58 new candidates, 58 new stories for you to know and love!

Today, we are so pumped to introduce our March endorsement class! This new crop features 52 brand new candidates as well as six re-endorsed folks you already know and love. Keeping it 💯, our March class is particularly near and dear to our hearts. The 58 total candidates we’ve endorsed this round have used their experiences, their passion, and their pain to inspire them to run for something. Each of them has a unique story that serves as a reminder that everyday people can do extraordinary things.

For example, there’s Austin Strassle, a mental health caseworker whose experience working homeless individuals influenced him to run for office to fight for housing affordability. Then there’s Jamie McClendon: after devoting her career to keeping children out of the criminal justice system, Jamie decided to run for Racine County Circuit Court Judge with a special focus on eliminating the school to prison pipeline. Finally meet, Rhonda Hart. After her daughter was tragically killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting, Rhonda decided it was time to run for office to address gun control on a local level.

Take the time to get to know these incredible people and check them out below.

CALIFORNIA

Philip Falcone
Riverside City Council, Ward 1
www.falconeforward1.com

Philip is a city commissioner with passion for Riverside, its people, cultures and history. Born and raised in a big Italian family in New Orleans and moving to Riverside following Hurricane Katrina, Philip faced obstacles at a young age that instilled in him a drive to better the lives of the people in his community. As the first millennial to run for City Council in his town of Riverside, Philip is proud to take his unique life experiences, years of local political and non-profit organization expertise to the decision-making table as a voice for the next generation of leaders.

Sarah Ullman
Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Region 7
www.twitter.com/thesillysully

Sarah is a filmmaker and activist running to represent her community on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Region 7. A Silver Lake resident for 5 years, Sarah cares deeply about the future of the Silver Lake reservoir, transportation and safety, support for the arts, and people experiencing homelessness. Sarah serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in the foster care system. As the founder of One Vote at a Time, Sarah deploys her skills as a filmmaker to elect candidates who will fight gun violence. Love of Silver Lake and its people inspired her to run for office.

COLORADO

Candi Lee CdeBaca
Denver City Council, District 9
www.candiforcouncil.org/

Candi is a fifth-generation native of northeast Denver, Colorado. Raised by a single mother and grandparents on public assistance, Candi understands the importance of tight-knit communities and stepping up for neighbors in need. Moving her family and community forward meant going to work at ten years old and focusing on academics. Candi was the first and youngest dual-degree graduate from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. She is accomplished in policy development, federal policy compliance, organizational development, investigation, monitoring, training, motivating and leading diverse groups of people to share a mutual vision and achieve common goals.

She is the Executive Director of Project VOYCE, a youth development and civic engagement organization Candi co-founded at 18 years old. Candi is a fearless leader, prominent voice, and community champion in Denver on social justice issues spanning the range of nonprofit, k-12 education, higher education, housing, transportation, campaign finance reform, community wealth building, and environment. If elected, Candi would be Denver’s first LGBTQ Latina to ever represent Denver on council.

ILLINOIS

Adam Augustine
Bartlett Park District Commissioner
https://facebook.com/adamforbartlett/

For Adam and his young family, park district programming is what first made them feel like a part of the community. He is running to be a voice on the park district board that emphasizes program affordability and relevance and doing so in a way that fits within the busy schedules of working families like his own. With more than 15 years of experience in collegiate and youth athletics administration, Adam is a first-time candidate who will ensure that everyone in the community has access to the same types of programs that meant so much to his family.

Nathaniel Booker
Village of Maywood Trustee
www.bookerformaywood.com

Nathaniel George Booker is running for Village of Maywood Trustee to address Maywood being in the bottom 10% in Cook County for highest property tax water cost out of 162 communities.

Booker will also put an emphasis on not only economic development in business growth, but community economic development in investment. We must address our unemployment, living below the poverty level, education, receiving government aide, and more. We know we are at our best when we are united. As a Trustee, he will work on moving our businesses and our residents forward to toward community economic prosperity.

Stephanie Biegel
Carol Stream Village Trustee
www.stephaniebforcarolstream.com

Stephanie Biegel hopes to bring her experience as an accountant and community activist to the Village Trustee position in Carol Stream in order to bring transparency, accountability, accessibility and compassion to the village board. She is running for Village Trustee because she feels strongly that her community needs someone that will be a voice for all regardless of race, ethnicity, or socioeconomic status. Her background as a CMA will help her bring her experience as an accountant to the board to ensure that the needs of the residents are balanced with their financial concerns.

INDIANA

Abbie Smith
Mayor of Kokomo
www.abbieformayor.com

Abbie is an experienced CEO with a proven record in the non-profit community. Abbie began her non-profit experience as Vice President of the Tipton County Foundation before accepting a position as the Executive Director of the Legacy Endowment Community Foundation. In January 2013, Abbie joined the United Way of Howard County as its President leading a forward-focused change in collaboration with the board and volunteers. Under her leadership, the United Way of Howard County developed an aggressive strategic plan including a reorientation toward investing in social ecosystems that improve lives in regard to education, financial stability, and health.

Adam Kaps
Fishers City Council — Southwest District
www.kapsforfishers.com/

Adam Kaps is a small business owner, community activist, and lifelong Hoosier. After years of collaborating with leaders in mass transit, manufacturing, and nonprofit organizations in Central Indiana, Adam is running for Fishers City Council in the Southwest district to make change at a higher level. Drawing on his experience working to connect communities and promote upward mobility, Adam’s vision for Fishers revolves around the values of thoughtful and transparent governance, smart economic growth, and creating a family-friendly community for all.

Evan Gilmore
Marion City Council at Large
www.evangilmore.com/

Evan Gilmore is a marketing and communications specialist that wants to see renewed growth for his home in Marion, Indiana. As a firm believer in inclusion and equality, he is excited to run for City Council and represent the voices of all who call Marion home. With experience working with several community organizations and non-profits — from volunteer to board member — Evan is willing to do the work and bring a renewed hope to Marion. As a council member, Evan’s focus will be on improving quality of life, government transparency, and economic development that works for everyone.

Grace Kestler
Columbus City-Council At-Large
www.electgracekestler.com

Grace is running for city council in her hometown of Columbus, Indiana. She realizes, as a young person with years left to enjoy her community, she wants to be a part of shaping her generation’s future. A tireless advocate for the inclusion and people with disabilities, Grace is deeply committed to advancing housing equality, neighborhood communication, and diversity justice. Grace believes diversity must not exist in silos, but that through forming meaningful relationships we can unite to find collaborative solutions to community challenges.

James Brandon Dillon
Gary City Council At-Large
www.dillon4gary.com

James is running for Gary City Council at Large to make Gary a city that his children would want to raise children in. James is an attorney and community organizer. He has a history of fighting for just causes. Whether in the courtroom for a client, in the community for change, or during his 8 years as a police officer, James is no stranger rolling his sleeves up and getting to work. He is ready to work for the citizens of Gary.

Jeremy Hawk
Noblesville City Council, District 6
www.votejeremyhawk.com

Jeremy Hawk has had the honor of serving Hoosiers as a state employee for 10 years now. In that time, he’s worked for a number of state agencies in financial and operational management roles, including FSSA, State Budget Agency, Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, Indiana Veteran’s Home, and the Indiana School for the Deaf. His current role of Chief Financial and Operations Officer at the deaf school provides necessary and beneficial services to a deserving, yet under served population in Indiana, as well as practice and demonstrate fiscal responsibility that is required of any use of public funds. Jeremy believe this experience is a perfect precursor to the role of City Council member and hopes to be able to represent your vision for Noblesville’s future.

Jessica McCormick
Indianapolis City-County Council District 15
www.mccormickforcouncil.com

Jessica McCormick is a mom, engineer, and educator; excited for the opportunity to serve her community on the westside of Indianapolis. Jessica has lived in her district for 15 years- it’s home, where she and her husband are raising their two children. Although her background is in engineering, Jessica has spent her career engaging youth in STEM fields, especially encouraging girls to pursue an education in engineering. She brings actual problem solving experience to the table and will approach responsibilities on the council from that same perspective — by following the engineering design process. Jessica will be the fresh voice needed on the westside and is ready to begin taking action at the city level so her community can start getting results they deserve.

Kevin Carreno
Winchester City Council District 4

Kevin Carreno is running for Winchester City Council District 4. Kevin has owned his own business since the age of 18. Kevin Carreno is looking to improve his community by focusing on infrastructure, blight housing, business, education, and combating the loss of youth within his community.

Kristi Upchurch
Kokomo City Council, District 6
www.twitter.com/electkristiu

Kristi Upchurch is passionate about change in her community! She loves to volunteer and is very active in several community based-organizations. She is running for City Council District 6. Kristi is the Executive Director for a local nonprofit and understands the needs of the people in her community.

Kristi is twice an Alumna of Indiana University Kokomo. She is the recipient of several awards including 2015 Master of Public Management Outstanding Student of the Year Award, The Indiana University Women’s Philanthropy Council Women Helping Women Student Leader Award, and the IU Kokomo Student Community Service Award, naming a few.

Kyle Swain
Greenwood Common Council, District 6
www.twitter.com/KyleSwain13

Kyle is running for Greenwood Common Council District 6. As a Greenwood native and former field organizer, he has developed strong community ties and relationships. He wants all Greenwood residents to feel that they matter, safe, and no one area or group is given special privileges and advantages. He brings the leadership, skills, and most importantly trust and integrity that is needed for strong local government.

Michael Schoumacher
Columbus City Council, District 4
www.twitter.com/electschou2019

Michael is a 31 year old engineer who moved to Columbus nine years ago after attending Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Inspired by the birth of his daughter, Michael wants to ensure that everyone feels represented on city council, and fully engaged in the community, including young families and citizens who have moved to Columbus. Michael will combine his engineering and business practicality with progressive ideals to find the right solutions for the future of Columbus.

Nina Rivas
Clerk-Treasurer, City of Portage
www.voteninarivas.com/

Nina is running for Clerk-Treasurer, City of Portage, Indiana. She and her husband, Jeremy, a union leader, have been married eighteen years and have two teenage children, Xavier & Mya. Nina has served as Chief of Staff for Portage Township, Porter County since 2011. She also owns and operates a small business, Shoreline Promotions.

As an active member in the community, Nina currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Portage Township YMCA and the Friends of Portage Township Foundation, Inc., serving as Treasurer. She is a past member of the Board of Directors for the Portage Township Education Foundation and the Twin Creeks Conservancy District.

Nina’s life experiences and career paths have prepared her for the position of Clerk-Treasurer. Nina knows what it takes to get things done.

KANSAS

Gary E. Bradley-Lopez
Kansas City USD 500 Board of Education
www.garyforusd500.wixsite.com/mysite

Gary E. Bradley-Lopez is running for USD 500 Board of Education in Kansas City, Kansas because he believes his progressive platform will help the future of success for schools. Gary attended the Kansas City Kansas Public Schools from Pre-K to 12th grade, and was hired as an Assistant Debate and Forensics Coach in the district because he didn’t want to leave what he called home. After being away from the district to attend college, he is running to give back to the district that helped make him.

LOUISIANA

Brendan Csaposs
East Baton Rouge Metro Council, District 8
www.voters4brendan.com

Brendan Csaposs is a Principal-in-Residence with IDEA Public Schools in Baton Rouge, LA. Currently in his 10th year in public education, he helped found a new public school for underserved students.

A passionate advocate for equity, Brendan has been working since moving to Baton Rouge in 2009 to support the right of all students to an education, regardless of their race, class, or geography. Seeing the challenges his students face, he sought out ways to improve quality of life for all, beyond the classroom. On the Metro Council, he will work to make sure Baton Rouge thrives for all families.

Robin Parrott
State House of Representatives, District 95
www.robinparrottforstaterep.com/

Robin Parrott is a longtime resident of Livingston Parish that grew up in a family with fourteen siblings. She earned a teaching degree from Southeastern Louisiana University and taught in the public school system for eight years. She was awarded Teacher of the Year for the 2009–2010 school year at Walker Freshman High, where she spent most of her teaching career. In 2012, Robin and her husband became foster parents and later adopted two of their children. Robin and her husband, Chet, are raising their four children in Walker.

MARYLAND

Elizabeth MacKenzie
Mayor of Cheverly
www.electbethmackenzie.com

Elizabeth is a current Cheverly council member with extensive experience in legislation and community advocacy. She earned a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Michigan and spent several years working for Senator Carl Levin. She worked on Medicaid at the federal and state level. During her time on the council, she has worked to address the town’s feral cat situation, supported accessible playgrounds, and pushed for greater transparency and communication from the council. If elected mayor, she will continue working hard to serve the community and make it a place where everyone can feel at home.

MASSACHUSETTS

Bryan Barash
Newton City Council, Ward Councilor for Ward 2
www.bryanbarash.com

Bryan is a graduate of Boston College Law School and in his day job serves as the General Counsel to State Senate President Emerita Harriette Chandler, where he provides legal advice and manages the Senator’s policy agenda & strategy. Here in Newton, he serves on the Newton Human Rights Commission and formerly served on the Newton Charter Commission, and is a board member of the Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action (JALSA) and the Bay State Stonewall Democrats, an LGBTQ+ organization. Bryan is running for City Council because he has a deep commitment to public service and the experience to use the tools of government to make a positive impact on the lives of his constituents, especially those who are most in need.

Kristie Ferrantella
Nantucket Select Board
www.kristiefornantucket.com

Kristie, a multi-generation native of Nantucket, is running for Select Board because she wants Nantucket to continue to be a vibrant, successful, and beautiful place to live for generations to come. Kristie is a Nantucket High School graduate with a Master’s degree in Applied Economics from the University of Massachusetts Boston. She is currently the Vice President of the Nantucket Chamber of Commerce and serves on both the town’s Government Study and Scholarship Committees. Kristie is passionate about giving back to a community that has supported her.

Taushawn Tinsley
Boston City Council At-Large
www.tinsleyforboston.com

Taushawn Tinsley is a Caribbean-American educator, advocate and urbanist. As a lifelong Boston resident, Tinsley not only hears about the issues, but lives them. He believes It takes every neighborhood and community to create sustainable growth for our future. Tinsley wants to bring his experience as a teacher and community organizer to the city council, to include all in our community conversations.

MISSISSIPPI

Brandon Rue
State House of Representatives, District 102
www.brandonrue.org/

Brandon is running for House District 102 in Mississippi. Brandon is currently a student at the University of Southern Mississippi. Brandon decided to run for office because he believes that being an elected official is the most effective way to create change. Brandon wants his candidacy to inspire other young people to stop waiting on other people to fix the problem but instead become part of the solution themselves.

MISSOURI

Austin Strassle
Kansas City City Council, 4th District At-Large
www.austinstrassle.com

Austin is a mental health caseworker for individuals experiencing homelessness. He sees the struggle that too many in his community face on a daily basis. Austin believes that Kansas City’s success should not be measured by what new development project is breaking ground, but instead by what is being done to protect the most vulnerable in the city. He is committed to addressing issues of housing affordability, economic inequality, and disparities in education and health care. He knows that this requires moving away from the traditional politics that have ruled Kansas City and taking bold, progressive action rooted in public servitude.

Scott Casey
Blue Springs City Council, District 1
www.twitter.com/scottcaseybsmo

Scott Casey is a father of three and lifelong resident of Blue Springs who believes we can be doing more to support the people who live here. Scott is currently a member of the city’s Planning Commission, and when the city shut down the local recycling center last year, Scott founded a grassroots movement called Green Blue Springs to push back against the closure.

Scott knows how to collaborate and innovate to tackle complex issues like early childhood education, mental health, and renewable energy. He currently works as a Bioinformatics Software Engineer at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.

Tracee Miller
St. Louis Public Schools Board Member
www.electtraceemiller.com

Tracee Miller, a former St. Louis Public Schools teacher and academic program manager, is running for a position on the district’s Board. She is running because every child deserves a world-class education, and right now St. Louis is failing to provide the quality curricula, humanizing disciplinary policies, effective professional development, financial transparency, or fair and constructive evaluative processes necessary to make this a reality. Tracee works for Khan Academy, a nonprofit dedicated to providing a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. She is a PhD student in Education Policy and hopes to spend her life and career fighting for equity in education.

NEW YORK

Joash Ward
Mayor of Poughkeepsie
www.twitter.com/JoashWard

Joash started his career as an intern at the White House under the Obama Administration. He went on to become the highest efficiency analyst in the history of the Office of President Correspondence. After the White House, Joash joined the US Mission to the United Nations in New York as part of the Management Reform Team.

Joash was raised in public housing on the North side of the City of Poughkeepsie. Joash is one of seven siblings. At sixteen years old, he graduated from the Poughkeepsie High School as the youngest Valedictorian of any public high school in the United States in 2012. Joash graduated from Syracuse University with honors at age nineteen. In January, 2019, age twenty-three, Joash graduated with honors from the law school at King’s College London.

Joash is running for Mayor of the City of Poughkeepsie, the Historic Capital of the State of New York. He believes public servants have the responsibility to remind us that we, before anything else, are neighbors who are responsible for looking after one another.

Zachary Niemiec
North Tonawanda Alderman, 2nd Ward
www.niemiecfornt.com

Zachary Niemiec is a current sitting School Board Trustee and is Running for 2nd Ward Alderman of North Tonawanda. He believes we can all stand to learn from change and that the residents of North Tonawanda want to see growth and reasonable change, not just tax increases and cuts, with nothing to show for.

Niemiec is striving for unity in the community and wants to invest in providing more services helping those just starting out and those enjoying retirement. This means working for a fair budget for our community as well as seeking development and growth.

NORTH CAROLINA

Terry Brown
Charlotte City Council District 3
www.voteterrybrown.com

Terry Brown is a husband, advocate, and attorney running for Charlotte City Council District 3. A lifelong North Carolinian, Terry fell in love with the Queen City as a college student at UNC Charlotte. Terry has devoted his adult life to serving his community through advocacy. Terry wants to bridge the gap between opportunity and obtainability and help unite the district through its shared values. Terry believes that promoting strategic development, community based public safety, and investing in infrastructure are the keys to making the district a place where everyone can work, live and raise a family.

PENNSYLVANIA

Jeannette R. Geter
Philadelphia City Council, District 4
www.votegeter.com

Jeannette Geter is a proud member of SEIU 668, life-long Philadelphian and a social worker. After graduating from the Baldwin School, Jeannette studied first at Haverford College, and then the University of Chicago, where she launched her social work career. She continued her career in non-profit management in South Philadelphia and, until recently, worked as a foster care social worker for nearby Delaware County. Jeannette is involved in numerous community activities, and is committed to empowering youth. She believes that how we treat our most vulnerable residents, what resources we give them, our investments in their environment, determines Philadelphia’s future.

Jessica Rothchild
Scranton City Council
www.jessicaforscranton.com

Dr. Jessica Rothchild works as a physical therapist and is a graduate of the University of Scranton. She has been a dedicated LGBTQ activist and community leader, serving in leadership positions of non-profit organizations locally and statewide. She currently serves on the Pennsylvania Commission for Women and the Scranton Human Relations Commission. In May 2018, she was elected to serve as a Democratic State Committeeperson and became Secretary of the LGBT Caucus for the PA Democratic Party. She is running for Scranton City Council to bring a new voice and a new vision to local government.

Katherine Gilmore Richardson
Philadelphia City Council At-Large
www.katherineforphilly.com

A consummate community servant, Katherine is running for Philadelphia City Council At-Large because Philadelphia is soaring to new heights and leaving too many people behind. After spending more than a decade working behind the scenes in Philadelphia City Council, Katherine will be ready on day 1 to serve the people of Philadelphia. Katherine knows how to navigate City Government to make it work for others, build broad based coalitions to pass legislation and fight for the future of Philadelphia. Katherine was born to a teenage South Philly girl and adopted from birth by her loving parents, James and Pastor Lorraine Gilmore, who taught her the values of hard work, perseverance and always reaching back to help others.

Katherine serves as committee person in the 52nd Ward, 17th Division. She is a proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and most recently served as Vice President of the Philadelphia Young Democrats. She is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale and holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from West Chester University of Pennsylvania.

Olivia “Liv” Bennett
Allegheny County Council, District 13
www.livbennett.com

Olivia “Liv” Bennett is a community activist running to represent District 13 for Allegheny County Council. Growing up, Liv saw the detrimental effects of violence and economic hardship. Witnessing the painful outcomes of poverty and the crack epidemic in her community shaped her vision to create a better society. Liv graduated Magna Cum Laude from Carlow University in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in business management and a minor in information technology. She will fight for environmental safeguards, demand paid sick days county-wide, advocate for affordable fares in public transportation, expand LGBTQIA+ protections, and relentlessly pursue policies that benefit people from all walks of life in Allegheny County.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Ashley Peele
Mayor of North Charleston
www.ashleypeele.com

Ashley is a homegrown product of North Charleston, where she currently lives with her wife, Jess, and their dog, Cooper. She was born and raised in North Charleston, went to public schools in North Charleston and later settled in North Charleston after graduating from Clemson. Growing up poor in this city provided her unique experiences and perspective, and she intends to use this perspective to fight inequality, injustice and indifference as Mayor of North Charleston. She’s a political newcomer proud to be running as a servant of the people who will ensure the rising tide lifts all ships in her community.

TEXAS

Adam Bazaldua
Dallas City Council, District 7
www.Bazaldua4Dallas.com

Adam Bazaldua is running for Dallas City Council — District 7, in Dallas, Texas. Adam is a dedicated husband and father; a local teacher and a community activist. Through his work and during his service to his community, he has learned first-hand the challenges facing his District. He is passionate about giving his neighbors a voice at Dallas City Hall that will advocate for economic growth that benefits the existing residents of Dallas City Council District 7. Adam has served as an educator of Culinary Arts in Dallas high schools for 6 years, he was appointed to community task forces for two of his local ISD Board Members, and a community task force for Dallas’ current Police Chief, he is the Chair of his local Neighborhood Watch, Vice President of his Daughter’s PTA, he is the Vice Chair of a local Dallas ‘TIF’ (Tax Increment Financing District) Board, and Chaired ‘the Dallas Green Alliance’ — a local environmental activist organization. Adam is 32 years old and married to his high school sweet-heart; together they are the proud parents of a vivacious 7 year old and foster children in need of caring transitional homes.

Alexander Bomgardner
Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees Place 3
www.electalexanderb.weebly.com

Alexander is a 19 year old community college student running for Duncanville ISD Board of Trustee’s 3rd place. Having previously served as the TJCSGA State President, he is passionate about education and ensuring the success of students. His campaign platform include increasing engagement both inside and outside the classroom, improving the technology of the school district, and increasing the amount spent on instruction while reducing administrative costs.

Bradley Torch
Amarillo City Council, Place 3
www.twitter.com/batorch806

Brad Torch was born and raised in Albuquerque, NM where he lived for 34 years, before relocating to Queen Creek, AZ, and then to Amarillo, TX. He graduated Cum Laude from The University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Criminology and a minor in Psychology. He has spent 8 years in the mental health field, as a guardian for elderly and mentally incapacitated adults and as a mental health case manager. Brad is dedicated to improving the economy in Amarillo, revitalizing dilapidated neighborhoods, and restoring transparency and accountability to City Hall.

D’Andrala “DeDe” Alexander
Dallas City Council District 10
www.dedefordallas.com

DeDe is a licensed counselor who has spent the past 4 years at the Dallas County Juvenile Department serving the most vulnerable children and families. In her time as a counselor, she has heard countless stories about the lack of investment in Dallas’ residents and the issues they face including a lack of affordable housing and difficulty accessing public transportation. DeDe believes that Dallas works best when all of its residents have the resources they need to reach their full potential. She plans to bring the voices of everyday residents to City Hall and use her expertise to address issues of homelessness and affordable housing with empathy.

Jordan Johnson
Nacogdoches City Council, Northeast Ward
www.twitter.com/JohnsonCouncil

Jordan is running for City Council in her rural hometown in the East Texas Pineywoods. She returned to Nacogdoches after moving away for college and graduate school. She is currently completing her dissertation on environmental justice and feminist theory, and is determined to bring her questions and concerns about sustainability and social justice to local government in East Texas. Jordan has experience in teaching, editorial management, grant writing, committee service, and community advocacy. She has worked as an academic and activist in Georgia and Central Texas, but believes that true change begins at home and is excited about the possibilities for cultivating progressive politics in the Pineywoods. As a 5th generation East Texan and the first openly LGBTQ candidate in Nacogdoches, Jordan is committed to making the Pineywoods a more democratic place to call home and excited to continue working with her community to bring a fresh outlook to the oldest town in Texas.

Joseph Say
Pearland ISD Position 6
www.josephsay.com

Joseph was born in the Houston area to Asian and LatinX parents. He grew up just north of Houston, in Spring, and has lived in Pearland since 2011. Family is important to Joseph, he’s the eldest of 4, and helped raise his younger siblings.

Joseph went to college locally, graduating from Houston Baptist University with a double major in Biology and History. He also has an MLA from the University of St. Thomas, with a focus on History.

Public schools opened up doors of opportunity that for Joseph that he wouldn’t have anywhere else in the world. He is an IT engineer at a large software company, focusing on cyber security, but his career started in the Texas Medical Center, where he started out as a lab tech at the Human Genome Sequencing Center. After two years in biology he transitioned to a role in IT, at the Department of Genetics, at Baylor College of Medicine. Joseph spent over a decade working in IT at the Texas Medical Center, moving on to other opportunities.

None of those opportunities would have been possible without the head start he received in local public schools. His amazing teachers encouraged his curiosity, and supported his growth.

These same opportunities should exist for all students, from all walks of life! We must make sure that our schools help cultivate the future success of their students. We must enable our teachers to do the best work possible, and we must make sure everyone has access to the tools needed to make this happen!

Mohammad “Jazz” Aijaz
Sugar Land City Council District 1
www.jazzforsugarland.com/

Jazz is running for Sugar Land City Council District 1. He grew up in Sugar Land and wants to give back to his community. He graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Accounting. Throughout his life, he has volunteered with numerous organizations in the greater Houston area. He’s running with a focus on Accessibility, Transparency, and Representation. Jazz is trying to meet everyone in his district before his election. If elected, he will be the youngest person to ever serve on Sugar Land’s City Council. Jazz also loves animals and has two rescue dogs.

Omar Jimenez
Dallas ISD Board of Trustees, District 4
www.omarfordisd.com

Omar Jimenez is a candidate for Dallas ISD Trustee in the community that he grew up in. As a life-long resident of Dallas, Texas and a product of Dallas Public Schools, Omar became a first-generation college student having earned a BA in Mass Communications from The University of Texas-Rio-Grande Valley. He is an active member of several Democratic organizations, having served as Vice-Chair of Youth for 23rd Senatorial District Tejano Democrats. His platform includes fighting against privatization of our public schools, increasing safety measures on campuses, and improving community engagement in public governance.

Rhonda Hart
Dickinson ISD Board of Trustees, District 5
https://twitter.com/KimsMom3

Rhonda is an Army Veteran and lifelong educator of children. She has a degree in Early Education. She is a Texas State Certified CDL trainer and drove school buses for 6 years. She’s a mom of two children, a cat, and a dog.

VIRGINIA

Cathy Copeland
House of Delegates, District 26
www.cathycopeland.org/

As an educator and activist, Cathy cares for her community. She teaches Writing & Rhetoric at James Madison University and understands how language influences civic engagement and civil discourse.

From her work as a founder of the grassroots organization ForHHS2 to being a member of the Sorensen Institute’s Political Leaders Program, Cathy strives to make a difference.

Her focus is on the constituents of District 26, and, as Delegate, she will allocate more state money for education, prioritize the district’s economy and infrastructure, strengthen physical and mental health systems, protect the environment, and support the agricultural industry.

Chris Hurst
House of Delegates, District 12
www.hurst4delegate.com

Chris L. Hurst is the Delegate for the 12th District in the Virginia House of Delegates, representing parts of Montgomery and Pulaski Counties and all of Giles County and the City of Radford. He was elected in November of 2017 to a two-year term and currently serves on the House Education and Science and Technology Committees. In 2018, he was selected to serve on the House Democratic Caucus Campaign Committee and as Communication Chair. Virginians, increase teacher salaries, and pass redistricting reform. During the 2019 legislative session, he passed nine bills including measures to address college affordability, increasing economic development for Southwest Virginia, and ensuring access for people with disabilities. Prior to serving as Delegate, Chris was evening anchor of WDBJ7 for six years, telling the stories of people in southwest Virginia. During that time he reported on mental health and criminal justice, which are now some of his top legislative priorities.

Danica Roem
House of Delegates, District 13
www.delegatedanicaroem.com

Virginia state Del. Danica Roem (D-13th) represents the City of Manassas Park and the Prince William County portions of Haymarket, Gainesville and Manassas in the Virginia House of Delegates. Born at Prince William Hospital in Manassas in 1984, Del. Roem is a step-mom and a lifelong resident of the 13th District from Manassas. She covered western Prince William County as the lead reporter of the Gainesville Times/Prince William Times from 2006–2015.

After winning a historic election in 2017 to become the first out-and-seated transgender state legislator in American history, Del. Roem joined a bi-partisan coalition of state lawmakers in 2018 to expand Medicaid to 400,000 uninsured Virginians and raise teacher pay throughout the commonwealth. In 2019, she authored three bills that passed the General Assembly to make local government more transparent (HB 2375), free and reduced school meals more accessible (HB 2400), and child support orders more accurate (HB 2339). She continues to advocate for fixing Route 28, increasing mass transit, ending school meal shaming, increasing government transparency and making Virginia a more inclusive commonwealth.

Jennifer Carroll Foy
House of Delegates, District 2
www.jennifercarrollfoy.org

Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy currently represents the Second House District, which contains parts of Prince William and Stafford County. She was the first public defender to ever serve in the Virginia General Assembly and now devotes her time as an attorney advocate representing abused and neglected children in court. Delegate Carroll Foy was also a foster mother for eight years. Because she believes so strongly that no child should be without a nurturing home, she started the Foundation for Foster and Orphan Children, a nonprofit committed to building better futures for orphan and foster children. Additionally, the Delegate was one of the first African-American women to graduate from Virginia Military Institute. Delegate Carroll Foy was born in Petersburg, VA, and currently resides in Woodbridge with her husband and twin boys, Xander and Alex.

Jess Foster
House of Delegates, District 88
www.jessfoster.org

Jess Foster is a native Virginian running for the House of Delegates in the 88th District. Starting her legal career as a domestic violence prosecutor, she eventually opened her own criminal defense practice where she focuses on juvenile law. Jess lives in Remington with her husband, two young children, two dogs and four donkeys. As a litigation attorney who is skilled at negotiation and advocacy, she recognizes the need for active representation for the constituents that she would represent in Richmond, much like she does for her clients.

Kelly Fowler
House of Delegates, District 21
www.delegatefowler.com

Kelly Fowler is the Virginia House of Delegates Democratic nominee in the 21st District, which encompasses parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. She is a real estate broker where she leads a team of women specializing in military family relocations and a former public school teacher. She is a lifelong resident of Virginia Beach where she currently lives with her husband and two daughters. voteforfowler.com

Phil Hernandez
House of Delegates, District 100
www.philforvirginia.com

Phil Hernandez is a Hampton Roads native, an attorney, and a champion for working class families. After becoming the first in his family to graduate from college, he dedicated his career to public service. Over the last decade, he has been an advocate for the environment, represented low-income families on the brink of homelessness, and advanced the civil rights of people all over the country.

Phil is running to build an inclusive future that opens up meaningful doors of opportunity for everyone and recognizes the dignity of all people.

Rebecca Leser
House of Delegates, District 96
www.rebeccaforvirginia.com/

Rebecca Leser is a public servant with her local County government, Chair for the York-Poquoson Democratic Committee, and running to represent Virginia’s 96th House District. Rebecca graduated from North Carolina State University in 2009 and spent the first eight years of her career processing financial aid awards for colleges. Passionate about clean, renewable energy, college affordability, criminal justice reform, equality, and expanded healthcare access, Rebecca is answering the call to continued public service and is looking forward to holding town halls and bringing much-needed accountability and transparency to the 96th House District.

Schuyler Vanvalkenburg
House of Delegates, District 72
www.vanvalkenburg4va.com

Schuyler VanValkenburg is a public school teacher who is running for re-election as Delegate to fight for strong public schools, to create 21st Century jobs, and to level the playing field for all Citizens. In his past two years as west Henrico’s delegate, he has shown the same drive and energy in representing his constituents that he has in his educational career. Delegate VanValkenburg has sponsored bills establishing better standards for school safety, expanding the role of counselors and nurses in helping to care for the whole student, and fought for SOL reform. He also has sponsored bills to make it easier for Virginians to vote absentee if they need to, and harder for politicians to gerrymander themselves safe district lines and undermine fair electoral competition. Finally, he’s sponsored legislation large and small to help Virginians striving for better careers by limiting non-compete agreements and preventing professional licenses from being suspended for unpaid student debts.

Schuyler’s experience growing up in small industrial town, attending the University of Richmond, and teaching in Henrico County, have all invigorated him in the fight to make Virginia a national leader in education and good governance, in order to expand opportunity for all Virginians. He knows firsthand the immeasurable impact a high quality education can have, and is committed to ensuring that for every child across the commonwealth. He also knows how important it is provide equitable access and opportunities for every citizen, whether it is ensuring a democracy where every voice is heard and every vote counted, increasing job growth, or blocking bills that are discriminatory and that threaten our constitutional right to equal protection.

Suhas Subramanyam
House of Delegates, District 87
www.suhasforvirginia.com

Suhas is a Loudoun County-based attorney, small business owner, and volunteer firefighter who served as a White House technology advisor to President Obama. He has dedicated his life to serving his community and solving some of the country’s biggest challenges, and now he’s running for the House of Delegates because he truly believes everyone’s voice should matter in their government. Suhas has spent his entire career fighting for progressive values, and if elected, he vows to continue that work in Richmond.

WISCONSIN

Jamie McClendon
Racine County Circuit Court Judge
www.votersformcclendon.com

Jamie McClendon is a strong, compassionate woman running for Racine County Circuit Court Judge. She has represented the people of Racine County in over 1300 cases since 2011. She has devoted her career to keeping children out of the juvenile and criminal justice system and will continue to focus on eliminating the school to prison pipeline. Jamie will be the first person of color in Racine County and only the fourth black women in the State of Wisconsin to sit on the circuit court bench. Racine deserves to have a judge that is focused on protecting justice for all people.

Matthew Gifford
Waukesha Board of Education
www.gifford4sdw.com

Matt is a 19-year-old college student running for one of three contested seats on the Waukesha School Board. Matt decided to run for School Board after seeing the lack of student representation and decisions made in young people’s interest. He is also the youngest openly gay candidate running for elected office in the country.