabama House of Representatives.
Rep. Daniels is proud to be part of what NewDEAL stands for and he looks forward to helping his district, state, and nation grow by sharing ideas with like-minded people. A progressive economic plan is How We Grow in Alabama. His Growler Bill, passed in 2016, allows local microbreweries to sell growlers, increase revenue, and hire people, basically a small business expansion bill. He and his colleagues introduced a Farm to schools bill. This bill gives local farmers an opportunity to sell directly to school systems, up to 150,000 worth of food and produce. Together with his fellow progressive leaders, he will continue to push for smart, pro-growth policies that benefit all Americans.
Salem, MA Mayor Kim Driscoll
Kim Driscoll is the first female Mayor of Salem, where she began her first term in January of 2006. Prior to being elected Mayor, Kim served as the Deputy City Manager for the city of Chelsea, Massachusetts, as well as serving two terms on the Salem City Council. Kim also has an extensive background in planning and land use development, having held public and private positions working with community development and land planning.
Kim has worked on professionalizing all aspects of local government in Salem, including resolution of a looming multi-million dollar budget deficit. Under her leadership, the city has restored financial stability while embracing new projects and programs such as an updated community web site aimed at improving transparency and customer service and a complete re-organization of city government aimed at reducing redundancies and streamlining operations. The early success of these efforts has led to renewed interest and investment in Salem, both within the downtown and throughout the community.
Houston, TX Councilmember Amanda Edwards
Amanda K. Edwards serves as the Houston City Council Member in the At-Large Position 4. She is also a municipal finance attorney and native Houstonian with a passion for building communities through public service. Currently, Edwards serves as Vice Chair of the Budget and Fiscal Affairs Committee and as a member of the Economic Development and Transportation, Technology and Infrastructure Committees. She is committed to cultivating economic development opportunities in Houston that have the potential to responsibly revitalize underserved communities and encourage new industries to develop. Edwards strives to innovatively address Houston’s fiscal challenges and its urban core needs in order to move all of Houston forward so that it can be the place where the Gulf Coast and the world’s future meet.
Edwards maintains a strong commitment to community service. She has served as President of the Board of Directors for Project Row Houses in Houston’s Historical Third Ward community and on numerous other civic boards and committees, including Texas Lyceum, Crisis Intervention of Houston, Texas One Voice: A Health and Human Services Collaborative and the Houston Area Urban League Young Professionals. Edwards is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Prior to her election, Edwards served as a judicial law clerk for Federal District Court Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle. Edwards earned her B.A. in Political Science from Emory University and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Boise, ID House Minority Leader Mat Erpelding
Mat has served in the Idaho House of Representatives since 2012 and is currently the House Minority Leader. He’s focused his work on conservation and public lands issues, rural infrastructure development (rural teacher recruitment, medical residency programs and broadband development), multimodal transportation issues including safe routes to school, and economic development.
As professional mountain guide, Rep. Erpelding is tireless advocate for conserving our natural environment and for programs that encourage young Idahoans to get outside. He has advocated for an Idaho Youth Conservation Corps and believes that experience in the outdoors is essential to protecting our most valuable resources. Mat is a past president of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, and in 2010 was a recipient of the Idaho Business Review's 40 most accomplished under 40 award.
Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs
Mike Frerichs was elected Illinois State Treasurer in 2014. As an Illinois State Senator from 2008 to 2014, he served an active voice on behalf of Illinois’ farming community as Chairman of the Agricultural Committee, advocating for advancements in clean bio fuels.
During his time in the legislature, Mike focused on a number of ideas to spur economic growth. He led an effort to improve tax incentives that encourage businesses to locate in high unemployment areas; he worked to increase science and math education standards in Illinois high schools; and he championed the Emerging Technology Industries Act, a bill that would provide grants to private-sector entities that grow jobs through innovations in medicine or science.
Prior to running for office, Mike taught at his alma mater high school and managed a local safety engineering company, Smart Structures. Later he was elected twice to the Champaign County Board and spent more than four years as Champaign County Auditor, where he became a Certified Public Finance Officer, the only elected Auditor to receive that designation in the state. Mike also served as a volunteer firefighter and on the board of a local nursing home.
Maricopa County, AZ Recorder Adrian Fontes
Elected to his first political office in November, 2016, Adrian Fontes is responsible for the third largest voting jurisdiction in the U.S. containing 2.5 million voters, nearly 2/3 of Arizona's total electorate. Recorder Fontes is an Arizona native born and raised on the border in Nogales, Arizona where billions of dollars of trade flow every year. He is a Marine Corps Veteran, Lawyer and small business owner with a deep love of family and our Constitution.
Improving the voter's experience, system accountability and security are not just approaches to good government and better elections, they are good business. Within his first year in office Recorder Fontes led the development of the unique and award winning SiteBook technology for voters showing that his focus on developing his staff through listening leadership is a solid first step in growing ideas and generating efficiency from the experts already on the ground. Working to speed-up land recording transactions, Recorder Fontes also hopes to more quickly free monies suspended during traditional transaction wait times, and get those funds out into development projects more efficiently, through the use of Artificial Intelligence in the near future.
Phoeniz, AZ City Councilmember Kate Gallego
City Councilmember Kate Gallego represents District 8, a diverse area that includes everything from one of the world's busiest airports to the world's largest municipal park. As a member of the Phoenix City Council, Kate has focused her energy on economic development and improving Phoenix's transportation system. She led the campaign to pass Proposition 104, the city's transportation plan through 2050. She also spearheaded the successful effort to develop Phoenix Equal Pay Ordinance, working toward pay equity for all residents.
Kate has brought an entrepreneurial spirit and extensive economic development knowledge to her service on the council. Prior to being elected, Kate worked on Strategic Planning and Economic Development for Salt River Project and earned an MBA in Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Kate is the only MBA on the Phoenix City Council.
City Councilmember Gallego is the first woman to represent District 8 and the only member of the Millennial Generation to serve on the council. She has been recognized with the "Courage" Award from the Girl Scouts Cactus-Pine Council for her work on the Phoenix Equal Pay Ordinance and as Elected Official of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers Arizona Chapter for her work on expanding access to transportation. The Wharton School of Business named her to its inaugural "40 Under 40" alumni list in 2015.
Washington Lieutenant Gov. Cyrus Habib
Cyrus Habib was elected Washington state’s 16th Lt. Governor in November 2016. A former legislator, Lt. Governor Habib represented east King County in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, where he served as Democratic Whip and a member of the Democratic leadership team.
As Lt. Governor, he is President of the State Senate, serves as acting-Governor whenever the Governor leaves the state, and maintains a portfolio of key issues including Economic Development, Trade, and Higher Education.
A three-time cancer survivor, Lieutenant Governor Habib has been fully blind since age eight. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Iran before he was born, and he is both the first and only Iranian-American official to hold statewide elected office in the United States. He is the youngest presiding officer in the country, and the first and only Iranian-American to hold statewide elected office in the United States. He is a graduate of Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School.
Atlanta, GA State Representative Scott Holcomb
Scott Holcomb serves in the Georgia House of Representatives where he serves on the Higher Education, Public Safety and Homeland Security, Juvenile Justice, and Defense and Veterans Affairs Committees. In 2016, he authored and helped to pass bipartisan, landmark legislation to ensure the timely processing of sexual assault kits in Georgia. He has also worked to reform government, promote employment for veterans, and increase entrepreneurship.
Scott is an experienced attorney who has practiced since 1998. He is a founding partner of Holcomb + Ward, LLP, a boutique law firm based in Atlanta. Scott began his career in public service as a lawyer with the U.S. Army JAG Corps, where he served as a prosecutor and international law attorney. He deployed overseas three times for the conflicts in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project.
Dallas, TX State Representative Eric Johnson
Eric Johnson is currently serving his fifth term in the Texas House of Representatives, where he serves on the Ways and Means and Investments and Financial Services committees; he also serves as the Vice Chairman of the Redistricting Committee. Johnson was first elected in 2010, at age 34, and was quickly deemed a “rising star” in Texas politics, being named one of the Texas Junior Chamber of Commerce’s “Five Outstanding Young Texans” in 2011.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts in History cum laude from Harvard University in 1998, Johnson earned a Master of Public Affairs in International Relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a Juris Doctor from The University of Pennsylvania Law School, both in 2003.
In 2013, Johnson was named an Aspen Institute Rodel Fellow. In 2016, he was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and he was also elected to the Board of Directors of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. Last year, Johnson was selected for membership in the Council on Foreign Relations and was appointed to the Democratic National Committee.
Johnson lives in Dallas with his wife, Nikki, and their two sons, William and George.
Norfolk, VA City Councilmember Andria McClellan
Andria McClellan is using her experience as an entrepreneur, civic leader and community activist, parent of three school-aged children, and former Planning Commissioner to make meaningful and progressive changes to the city of Norfolk, Virginia. Unseating a 16-year incumbent in 2016, she was elected to serve a Superward City Council seat for the second largest city in Virginia because of her pro-growth, innovation platform which focused on improving public schools; diversifying the economy in a city home to the largest Naval Base in the world; finding innovative solutions and funding to address sea level rise; and, creating a more engaged, accessible and transparent city government.
Andria has served on numerous boards and commission throughout the city, the region and the state, including the Virginia Small Business Advisory Board, the Virginia Family & Children’s Trust Fund, and the Local Government Advisory Committee for the EPA’s Chesapeake Bay Program. She began her career working in sales and marketing for two Fortune 500 companies, after which she ran two start-up enterprises (one in manufacturing and one in tech). Andria earned her B.A. from the University of Virginia and graduated from the Wharton Management Program at the University of Pennsylvania. She is also a proud graduate of the CIVIC Leadership Institute and U.Va’s Sorensen Political Leaders Program.
Boise, ID City Council President Lauren McLean
Lauren has served on the Boise City Council since 2011 and is currently the President Pro Tempore. She’s focused her work on sustainability, community justice, and economic development.
Lauren co-sponsored the city’s ordinance protecting all residents from discrimination, including those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. Her efforts in Boise led to ordinances being passed in cities around the state. She’s helped the city secure a grant to explore Pay for Success as part of a solution to homelessness and housing, and serves on the Mayor’s Housing and Homelessness Committee that convened providers, community organizations and concerned citizens and led to the city’s first plan to develop community-supportive housing through the Housing First program. During her five years as a commissioner on the city’s urban renewal organization, CCDC she helped oversee a period of intense development in Boise’s downtown core with numerous public-private partnerships helping to transform Boise’s downtown.
A committed conservationist and recreations, Lauren knows that Boise’s environment is key to its livability and long-term economic prosperity and growth. Known for her efforts to pass the city’s first levy for Open Space protection in 2011, she supported the most recent levy to grow the city’s open space and clean water programs and sponsors the city’s sustainability initiative. Since adopted, the city has established energy reduction goals, expanded its geothermal system as part of an EcoDistrict downtown, and continues to seek innovative solutions to today’s problems.
New Castle County, DE County Executive Matt Meyer
Matthew Meyer has lived an extraordinary life of service, educating high needs Washington, DC and Wilmington children and creating jobs in some of the most challenging neighborhoods in East Africa. Mr. Meyer has won awards for his Mathematics instruction, worked as an attorney at a leading global law firm, started two companies and served in Iraq as a diplomat. As a diplomat during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, Mr. Meyer worked with Americans and Iraqis to build a lasting peace in Mosul, embedded with the US military for one year.
After a stunning upset over a three-term incumbent in his first run for public office in 2016, Mr. Meyer immediately brought fresh ideas as the chief executive of Delaware's largest local government. Within eight weeks, Mr. Meyer had attacked fraud, waste and abuse and reduced county spending by nearly 3%. In his first year in office, Mr. Meyer appointed the first African-American police chief in the 104 year history of the state's second largest police department, held the first-ever county Iftar dinner, attracted Del Monte Fresh Produce to announce plans to build their largest US distribution facility, and saved county taxpayers over $2 million through modifications to the farmland preservation program. Mr. Meyer recently announced innovative literacy and engineering programming in the state's largest library system, focused on providing equal opportunity, as well as an online technology platform that enables citizens to view county tax spending online just as you can view your bank statements.
Atlanta, GA Senator Elena Parent
Elena is a State Senator, attorney, and progressive champion. First elected in 2010 as one of 12 Democrats in the nation to unseat a Republican incumbent, Elena focused her efforts in her first term on government transparency and ethics, including independent redistricting. Elected to the State Senate in 2014, Elena has focused on improving access to early childhood education and health care, promoting common-sense gun safety measures, and defeating job-killing and discriminatory "religious freedom" legislation. She has also continued her work toward an independent redistricting commission for Georgia. Elena passed a bill that would close a loophole that allowed severely mentally ill Georgians to acquire guns and is also working toward keeping guns away from those committed of domestic violence. She also was a key part of passing Georgia's Pursuing Justice for Rape Victims Act in 2016.
Gaithersburg, MD Delegate Andrew Platt
Andrew Platt was elected Delegate to the Maryland House of Delegates in 2014. He is a first generation college graduate who worked his way through school. After graduating, Andrew went to work for Donna Brazile, the Vice Chair of Voter Registration and Participation for the Democratic National Committee. Andrew then got a job on Capitol Hill working for the House Democratic Caucus, the legislative and communications hub for House Democrats. As a staffer for the Caucus, Andrew worked to help advance legislation to create jobs, grow our middle class, and protect Social Security and Medicare from drastic cuts. While working full-time on Capitol Hill, Andrew went to graduate school at night and received his Master’s degree.
Orcas Island, WA Senator Kevin Ranker
Kevin Ranker was first elected as a Washington State Senator in 2008. Kevin has established a name for himself as an outspoken advocate for equality, civil rights, the environment and the protection and growth of Washington jobs. In 2014, Kevin was elected to serve as the number two Democrat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee where he is one of four state budget negotiators. Previously, he served as Chair of the Energy, Environment and Telecommunications Committee.
In 2011, he received a White House appointment to serve as an Advisor to President Obama’s National Ocean Council. In 2013, Kevin was elected to serve as the President of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, a statutory partnership of ten U.S. states and Canadian provinces and territories working to increase economic wellbeing and coordinate energy, economic and environmental strategies throughout the Pacific Northwest region.
Montgomery County, AL Probate Judge Steven Reed
Steven L. Reed was elected as Probate Judge of Montgomery County, Alabama in 2012. He became the first African American and youngest person ever elected to the county’s highest office. Since that time he has worked relentlessly to improve mental health outcomes through court reform of the involuntary commitment process, solidify election integrity as a member of the National Government Coordinating Council, and uphold the rule of law by becoming the first Probate Judge in Alabama to perform same sex marriages after dissension over a federal court ruling.
Steven brings a systematic approach to his position that’s rooted in his days working as a financial analyst at a Fortune 100 company and small business owner. His determination has culminated in an effort to transform the Probate Court into a value added, solution oriented government entity that maintains public trust. As the county’s Chief Election Official Judge Reed remains an outspoken critic of Voter ID laws and remains committed to protecting voting right while expanding voter participation.
Little Rock, AR Representative Warwick Sabin
As the State Representative for District 33, Warwick also held the position of Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore during the 90th General Assembly. Both Arkansas Democrat-Gazette columnist John Brummett as well as Talk Business Quarterly named Warwick among the top ten legislators of the 2013 legislative session, and the Arkansas Times called him the "Freshman of the session". In 2014, he was among 24 national political leaders awarded the Rodel Fellowship by the Aspen Institute for his "outstanding ability to work responsibly across partisan divisions and bring greater civility to public discourse."
Before assuming his position at the Innovation Hub, Warwick was publisher of the Oxford American magazine, and in 2009 he was named to the FOLIO:40, a list of the 40 most influential people in the national magazine industry. His additional professional experience includes serving as director of development for the Clinton Foundation, as well as working on Capitol Hill, at the White House, and at Foreign Affairs magazine. He is a Marshall Scholar and a Truman Scholar, and he holds an M.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University and a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Political Science from University of Arkansas, where he graduated as val