State Attorney Dave Aronberg (Palm Beach County, FL)
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 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.
Representative Loranne Ausley (Tallahassee, FL)
Loranne Ausley was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2016 where she serves on the Commerce and Ways and Means Committees, as well as subcommittees on environment, agriculture and regulated industries. Loranne previously represented Florida’s Capital City in the same seat from 2000-2008 before retiring due to term limits. Ausley is also an attorney with Hollimon PA – a small Tallahassee firm. During her time in the Florida House, Loranne has established herself as an independent-minded leader unafraid to take on tough problems and find real solutions. Loranne is a sixth-generation Floridian who has held senior positions in federal and state government, working closely with some of Florida’s most respected leaders including Bob Graham, and Lawton Chiles. Loranne is active in a number of local, state and national organizations. She was instrumental in creating Whole Child Leon, a community-based initiative focused on young children and their families. Loranne graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College with degrees in Economics and Politics, and earned her J.D. from the Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia.
Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes (Wisconsin)
Mandela Barnes serves as Wisconsin’s 45th Lieutenant Governor. He was elected on November 8, 2018 and sworn into office on January 7, 2019. He is the first African-American to serve as a Lieutenant Governor in Wisconsin, and the second African-American to ever hold statewide office.
Born and raised in Milwaukee, Mandela is the son of a public-school teacher and a United Auto Workers member, to whom he credits much of his success. He grew up attending Milwaukee Public Schools and is an alumnus of Alabama A&M University. He worked for various political campaigns and in the office of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, eventually becoming an organizer for Milwaukee Inner City Congregations Allied for Hope, a Milwaukee-based interfaith coalition that advocates social justice. Mandela also worked for the State Innovation Exchange, a national progressive public policy organization.
In 2012, at the age of 25, Mandela was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, where he served two two-year terms. His tenure in the State Assembly included serving as Chair of the Legislature’s Black and Latino Caucus and becoming a recognized leader on progressive economic policies and gun violence prevention legislation.
As Lieutenant Governor, Mandela will continue to fight for solutions that invest in opportunities and fairness for every child, person, and family in Wisconsin, regardless of zip code.
Vice Mayor Elizabeth Bennett-Parker (Alexandria, VA)
Elizabeth Bennett-Parker was elected to the Alexandria City Council in November 2018 and is the youngest woman elected to Council in Alexandria’s history. Prior to her election, she was appointed by Council to serve on the Community Criminal Justice Board and the Commission on Employment.
In her day job, Elizabeth co-leads Together We Bake, a nonprofit job training and personal development program for women in need. She is the founder of Fruitcycle, a social enterprise that produced healthy snacks from locally-sourced produce that would otherwise go to waste, while also providing jobs for women who had been homeless or formerly incarcerated. Recognizing a similarity in missions, Elizabeth merged Fruitcycle with Together We Bake in 2016. Elizabeth is a former Fulbright Fellow, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Cornell University, and received a Master’s from the University of London.
Senator Jeff Bridges (Greenwood Village, CO)
Jeff Bridges was recently appointed to the Colorado State Senate. Previously, as a member of the Colorado State House, Jeff Bridges represents the same part of town where he coached a swim team, worked a high school job at Laser Storm, and attended public school K-12. His constituents include former teachers and doctors, friends from high school, and even his parents. In his first session in the State House, Bridges passed bipartisan legislation to improve the lives of everyday Coloradans by shortening wait times at the DMV, protecting free speech on college campuses, and welcoming the regulated testing of autonomous vehicles—or as the Drudge Report calls them, “headless Ubers.”
In a chamber full of lawyers, Jeff Bridges is the only Colorado State Representative with a Master of Divinity degree. Before running for office Bridges put that degree to work as the head of public affairs at Union Theological Seminary, where he helped keep a Hobby Lobby-style religious exemption out of an executive order that banned LGBT discrimination. As an aide to Colorado’s own Ken Salazar in the US Senate, Bridges received a letter from a constituent whose friend had been killed by an IED. In response, Bridges built a bipartisan coalition to save a program that’s still protecting the lives of our military men and women overseas. Bridges met his brilliant wife AnnMarie at Harvard’s admitted students day when she spotted his cowboy boots from across the room.
City Councilmember Albus Brooks (Denver, CO)
Albus Brooks has been a proud representative of Denver City Council for seven years. Since taking office in 2011
Councilman Brooks has sponsored policies that have had an incredible impact on his community. These policies
are helping to further his goal of creating further economic opportunities for residents of District 9, preserving the distinct culture and diversity of this district. Providing positive futures and chances for Denver’s young people is what Councilman Brooks is most passionate about.
Education and economic opportunity are an important issue to Councilman Brooks. In 2015 he sponsored a bill to increase the sales tax for the Denver Preschool Program. This program impacts 4,370 4‐yr‐olds students with
a tuition credit of $10.9 million per year. Councilman Brooks also sponsored a bill to decriminalize possession of marijuana by anyone under 21 years old.
This bill has prevented thousands of young people from being carried through the criminal justice system.
In the summer of 2016 Councilman Brooks was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma, a rare form of cancer. After overcoming his malignant 15‐pound tumor, Councilman Brooks was elected as the new City Council President by his peers and began his first term as President of City Council. In July 2017, he was elected to serve a second term as President of City Council. His resilient spirit comes from his family and his faith, both of which helped him overcome his second bout with cancer in May of 2018. His love for Denver gives him the energy and strength to continue to build an inclusive city, working hard to implement policies that provide affordable housing, economic opportunities, and inclusive growth.
As a means of addressing the affordable housing crisis in Denver, City Council created an Affordable Housing Fund, co‐sponsored by Council President Brooks. These new fees and taxes will generate over $300 million in funds over the course of 10 years. This is the largest housing fund in the state and the first in Denver.
Currently, Councilman Brooks is working towards improving infrastructure gaps in his district and rehabilitating neighborhoods that have systematically been the result of biased infrastructure. This year he advocated for and passed through City Council the city’s largest bond pedestrian/bicycle improvement package with $300 million dedicated to pedestrian/bicycle improvements.
School Board Member Laura Capps (Santa Barbara, CA)
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.
City Councilmember Chris Clark (Mountain View, CA)
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.
County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty (Santa Cruz County, CA)
Ryan Coonerty was elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in 2014. He previously served as the Mayor of Santa Cruz where he successfully brought together labor union members, social service providers, environmentalists, and local businesspeople to promote innovative strategies to improve the quality of life. Some of his efforts have received national attention, including creating an Ayuda Linea (Help Line) for day laborers to report incidents of abuse, investing the City’s reserve funds locally to spur the local economy, and authoring an ordinance that allows dense, for-sale housing which will provide affordable housing for teachers, city workers, firefighters and police.
Ryan is also the co-founder and chief strategist for NextSpace Coworking + Innovation and is implementing a new model for local and regional economic development to help citizens transition, start businesses, and live sustainably. Ryan has presented recommendations for other elected officials on how to replicate this model in communities across the country. Ryan also hosts the NewDEAL's podcast, An Honorable Profession.
House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (Huntsville, AL)
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.
Senator Kerry Donovan (Vail, CO)
Kerry Donovan was elected to the Colorado State Senate in November 2014 to represent Senate District 5, which includes seven counties on the Western Slope, the upper Arkansas Valley of Colorado, and her hometown of Vail. As Senator, Kerry has tackled a wide variety of issues to help build a Colorado that works for everyone -- including economic development in rural areas, access to quality public education, renewable energy, conservation of Colorado’s wildlife and landscape, and access to public lands. Kerry currently serves on the Senate Agriculture, Natural Resources and Energy Committee, and the Senate Local Government Committee.
Prior to being elected Senator, Kerry served on the Vail Town Council for four years, and served on a number of other town commissions. She also worked for worked for several community-focused nonprofits, and served as the Director of Academics for the Ski and Snowboard Club Vail. When she's not at the Capitol or meeting with constituents in her district, Kerry runs her small family ranch where she raises cattle and grows vegetables for local restaurants.
City Councilmember Amanda Edwards (Houston, TX)
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.
City Councilmember Amir Farokhi (Atlanta, GA)
Elected in 2017, Amir Farokhi serves on Atlanta's City Council representing the City's District 2. Professionally, he has served as Director of Strategy at BrightHouse; Chief Operating Officer of College Advising Corps; Founder and Executive Director of GeorgiaForward; and practiced commercial litigation with an international law firm.
In 2011, 2012 and 2013, Councilmember Farokhi was named among the Most Influential Georgians by Georgia Trend Magazine and included in the magazine's 40 Under 40 list. He was a 2011 Marshall Memorial Fellow, Term Member with the Council on Foreign Relations and Truman National Security Project member. His focus on City Council is on strengthening Atlanta's transportation infrastructure, bolstering its affordable housing policies, and improving the quality of City services.
County Recorder Adrian Fontes (Maricopa County, AZ)
Elected to his first political office in November 2016, Maricopa County Recorder 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.
State Treasurer Mike Frerichs (Illinois)
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.
City Councilmember Josh Fryday (Novato, CA)
Since joining the City Council, Fryday has championed successful efforts to establish Novato’s leadership in the North Bay on issues of sustainability and climate action. In his professional capacity, he serves as President of Golden State Opportunity, working to provide financial security to millions of low-income working people throughout California. Prior to his current position, he served as Chief Operating Officer (COO) for NextGen Climate, founded by Tom Steyer, a leading national organization focused on climate change and clean energy.
Fryday also served in the military as an Officer in the United States Navy (‘09-‘13) as a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG). He served overseas in Yokosuka, Japan, and was also stationed in the Office of Military Commissions, working on the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba detainee cases. He testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on the closing of Guantanamo. He is a former Term-Member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) and currently serves as Board Co-Chair of Demos, a national think-tank focused on issues of democracy and economic equality.
Representative Margaret Good (Sarasota, FL)
State Representative Margaret Good was elected through special election in February of 2018 to represent a district that voted for Trump by five points, signifying the first district to be flipped in 2018. Visiting her family in Florida every year growing up and eventually moving to Sarasota after law school has fostered a deep appreciation of Florida’s rich history and natural beauty for Good. The state representative ran because she wanted to change the way Sarasota citizens were only being offered two options, the status quo or moving backwards. She wanted to disrupt that system and fight to protect Florida’s beauty through environmental protections, ensure every child receives a quality public education, and take action on common sense gun legislation to move towards a safer Florida.
Since winning her special election in 2018, State Representative Good has been a strong proponent of policies that ensure future generations of Floridians will be able to enjoy the state’s natural resources. Good prioritizes partnering with local businesses to alleviate environmental strains and holding big corporations accountable for endangering Sarasota’s wetlands. She strongly opposes the use of taxpayer dollars to fund for-profit charter schools as well as the divestment of state funds to private schools that don’t meet the needs of students, and holds that we should be investing in education through ensuring that Sarasota educators are receiving the pay that they deserve and need to continue teaching the children of Florida. The state representative believes in empowering and expanding the middle class through increasing funding in her district for workplace development and providing small business incentives to foster the growth of local businesses that provide good-paying jobs. Good does not believe that Floridians can thrive with a dismantled Affordable Care Act or extensive cuts to Medicaid that limit patient choice. Expanding Medicaid to ensure quality, affordable healthcare for her constituent’s is one of the state representative’s top legislative priorities.
Representative Chris Harris (Forest Hills, KY)
A former underground coal miner, Chris Harris was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representative in 2014. He represents the 93rd legislative district of Kentucky, serving Martin and Pike counties. Chris is a member of the Committees on Tourism, Small Business, and Information Technology, Transportation, and Veterans, Military Affairs, and Public Protection. Prior to his election to the Kentucky General Assembly, Chris served in local government as a Pike County Magistrate for 12 years. During his tenure, he was elected by county officials from across the Commonwealth as the President of the Kentucky Association of Counties, a bipartisan organization dedicated to serving all of Kentucky and advocating for legislative solutions for issues affecting county governments around the Commonwealth.
When the General Assembly is not in session, Rep. Harris works at his private law practice. Chris is licensed to practice law in Kentucky and West Virginia and has argued cases before the Supreme Courts of both states. He and his wife Leslie have three children, Corbin, Wilson, and Emma, and live in Pike County, Kentucky.
Representative Monte Hodges (Blytheville, AR)
Monte Hodges was first elected to the Arkansas State Legislature in 2012 and is currently serving in his fourth term. He served as the Assistant Speaker Pro Tempore for caucus district 1 and was one of 25 minority elected officials selected from the south to participate in The Roundtable of the South in Washington DC -- an effort sponsored by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.
For the 92nd General Assembly, Rep. Hodges serves as vice-chair of the Peer Review Subcommittee for the Joint Budget Committee. He also serves on the House Revenue and Taxation Committee, the Joint Committee on Public Retirement & Social Security Programs, and the House City, County & Local Affairs Committee. He was previously named Outstanding Citizen of the Year by the Blytheville Chamber of Commerce and Outstanding Alumni by Arkansas Northeastern College.
Representative Scott Holcomb (Atlanta, GA)
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.
County Judge Clay Jenkins (Dallas County, TX)
First elected in 2011, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins brings business acumen, legislative experience, and an unparalleled commitment to the office of County Judge. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins has been a strong leader on transportation issues. As a member of the Regional Transportation Council, he has steered hundreds of millions of dollars to Dallas County. Judge Jenkins is widely recognized as an emerging leader on transportation issues and is a fierce and effective advocate for infrastructure and road improvement throughout Dallas County, particularly in southern Dallas County.
Under Judge Jenkins' direct leadership, the Dallas County Homeland Security and Emergency Management Department has successfully responded to two major events and continued to strengthen the department and the safety and security of Dallas County residents. From rapid response to natural disaster, to combating the worst West Nile Virus epidemic in America, Judge Jenkins’ efforts have earned him national recognition for his leadership in a time of crisis.
City Treasurer Tishaura Jones (St. Louis, MO)
Tishaura Jones is the first woman to hold the office of Treasurer. She is the chief investment and cash management officer of the city and also oversees and manages the city’s parking division. Since becoming Treasurer, Tishaura has increased transparency in city government, streamlined and modernized the parking division, improved returns on the city’s investments, increased the overall financial health of city residents by reducing the number of unbanked households, and started a citywide children’s savings program. Prior to becoming Treasurer, Tishaura was a Missouri State Representative from 2008-2012 and was the first African American and First Female Assistant Minority Floor Leader.
Born in St. Louis, Tishaura has a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Hampton University, a Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Hampton University, Master’s degree in Health Administration from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health, and is a graduate of the Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
Senator Jen Jordan (Sandy Springs, GA)
Georgia State Senator Jen Jordan (pronounced Jer-Dun) grew up in South Georgia and though she has not lived there in over 20 years, her small town background informs her approach to the law and public service. Put simply, she believes in helping people when they need it the most. Raised by a single mom who worked as a hairdresser, Jen learned first-hand the value of hard work and the importance of creating an economy that works for everyone.
From kindergarten to graduating magna cum laude from the University of Georgia School of Law, Jen is a product of Georgia’s public education system. And because of her passion for fairness, Jen became a lawyer who stands up for those the system has failed. Consistently recognized as one of the top 100 attorneys in the state (and top 50 women attorneys), she specializes in complex civil cases. In 2015, Jen brought suit against the Secretary of State (and now Governor Brian Kemp) after she uncovered an unprecedented data breach where the Secretary of State’s office unlawfully distributed the personal information of every voter in the state, a breach that affected over 6 million Georgians.
As an elected official, Jen’s record speaks for itself. From fully funding the state’s public education system for the first time in over a decade to passing a transit bill that provides the 13-county metro Atlanta region a path to tackle our growing traffic issues, Jen has worked hard to reach consensus where it made sense. But she fought hard against extremism when our values – and the safety of our children – were at stake. She has consistently championed common sense gun safety legislation that will protect victims of domestic violence and fought to protect the most basic of rights for Georgia women.
Delegate Mark Keam (Vienna, VA)
Mark Keam serves as a Virginia State Delegate. He began his career in public service as an attorney at the Federal Communications Commission and later served as a policy counsel at the Small Business Administration, where he worked to create a level playing field for women-owned businesses and minority enterprises.
After the Clinton Administration, Mark moved to Capitol Hill to serve as Chief Counsel to Democratic Senator Dick Durbin on the Senate Judiciary Committee from 2001 to 2007, when he left to become a senior advisor for strategic affairs at Verizon, where he helps the company develop ideas that promote the use of technology to solve societal problems.
Representative Donna Lasinski (Scio Township, MI)
State Rep. Donna Lasinski is serving her second term in the House of Representatives. She represents Michigan’s 52nd House District, which encompasses northern and western Washtenaw County. Rep. Lasinski serves as the minority vice chair of the Select Committee to Reduce Auto Insurance rates, the minority vice chair of the Energy Policy Committee, and is a member of both the Insurance and Tax Policy Committees.
A resident and small business owner in Scio Township for over 20 years, Rep. Lasinski has always believed in taking action to solve community problems. During her first term she took action to address water quality issues in her district, winning stricter clean-up standards for 1,4 dioxane and co-sponsoring legislation to set safe PFAS standards for drinking water. She honored her commitment to accountability by passing a government transparency bill unanimously out of the House. Passionate about both public education and affordable, sustainable energy solutions, Rep. Lasinski is a champion for her communities and the state of Michigan.
Senator Eric Lesser (Longmeadow, MA)
As the youngest member of the Massachusetts Senate, Senator Lesser champions civic engagement and greater participation in public affairs. He serves as Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts & Cultural Development, and Senate Vice-Chair of the Committee on Financial Services.
Senator Lesser earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 2007. Upon graduating, he joined the Obama for America campaign, during which he traveled with then-Senator Obama across 47 states. Following President Obama’s historic victory, Senator Lesser served as Special Assistant to White House Senior Advisor David Axelrod, and later as Director of Strategic Planning for the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Senator Lesser is also a Fellow with the Truman National Security Project, a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, and was named a “Face of the Democratic Future” by American Prospect Magazine.
Mayor Josh Maxwell (Downingtown, PA)
Josh Maxwell is in his third term as the mayor of Downingtown after being sworn in as Downingtown’s youngest Mayor in 2010 at the age of 26. Maxwell has focused on urban redevelopment, improving the tax-base, and personalizing the role of Mayor during his tenure. In 2017, Maxwell negotiated the largest public and private investment in Downingtown’s history - a $224 million transit-oriented development that includes a Amtrak/Septa station and trail extension that increases the value of the community by 17%. Downingtown has gone one of the largest stretches for a Chester County borough without a tax increase and has paid down more than 60% of its debt.
Downingtown has been recognized as a leader in urban redevelopment and as a community on the rise. Downingtown was named a “Top Ten Place to Live” by Philadelphia Magazine, while Maxwell was named “Best Young Politician in Philadelphia” by the same publication. Maxwell holds a Bachelor’s Degree from West Chester University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
City Councilmember Andria McClellan (Norfolk, VA)
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.
City Council President Lauren McLean (Boise, ID)
Lauren has served on the Boise City Council since 2011 and is currently the City Council President. 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.
Senator Jon Morgan (Brentwood, NH)
Jon Morgan knocked on thousands of doors running for the State Senate in 2018. He heard the struggles of Granite Staters that have lived here their whole lives, but are being pushed out by rising property taxes. He talked to young families like mine trying to start a life here, but are struggling. In Concord, he's focused on passing legislation that helps all Granite Staters, and he's proud of what New Hampshire has accomplished so far.
The state irresponsibly downshifting cost to towns has put the squeeze on property taxpayers in his district. SB 243 will expand access to property tax relief programs to help folks get back on their feet. It's time for New Hampshire to get serious about child welfare. Senate Bill 6 will create 77 new positions for and fully fund the NH Division for Children, Youth, and Families.
Senator Elena Parent (Atlanta, GA)
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.
Senator Brittany Pettersen (Lakewood, CO)
Brittany Pettersen was elected to the Colorado State Senate in 2018. Previously, during her time as a State Representative, she worked on a number of issues, including government transparency and accessibility, helping Colorado's students and working families, and ensuring every Colorado kid has the opportunity to succeed, get a quality education, and learn the skills to compete for the jobs of the 21st century."
Before running for public office, she worked for New Era Colorado, a nonpartisan nonprofit dedicated to engaging youth in government and politics, and for candidates and causes focusing on education, the environment, and renewable energy. She studied political science at Metro State University, earning her degree and becoming the first in her family to graduate from high school and college.
State Treasurer Tobias Read (Oregon)
Treasurer Tobias Read understands that financial empowerment, wise investments, and sound management are foundational to the quality of life and economic opportunities for Oregonians, and key for the long-term vitality of our state. In 2015, he was a chief sponsor of the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan, which is the first operating state-sponsored retirement program. it launched in mid-2017.
Prior to his election as Oregon’s 29th State Treasurer, Tobias had served for a decade in the Oregon House of Representatives, where he championed legislation to invest in public education, improve state financial management, finance critical infrastructure improvements, and to help Oregonians save for a more secure future. He has also worked in the U.S. Treasury and as a liaison between designers, engineers and manufacturing units for Nike Inc.
Representative Kristine Reeves (Federal Way, WA)
Kristine Reeves is a working mom who understands the balance between working hard to succeed and raising a family. That’s why she is a strong advocate for working families, raising the middle class, and providing opportunities for those who sacrifice for their communities.
A Moses Lake native, Kristine received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and went on to pursue a master’s degree in Organizational Leadership at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Kristine served in a variety of roles, include Statewide Veterans Constituency Coordinator for U.S. Senator Patty Murray. Her role in Senator Murray’s office included increasing and developing relationships to help improve military transition, workforce development, and veteran healthcare.
Currently, Kristine is the Director of Economic Development for the Military and Defense sector for the state of Washington. Her role focuses on promoting public and private economic development that supports military bases; defense industry suppliers, contractors and small businesses, as well as working with community advocacy organizations in their engagement with the U.S. Military in Washington State. That includes helping to secure federal grants to improve private sector job growth, supporting military personnel transitioning to private sector jobs, and supporting small businesses.
School Board Member Laura Register (Grady County, GA)
To fill an open seat, Laura Register was first appointed to the Grady County Board of Education in 2001 and subsequently ran for reelection unopposed. During a break from elected office, she focused activity on proactively targeting the issue of teen pregnancy. Laura was appointed to the Board of Directors for the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential (GCAPP), focusing on all aspects of adolescent health in 2011. She became a recognized advocate throughout the state and at the capitol for funding and policies that focus on evidence-based practices to prevent pregnancy in adolescents. In 2014, she was encouraged to run and again serve on the Board of Education. Facing two opponents, she won the election and continues to be an advocate in the fight for stronger public education in the face of vouchers and charter schools. In 2017, the Carter Center for Human Rights Program invited Laura to share her expertise via an United Nations panel entitled: From Fear to Hope: Overcoming Polarization to Promote Rights for Girls and Women. Her presentation focused on bridging political and religious divides in rural communities.
Laura is an alumni of Women’s Campaign School at Yale and Georgia’s WIN Leadership Academy. She is a graduate of Mercer University with a BS in Computer Science. Today, in addition to her elected role, she is the owner of LBR Consulting a business focused on messaging in rural counties, building consensus around issues, data driven policy development and civic engagement. Laura lives in Cairo, Georgia with her family physician husband, Ashley. They have three grown children.
County Comptroller Jack Schnirman (Nassau County, NY)
Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman was elected in November 2017. A native Long Islander, Jack Schnirman has a proven record of turning around broken and corrupt government finances to improve services and save taxpayers money. After earning a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, Jack returned home to clean up local government.
As Brookhaven Chief Deputy Town Supervisor, Jack took on the culture of corruption that earned the town the nickname “Crookhaven.” Jack helped stop the abuse of taxpayer dollars on no-bid contracts, patronage, and scandals. He stopped past pay-to-play schemes between Town Hall and vendors, including ending the annual theft of $70,000 in lawnmowers. Jack also helped improve town services while saving taxpayers millions by implementing ServiceStat, a management initiative that helps hold town departments accountable. And Jack made government work better for the community by launching a 3-1-1-style constituent response system.
As Long Beach City Manager from 2011-2017, Jack Schnirman helped put the City on the road to recovery from the brink of bankruptcy, inheriting a $14 million deficit and near junk bond status after five downgrades. On Jack’s watch, Long Beach’s bond rating was upgraded twice and received nine consecutive credit positive reviews. Jack helped implement smart reforms—overhauling the city’s purchasing process to ensure all expenses are justified, stopping family members from supervising each other, instituting a new performance management program, and creating a 3-1-1-style smartphone application for residents.
Mayor Anna Tovar (Tolleson, AZ)
Anna Tovar was elected Mayor of Tolleson, AZ in 2016 and took office in early 2017. Under her leadership, Tolleson offers competitive incentives to attract retail developments that promise to elevate the City’s profile including, but not limited to: Marriot Fairfield Inn & Suites, Speedway Motors and Floor and Décor. Several organizations such as Arizona State University, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO), Banner Health have solicited her participation as a panelist and speaker as Anna draws from her vast experience as a former teacher, mom, elected official, and community volunteer to deliver inspirational messages which have motivated students, community members and entrepreneurs alike.
She currently serves as a board member on the League of Arizona Cities and Towns Executive Committee and National Jobs for Americas Graduates. Previously, she served as Arizona’s Senate Minority Leader and was at the forefront of projects that brought revenue and job growth to her district throughout her time in office. The completion of roadway construction, attracting commercial and retail businesses to the area, advocating for new housing developments, promoting environmentally friendly programs and working to build new police and fire stations are just a few of her accomplishments.
City Councilmember Rob Werner (Concord, NH)
Rob Werner has served as a City Councilor in Concord, NH since his election in 2006 and chairs the Energy and Environment Committee. He works to make Concord’s future more sustainable by advocating for the installation of solar panels on public buildings and idling reduction technology on city vehicles. In addition to serving the city of Concord, Rob also serves as the New Hampshire State Director for the League of Conservation Voters, a national advocacy organization that works to turn environmental values into national, state, and local priorities. Rob formerly served as the National Field Director of Americans for Campaign Reform. A public policy analyst and advocate, Rob has organized successful advocacy and legislative campaigns for the American Heart Association, Smoke-Free NH Alliance, and the American Cancer Society. Active in the Greater Concord, NH Chamber of Commerce, Rob serves on both the State and the Local Government Affairs Committees. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at Franklin Pierce University.
Senator Anna Wishart (Lincoln, NE)
Senator Anna Wishart serves in the Nebraska Legislature as an energized, pro-growth progressive and tenacious agent of change. Intently focused on crafting common-sense policy initiatives that feed technological advancement, bolster entrepreneurial activity, and promote broad-based economic growth, Anna has little time for partisan, narrow minded politics that stifle innovation. Upon her election to the body in 2016, Anna is proud to champion an unapologetically optimistic and forward-thinking agenda in the Nebraska Legislature.
During her tenure in the Legislature, Senator Wishart has paid particular attention to attracting futuristic technology and emerging industries to Nebraska. In 2018, Senator Wishart successfully navigated autonomous vehicle legislation (LB 989) through the Legislature and onto the Governor’s desk for his signature. Upon LB 989’s passage, Nebraska has become a leader in the autonomous vehicle movement, and serves as a statewide model for national autonomous vehicle legislation. As a member of the influential Appropriations Committee, Senator Wishart has similarly enhanced Nebraska’s pro-growth environment through her leadership in crafting annual budgets that support education, workforce development, transportation, clean energy and infrastructure investments. Senator Wishart also realizes that a thriving economy requires inclusivity, diversity, and tolerance at the community level. Once this is achieved, talent retention and attraction of young professionals is noticeably stronger, which is essential to the future vitality of Nebraska.
Senator Jeff Yarbro (Nashville, TN)
Elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 2014, Jeff Yarbro was selected as the Chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus in his first term. A native Tennessean with degrees from Harvard and the University of Virginia School of Law, Jeff represents the city of Nashville. In the State Senate, he serves on the Health and Welfare Committee and the Transportation and Safety Committee. Jeff has been a leader in Tennessee's efforts to expand health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.
Jeff is working to reform and modernize state government, including the creation of new tools to support the development of affordable housing and to combat pernicious problems like homelessness, recidivism, and insufficient support for new mothers. He has sponsored legislation to simplify citizen access to governmental services, including voting registration. He has also championed important reforms that would introduce transparency into legislative redistricting and diminish legislators' reliance on PACs and special interests.