Announcing February endorsements
Big news! We’re endorsing another 40 progressive millennials and gen-Z’ers running for local office .
In the February class, you’ll meet an incredible group of people, including: A woman running against a member of the New York IDC who’s been accused of sexual assault, a 17th-generation New Mexican, a Native woman and barrel racer running in Montana, a world renowned outrigger canoe paddling coach and competitor, a cattle farmer, a documentary filmmaker, and a talk show host —plus way more.
These people rule. They’ll give you hope for the future.
Some of those folks have already gone through Election Day. In 2018, we’ve got 131 candidates running across 31 states. All are between the ages of 18–40, all are first- or second-time candidates, and have gone through our endorsement process (which we extensively documented here.)
Our endorsed candidates are 42% women and 48% people of color. We are constantly striving to improve both statistics and by time we finish making our 2018 endorsements, we will be at 50% women and 50% people of color.
If you missed our first endorsements of the year, catch up now.
We’re so excited to announced 61 new Run for Something candidates for the 2018 elections.medium.com
Then, meet our February class of Run for Something candidates!!
Tucson Unified School District Governing Board
Adam is an educator running for Tucson Unified School District Governing Board. He is both proud to be the product of public education & a Tucsonan.
Michigan House of Representatives, District 6
Aghogho Edevbie is running to ensure there is progress for everyone in Detroit, Ecorse, and River Rouge in Michigan’s 6th State House District. A son of immigrants, Aghogho’s experiences as an organizer, teacher, and lawyer have given him a unique perspective on the challenges facing his district, along with the ability to unite its diverse segments. With poverty being the major obstacle, Aghogho will do his all to make sure the 6th District has the jobs, skills, community schools, and public transportation it needs to reach its full potential.
New York State Senate, District 34
Pelham Manor, New York
Alessandra Biaggi lives in Pelham, NY, where she was born and raised. She’s been active in politics for over a decade — serving as Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, as counsel in Governor Cuomo’s Office, working for Congressman Crowley, the Kings County D.A.’s Office, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of NY. Her race is important for the entire state of New York because she’s running against a “Trump Democrat” who votes republican, blocking progressive legislation for millions of vulnerable New Yorker’s. Biaggi is committed to fight for progressive values and stand for accountability and ethical politics.
Texas State Legislature, District 129
Raised in the Clear Lake area and a product of Clear Creek ISD public schools, Alex is running for Texas State House District 129. A University of Texas graduate with a background in mathematics, Alex wants to bring the innovative culture and optimistic spirit of the NASA community to Austin. With experience in finance, in technology companies and in policy and government, Alex will fight for a public education system that gives everyone the same opportunities he received; infrastructure that prepares us for the next natural disaster; and a democratic process that holds officials accountable without looking down on compromises.
Texas State Senate, District 10
Allison is running for Texas State Senate District 10 — this was once Wendy Davis’ seat (who famously wore her pink tennis shoes during a filibuster and then ran for Governor) and is considered the most winnable seat in Texas. Allison has had a long career as a behind-the-scenes volunteer in Democratic politics in North Texas, and she is proud to have been part of the team that flipped Dallas County from red to blue from 2002 to 2006. As a biomedical research scientist and a teacher, she’s ready to bring her experience of flipping a large and contentious district to this race for the State Senate.
Dane County Board of Supervisors
Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Analiese Eicher is a candidate for District 3 on the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Eicher is a current commissioner on the Sun Prairie Plan Commission. She previously served on the Dane County Board serving District 5 from 2010–2012. During the day Eicher is the Program Director at One Wisconsin Now. She is also in her fourth season coaching youth soccer with the Sun Prairie Soccer Club.
In 2014, Eicher was named a “Woman to Watch” by Brava Magazine and in 2015 she was recognized as a “Changemaker” by Generation Progress. Eicher and her partner, Jeff Christensen, live on North Street in Sun Prairie with their dog Bernie.
New Mexico State Legislature, House District 46
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Andrea Romero is a 17th generation Northern New Mexican, born and raised in Santa Fe, Española, Chimayo, La Mesilla and Nambe. Her father, the first in her family to graduate college, became an engineer, which created opportunities for her family. Her parents stressed the value of education and giving back to community. She has two brothers; one who is a veteran and now works in the private sector and another who is a State Police Officer.
After attending elementary, middle school, and high school in the Santa Fe Public Schools, Andrea graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Political Science. She has dedicated herself to the growth of Northern New Mexico’s economic and environmental vitality through her leadership roles with the Regional Coalition of LANL Communities and MIX Santa Fe, and volunteer service to various organizations throughout the region. An entrepreneur at heart, Romero also runs a small business startup, Tall Foods, a ranch that seeks to cultivate the next generation of nutritious and sustainable eating through ostrich farming.
Andrea was raised to believe that together, we can accomplish more than we can alone. But over the past several years, we have seen increasing divisiveness in this community at the very time that we need unity in order to tackle the serious issues facing us — lack of good paying jobs, the opioid crisis, serious water issues. Andrea is committed to finding solutions rather than picking sides and sowing division.
Montgomery County Council, District 1
A lifelong District 1 resident, Andrew is a forward-focused, results-oriented leader with a track record of making government more efficient and bringing people together to get things done. He has scrutinized public agencies and reviewed billions in government contracts to ensure transparency and accountability, helped teachers secure a dignified retirement, and reorganized and restructured Maryland’s 529 program to make college affordable for more families. A career public servant, Andrew helped launch a new statewide savings program so Marylanders with disabilities can achieve financial security, supplied financing to aid Maryland’s small businesses, and provided programming to support Montgomery County’s at-risk youth.
New York State Senate
Brooklyn, New York
Andrew Gounardes is proud to call southern Brooklyn his home. As an attorney and community advocate, he knows that it takes a community willing to unite, organize, and stand together to fight for what our neighborhoods need to be strong, thriving places to live. He started his work in public service as an aide to former City Councilman Vincent Gentile, helping neighbors solve everyday quality of life problems. After Superstorm Sandy, Andrew co-founded Bay Ridge Cares, an organization supports neighbors facing extraordinary need by providing them with emergency assistance. His work with Bay Ridge Advocates for Keeping Everyone Safe (B.R.A.K.E.S.) successfully pressured Albany lawmakers to allow speed cameras in school zones. Today he serves as the general counsel for the Brooklyn Borough President, where he works to ensure that the 2.7 million residents of Brooklyn can live safe, healthy lives.
Connecticut State Legislature, District 134
Ashley Gaudiano is a nonprofit consultant, Trumbull Town Council representative, and licensed attorney who has spent the last ten years advocating on behalf of people in Connecticut and across the country.
Born in Virginia, Ashley and her husband, a maritime logistics manager, moved to Trumbull to raise their family in 2013. They have two young children, ages 4 and 2, as well as two rescue dogs.
Montana House of Representatives, District 24
Great Falls, Montana
Barbara was born and raised in the wide open spaces of Montana. She works in her community to reduce substance abuse among youth and young adults. Barbara is a barrel racer that knows the value of hard work. She has served as the chair of her county’s DUI Task Force, currently serves on a number of coalitions that help to fight substance abuse and work to bring the community together. Barbara is running for office, because she is Native American and they are underrepresented in the legislature. She is passionate about creating healthy Montanans and being a representative for everyone.
Colorado House of Representatives, District 43
Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Barrett is running for House District 43 in the Colorado legislature. He attended the University of Northern Colorado where he met his lovely wife, Annelise. After graduating he was offered the chance to teach public speaking for a year before enrolling in CU Denver’s Master of Public Administration program. Once he and his wife had their daughter they knew it was time to move closer to family and friends, so they settled in Highlands Ranch for the community of other Colorado families. He currently works in the healthcare industry as a project manager.
Pennsylvania State Legislature, District 198
Currently, he does finance in the healthcare sector and serves on the 39th Police District Advisory Council. He also serves as a panelist for one of the District Attorney’s diversion programs at the 35th Police District. Through his knowledge of public policy, public relations, and community event organizing. Bernard was appointed by the chair of the National Young Democrats of America Black Caucus as the chair of the Pennsylvania Black Caucus of the Young Democrats of America.
Norfolk School Board, Ward 2
Brittany is an academic advisor at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. As a Norfolk native, graduate of the public school system, and daughter of a teacher, she was inspired to pursue a career in education. After earning a bachelor’s degree in government and a master’s degree in education, Brittany became an advisor to work with college students on defining and implementing their academic and professional goals. She decided to run for school board to ensure students are not just learning about those opportunities at an earlier age, but developing the skills needed to achieve them.
Ohio State Legislature, District 16
Rocky River, Ohio
Cassimir Svigelj is running for Ohio’s Statehouse in District 16 because the Republican supermajority in Columbus, currently lacks the vision to guide Ohioans. Growing up in Northeast Ohio, Cassimir has seen the impact of corporations and special interest groups have had on the region, from contaminating our environment, to implementing an all-out war against our public institutions and safety-net programs, their control over the states Republican party has caused Ohio to fall behind. Cassimir will fight to return funding to these programs, public education, and make college affordable and accessible. Cassimir will always choose, “People over Politics!”
Cynthia Marie Chapa
Judge, 288th Civil District Court of Texas
San Antonio, Texas
An attorney for more than a decade, Cynthia has been more than just a lawyer at the courthouse. Cynthia worked in the Texas House of Representatives as a District Director for 14 years before going into private practice. Cynthia is running for the 288th District Court Judge, a court which handles mostly family issues.
Michigan State Legislature, District 19
Dan Centers is a fourth-generation resident of Livonia, Michigan, where he was born and raised, attended Livonia Public Schools K-12, and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. After college, Dan worked as an elementary classroom teacher. He currently works in higher education, making college more affordable for students, while also serving on the Livonia School Board, where he was elected.
In 2017, he was honored with the award of Merit from the Michigan Association of School Boards. Also, he was named Outstanding Young Michigander by the Michigan Jaycee Foundation in 2014, recognizing his work to help hungry children and students with special needs.
Bedford Council, Place 2
Dan Cogan is a 30 year old educator running for City Council Place 2 in Bedford, Texas. He moved to Texas 6 years ago with his wife, Sneha and fell in love with the hospitality and barbecue that Texans are famous for. As a 5th grade Social Studies teacher Dan loves to teach his students about the importance of government and civic duty. Dan has a huge support system of 10 year olds who not only want to help with his campaign but also want to follow his footsteps and run for office themselves.
Kentucky State House, District 53
Dustin Burley is running to represent the 53rd district in the Kentucky State legislature. After graduating from Anderson County High School in 2007, Dustin worked in schools, factories, fast food, and retail. Dustin currently works in a childcare center in Georgetown, KY while completing his Child Development Associate’s Degree (CDA) in Preschool, Infants & Toddlers. Dustin is an advocate for families and children, economic, gender and lifestyle equality, pension holders, teachers and students and affordable healthcare for all. He looks forward to serving the best interests of the people of the 53rd district by representing and defending their needs.
Arkansas House of Representatives, District 28
Dustin Parsons is a public school teacher in Bauxite, Arkansas. He’s a graduate of Arkansas Tech University and part-time cattle farmer. Known for his community advocacy and passion for education, Parsons said he has ultimately decided to run for State Representative to ensure equity for all children and their families by putting them first in a visionary educational system that looks to the rest of the 21st century. Parsons also believes that rural Arkansans deserve the same opportunities as urban and suburban residents in the state and wants to build a stronger rural and agricultural economy.
Elizabeth “Eliz” Markowitz
Texas State Board of Education, District 7
Dr. Eliz Markowitz is an educator, corporate trainer, and author who lives in Katy, Texas. Having spent the majority of her life as a student in Texas schools, and nearly half of her life as an educator of Texan students, Eliz offers a unique perspective regarding the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Texas public education system. Eliz is running for the Texas State Board of Education (District 7) in order to fight for logical, common sense reform that delivers high-quality education to all Texans.
Missouri State Senate, District 8
Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Hillary grew up in Missouri and lives in Lee’s Summit with her husband, Mitch. For the past nine years, she has worked with local schools as an advocate for study abroad programs and as a partner with AFS-USA. Hillary is running for the Missouri Senate because she believes her community deserves a senator who will put regular families first. She plans to make investing in public education and supporting local schools a top priority in the Senate.
Illinois General Assembly, District 101
Jen is running to represent the families of the 101st District in the Illinois General Assembly. She’s the mom of an adorably frustrating 4-year-old and a quiet but quick-witted 14-year-old and has a masters’ degree in Public Administration from the University of Illinois -Springfield. Jen works at a private college coordinating leadership events and scholarships. Previously, she has worked as an organizer for the Education Coalition of Macon County, fighting to improve educational outcomes for her community.
Coral Springs City Commission, Seat 4
Coral Springs, Florida
Joshua Simmons moved to Coral Springs in 2011 to help raise his sister while his single mother served in the United States Navy, becoming his sister’s legal guardian at the age of 22. After earning his Bachelors of Art in Political Science at Florida Atlantic University and successfully completing his Masters in Psychology, Joshua stayed in Coral Springs, working as a mental health therapist before taking a position as a Broward County Public School Teacher at Pompano Beach Middle School, followed by his current position at Coral Springs High. Joshua currently serves on the Customer Involved Government Committee, Martin Luther King Jr Committee, and the Multi Cultural Advisory Committee.
South Carolina House of Representatives, District 77
Columbia, South Carolina
Kambrell Houston Garvin is a native of Columbia, South Carolina and is a product of the Richland One public schools. In 2013 he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in African American Studies and Sociology from Winthrop University; Masters of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University School of Education in 2016; and is currently enrolled at the University of South Carolina School of Law. Kambrell is running in the Democratic Primary on June 12th, 2018 to represent District 77 as an honest, result-oriented, servant-leader, who will move District 77 forward and carry the torch of equity and equality. Kambrell believes that District 77 deserves an advocate at the State House leading the way on educational equity, economic development, health care expansion, and criminal justice reform. As a former educator, Kambrell realizes the power that legislators have to impact the lives of children and will champion causes that make his district and state stronger.
Missouri State Legislature, District 35
Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Keri is a wife, mother of two, former military brat, and Licensed Master Social Worker who has served her community working in child welfare, community mental health centers, schools, and hospitals. These experiences left an indelible mark on her- and lead to her wanting to advocate for the most vulnerable communities at the legislative level. Keri will fight for fairness, justice, and to amplify the voices of those struggling beneath the weight of bureaucracy.
Long Beach City Council, District 7
Long Beach, California
As a proud immigrant who came to the United States at the age of three, Kevin was raised in Southern California and is grateful to call Long Beach home. He is running for City Council to better represent the needs of the richly diverse 7th District and invest in the long-term success of its neighborhoods. Kevin co-founded Walk Bike Long Beach, a local advocacy group dedicated to improving pedestrian and bicycle safety and infrastructure, especially in the lower-income communities of color of Central, North, and West Long Beach. He lives with his wife Elsa and their rescue dog Winter.
Alamance County Board of Commissioners
Saxapahaw, North Carolina
Kristen Powers is a candidate for Alamance County Board of Commissioners. Kristen sees incredible opportunity in Alamance County and is excited to bring new ideas to the board from her non-profit work in voting rights and criminal justice reform as well as her documentary filmmaking background. Her experience includes fundraising, storytelling, community organizing, and policy advocacy. She is excited for the opportunity to bring high-quality education and economic development opportunities to the county. Kristen Powers lives in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.
Maryland General Assembly, District 39
Lesley Lopez is an educator and advocate with experience on the front lines of immigration reform, reproductive justice, affordable healthcare and the fight for equality of all Marylanders. A survivor of domestic violence, she was part of the Congressional staff that fought for the Violence Against Women Act in 2013 and later helped to oversee a $50 million endowment for the YWCA USA. Lesley and her fiance, Rich, live in Germantown, MD, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in America.
Kauai’i County Council
Luke Evslin, the lifelong Kaua’i resident, is a world renown outrigger canoe paddling coach and competitor. While in college he co-founded a composites manufacturing shop which has grown to become the largest producer of outrigger canoes in America. In addition to his experience in the private sector, he is currently pursuing a Masters in public administration with a focus in public policy, he has served on a number of county boards, committees, and local nonprofits, and he worked as a columnist focusing on land use, energy, and climate change. Most importantly, he is a husband and a father.
D.C. City Council, At-large
Marcus Goodwin is a Washington, DC native, the 5th of 8 children, who grew up in a working class family. His mother is a public school teacher and his father is an environmental scientist. Since earning scholarships to study at St. Albans, UPenn and Harvard, he has built his career in housing finance and remained closely engaged with city politics.
He’s running for DC Council to address the city’s rising cost of living and promote smart growth principles. He’s focused on revising housing laws to help disenfranchised groups, advancing economic equality, supporting local business and teaching financial literacy.
County Council, District 3
Matt is an enthusiast for positive community development and has spent the last 15 years working in both domestic and international non-profit organizations. Originally from Bloomfield, Indiana, Matt is married with two children and wants to increase government transparency, advocate for local education funding, connect local businesses to the digital economy, and concentrate on infrastructure development.
Colorado House of Representatives, District 5
Patrick Dillon lives in Berthoud, Co with his beautiful wife Cera, their dog Disney, and a cat named Wilson. He enjoys his work as an employment coordinator supporting individuals with disabilities in finding and keeping jobs in the community. Outside of his day job he loves serving as a community advocate focused on empowering local youth, supporting seniors and families in need, while fighting for solutions to long-term problems like affordable housing.
Texas State Legislature, District 71
Sam was born in Ranger, Texas and grew up incredibly poor. He attended UNT and worked as a non-profit manager for adults with learning disabilities where he witnessed how haphazard state funding was. He left, eventually opening a small business, and settling in Abilene. There Sam established Indivisible Abilene and discovered that state funding for rural communities was also haphazard.
Sam believes local municipalities need freedom to operate. They need investment in their infrastructure to create flourishing economies. This belief in local government and investment in rural Texas is why Sam is running for Texas House to represent District 71.
Massachusetts State Legislature, Suffolk District 14
Hyde Park, Massachusetts
Segun is running for Massachusetts State Representative in the 14th Suffolk, which covers the neighborhoods of Hyde Park, Roslindale, and West Roxbury.
A lifelong resident of Boston, Segun has spent much of his 29 years fighting for the betterment of others. He is the son of working class parents: Tayo — an immigrant who became a city employee and successful entrepreneur; and Rachel — a daughter of Malden who served as a former representative for Local SEIU 888 and is a retired city employee of over 20 years.
A longtime resident of the Roslindale and Hyde Park neighborhoods of Boston, Segun is a proud product of the Boston Public Schools. Following his graduation from Boston Latin Academy, he earned his Bachelor of Arts in History from Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia and honors from the Phi Beta Kappa and Golden Key Societies.
Segun’s advocacy work began as early as high school, representing Boston Latin Academy on the Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC). In college, he would go on to balance his studies with leadership roles in student government, campus religious life, and administrative accountability.
Following his 2012 graduation, Segun decided to learn how government works from the inside and joined the office of then-District 4 City Councilor Charles C. Yancey. After two successful years as a legislative aide building relationships, reviewing and authoring policy, and addressing constituent concerns, he transitioned to the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. At the Institute, Segun was able to forge new partnerships with community organizations. These partnerships ensured that the Institute invested in sustainable, local businesses and extended the opportunity for traditionally underrepresented groups to access its educational programs.
At the same time, Segun also organized the Boston Police Camera Action Team (BPCAT) in 2014 with fellow high school graduate, Shekia Scott. The mission of the community group was to further accountability and safety in Boston through the mandatory use of police body-worn cameras. Segun and his team built relationships with community organizations and leaders, as well as engaged a vast number of fellow Bostonians, in order to explore the issues surrounding the tools. In early 2015, BPCAT released a report proposing policies for the use of body-worn cameras. As a result of their efforts, Boston began a yearlong mandatory body-worn camera pilot program and policy in September 2016. For the city, it was a powerful example of what ordinary citizens can accomplish when they come together around a shared cause.
Segun was also elected to serve as the 3rd Vice President for the Boston chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the oldest civil rights advocacy organization in the nation. He also chairs their Political Action and Criminal Justice Committees. In these roles, Segun managed the much heralded and research intensive report card project that assessed the city’s efforts and results in addressing systemic disparities.
West Virginia State Senate, District 3
Parkersburg, West Virginia
Simon is running for Senate District 3 in West Virgina. He is a small business owner with 130 employees. He has a doctorate in physical therapy and a MBA in healthcare administration. He is married with a 2 1/2 year old son. His mother is from Mumbai, India. He describes himself as a pro-union, living wage, medicare-for-all democrat.
Winnebago County Board, District 10
Cupertino City Council
Tara’s running for Cupertino City Council to provide people of all income levels, such as teachers, public service employees, and working-class families, with the same opportunities she was given — to live and thrive in Cupertino and contribute to its vibrancy.
Tara received an incredible education at Cupertino public schools, had the opportunity to work at Cupertino small businesses, schools, and non-profits, and learned the ins ands outs of City Government through her professional background as a City Legislative Advisor. Tara has a deep understanding of the challenges Cupertino faces as a City and the tools to address them effectively!
State Delegate, District 25
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Wala Blegay is running for Maryland State Delegate in District 25. She is the staff attorney for the DC Nurses Association and talk show host for the Chat With a Lawyer TV Show, which provides free legal advice to the residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland. She is also an adjunct professor at American University Washington College of Law. Wala is a civil rights, women rights and economic justice advocate that previously served on the Prince George’s County Human Relations Commission and the Maryland Governor’s Task Force for the Study of Economic Development and Apprenticeship Programs. She has served on many boards, including the ACLU of Maryland, Maryland Legislative Agenda for Women, Emerge Maryland and Maryland Coalition of Consumer Rights.