Meet our Team
CPD Leadership Team
|ANA MARIA ARCHILA
Chief of Staff
Director of Special Projects
Director of Organizing and Capacity Building
CPD Staff Team
Local Progress Coordinator, Southern Region
Digital Content Manager
Co-Director, Local Progress
Campaign Director, Fed Up
Director of Sustainability Initiatives
Director of Field Support Initiatives
|CLAIRE DAVIS BOULTON
Director of Finance
Digital Campaign Director
|XIOMARA CARO DIAZ
Director of New Organizing Projects
Deputy Director of Civic Engagement and Politics
Director of Legal Compliance
Digital Engagement Manager
Senior Staff Attorney for Worker Justice
Director of Partner Support
Director of Partnerships
Local Progress Program and Membership Associate
Director of Policy & Research
Deputy Campaign Director, Fair Workweek Initiative
Senior Organizer of Education Justice Campaigns
Fair Workweek Initiative Director
Fair Workweek Initiative Director
Immigrant Justice Initiative Director
Director of Voting Rights and Democracy
Data Coordinator, Executive Action Program
Director of Operations & HR
Deputy Campaign Manager, Fed Up
Director of Capacity Building Initiatives
Director of Communications
Co-Director, Local Progress
Director of Organizational Development
Director of Development & Communications
Field Manager, Fed Up Campaign
Wall Street Accountability Camapign Director
Deputy Director of Campaigns
Deputy Director of Development
|CONNIE M. RAZZA, PhD
Director of Campaigns
Director of Leadership Development &Training Initiatives
Field Director, Fed Up Campaign
Director of Education Justice Campaigns
Deputy Director, Racial Justice
Director of Civic Engagement and Politics
Director of Technology & Systems
Senior Staff Attorney for Immigrant Rights
Director of Climate Justice
Campaign Coordinator for Housing Justice & Wall Street Accountability
CPD Leadership Team
Ana María joined CPD from our sister organization, Make the Road New York (MRNY), where she served as Co-Executive Director since its formation in 2007. Before that, Ana María was the Executive Director of the Latin American Integration Center (LAIC), which merged with Make the Road by Walking to create Make the Road New York. During Ana María's 13 years at MRNY and LAIC, she focused on shaping the organization’s electoral vision, organizing model, expansion to Long Island, and LGBTQ organizing work. Ana María also co-directs the Make the Road Action Fund.
Ana María emigrated to the U.S. from Colombia at the age of 17 and has become a leading advocate for civil rights, health care access, education equity, and immigrant rights in New York State, and nationally. She was awarded a Coro fellowship in 2004, the year after she became Executive Director of LAIC. Under her leadership, LAIC tripled in size and strengthened adult literacy, youth development and health access services to immigrants in Queens and Staten Island. Ana María helped LAIC to successfully increase immigrant political participation and power-building through voter mobilization, popular education and community organizing.
Andrew came to CPD after 15 years building Make the Road New York into the leading democratically-run, immigrant-led community organization in New York State. Since co-founding Make the Road in 1997, Andrew helped grow the organization from a small, volunteer-run effort to an $8 million organization with over 11,000 members, 100 staff, and four community-based centers in New York City and Long Island. Andrew helped oversee all aspects of Make the Road’s work, including the organizing, legal services, adult literacy, workforce development, operations and finance departments.
Andrew has worked with the Latino Workers’ Center, the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, the Center for Urban Community Services, the Government Benefits Unit at Brooklyn Legal Services Corporation A, and MFY Legal Services Mental Health Law Project. Andrew has been awarded the Union Square Award of the Fund for the City of New York, the Cornerstone Award of the Jewish Funds for Justice, and the Community Health Leaders Award of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for his work at MRNY. Andrew was a Skadden Public Interest Fellow, a Senior Fellow at the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and a Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School. He has worked as an adjunct professor in New York University School of Law’s Clinical Program, NYU’s Wagner School for Public Service and the New School for Social Research, and serves on the Board of Directors of Make the Road New York, and the Make the Road Action Fund. Andrew is a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia College and a cum laude graduate of the New York University School of Law.
Brian served as Executive Director of Leadership Center for the Common Good prior to its merger with CPD in late 2013. As the Director of Common Good, Brian and his team built an organization that worked with partner organizations in 18 states and 45 cities nationally. Common Good and its partners played essential roles in campaigns for economic justice, Wall Street accountability, education reform, environmental justice, and much more. During his 18-year organizing career, Brian has helped run four living wage campaigns, three campaigns against predatory lending, and a wide range of other campaigns, including: urban school reform, campaign finance reform, tenant legislative protections, adoption of a progressive federal budget, passage of a federal economic recovery package, and campaigns promoting smart growth and environmental justice.
Brian’s first work in organizing came through the Midwest Academy training program in Chicago, IL. Later, Brian worked for the Rogers Park Community Action Network and the REACH project, an effort to leverage tenant deposit holdings for affordable housing. From 1995-2009, Brian worked for ACORN, initially in Chicago (1995-97), and later in Oakland (1997-99), Sacramento (1999-2002), Florida (2003-2008), the southern US (2005-7), and in Washington, DC (2009-10). Brian received a BA in African and European Intellectual History from Carleton College.
Amy is part of CPD’s management team, and directly supervises CPD’s policy, strategic research, and legal compliance teams. Her work focuses in particular on economic justice policy support, including driving policy innovation that facilitates low-wage worker organizing and lifting labor standards, as well as advocacy on fair & affordable housing and financial sector accountability issues. She served as the primary drafter of New York State’s Wage Theft Prevention Act, a comprehensive overhaul of New York’s minimum wage and overtime laws which took effect in April 2011, after a record-setting nine-month campaign. Amy has worked on a range of policy campaigns, including to pass paid sick time legislation, regulate “big box” retailers, improve the operation of the state agencies that enforce minimum wage and rent stabilization laws, and to expand funding for legal services for the working poor. Prior to helping launch CPD in April 2012, Amy worked for more than four years with Make the Road New York, where she served first as the Supervising Attorney and then as Legal Director. Amy has previously clerked for a federal judge in the Eastern District of New York and worked as an Equal Justice America fellow with the Workplace Justice Project at MFY Legal Services. Before law school, Amy ran the Public Service Network at the New York City Bar Association. Amy is a graduate of the Yale Law School and the University of Michigan’s Residential College.
Oona came to CPD after serving for 2 years as the Associate Director of New York City Organizing at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform. In that role, she worked with AISR's New York City team and partner organizations throughout the city to support parent and student organizing efforts to advance school reform. Prior to coming to AISR, Oona served for fifteen years as Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York, an organization which she co-founded and which is one of the most respected and effective organizing groups in the country. Make the Road New York is a core partner of CPD. Oona’s work at MRNY included participating in the design, creation and ongoing support of two small public schools, building vital student and parent organizing programs within the organization, and playing an important role in the founding of citywide and national youth organizing coalitions to advance school reform. She is a long-time board member of the North Star Fund, a progressive NYC-based foundation.
JoEllen plays a key role in driving CPDs minimum wage campaign efforts and economic justice work. She focuses on envisioning strategy, leveraging partner organizations’ impact in the field, and assisting in the implementation of dynamic campaign plans. In addition, JoEllen is developing a senior organizer pipeline training program, including generating curriculum, skill building, leadership development, and evaluation tools. JoEllen has worked in progressive grassroots organizations and labor unions for 15 years. She has been responsible for mapping out strategies, running national programs and campaigns, and building organizational capacity for unions and community groups. Before coming to CPD, JoEllen organized a wide range of workers, including industrial laundry workers for UNITE-HERE, Registered Nurses for the California Nurses Association and public sector workers for AFSCME. She has also worked internationally for UNI Global, primarily in Colombia, Spain and Portugal. At CPD, she plays a critical role to a number of movements and campaigns for social, racial and economic justice.
CPD Staff Team
Danielle Adams comes to CPD from the Institute for Southern Studies, a public interest media, research and education center aimed at drawing attention to the national importance of the South. She is also a current local elected official serving on the Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors in Durham, North Carolina. She received the Outstanding District Supervisor of the Year award from the North Carolina Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in 2012 in 2014 was selected as a fellow to the Young Climate Leaders Network.
Danielle has previously served as the Alternative Transportation Project Manager in the Office of Sustainability at Appalachian State University, on the Board of Directors for the Upper Neuse River Association and has worked with the International Affairs Council – Middle East Partnership Initiative of the U.S. Department of State on connecting women in local elected office globally.
Currently she serves as an ambassador to Oxfam America’s Sisters on the Planet program, and is a member of the Young Elected Officials Network. She received her BA in political science with a minor in music from North Carolina Central University and studied Environmental Politics and Policy Analysis at Appalachian State University.
Prior to joining the team at CPD, Julian worked as Young Invincibles’ Digital Media Coordinator, where he managed the organization’s social media platforms, email lists, online advocacy tools and graphic design. Before that, Julian worked at Excelencia in Education as liaison to the organization’s 65 national partners. He has consulted with small businesses to help them grow their digital presences, and identify their key audiences across multiple social media platforms.
Ady directs two of CPD’s projects: Local Progress and the Fed Up Campaign. Local Progress is the network of hundreds of progressive local elected elected officials across the country dedicated to shared prosperity, equal justice under law, sustainable and livable cities, and good government that serves the public interest. Local Progress provides its membership with policy and governance best practices, space to build solidarity, and the opportunity to partner across cities as part of a national progressive movement. Fed Up is a national campaign for full employment and a reformed Federal Reserve. Before joining CPD, Ady was a law clerk to the Hon. Shira A. Scheindlin in the Southern District of New York. Prior to that he was a Liman Fellow with Make the Road New York, where he represented low-wage workers seeking to recover unpaid wages, engage in collective action, and obtain safe and dignified working conditions. He helped design and draft policy proposals to enhance the quality of low-wage jobs in New York City including the right to paid sick days, regulation of major retailers, and unionization of the car wash industry. He graduated from Yale Law School and Columbia College, cum laude.
Greg works with CPD's partner organizations in building membership recruitment and small donor operations, with the goals being to build capacity for neighborhood organizing and to assist organizations in becoming more financially self-sufficient. Prior to CPD, Greg helped launch New York Communities for Change in 2010, serving as their Deputy Director and Overseeing their Canvass, Field, Online, and Data Operations. Greg also served as the Statewide Canvass Director for New York ACORN for 5 years. He has a BA in Political Science from St. Joseph’s College.
Leah directs CPD’s Operations Team as Director of Operations Field Support, where she’ll work both within CPD and with our partners to build organizational strength. She comes to CPD with 16 years non-profit and public sector experience, including 6 years at TakeAction Minnesota, a core partner of CPD. In Minnesota, Leah co-founded a group of movement-building Operations Directors that regularly convened to exchange practical ideas on how to work more effectively. Leah graduated from Lawrence University with a B.A. in History and a B.A. in Government. Leah lives in Washington, DC.
Claire has over 15 years of nonprofit financial management experience, most recently at WITNESS, a global human rights organization co-founded by the musician and activist, Peter Gabriel. Claire previously led the financial management of the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, which funds grassroots education reform, and at Eyebeam, a New York City-based art and technology organization.
Claire has a BA in Art History from the University of Maryland and has served as an officer on boards of several not-for-profits, as well as the Not-for-Profit Committee of the Financial Women’s Association. She currently serves on the board of the Magnum Foundation and has been actively engaged in social investing and shareholder reform since 2004.
Nicole leads CPD's digital organizing work, growing our online community and providing them meaningful actions that complement our offline organizing. She comes to CPD with 6 years of online organizing experience. Prior to CPD Nicole was a senior campaigner at Change.org, working to empower individuals to run and win their own campaigns on LGBT rights, immigrant rights, and issues impacting veterans. At Reform Immigration FOR America, she grew the online wing of the movement for comprehensive immigration reform from 700,000 members to 1.1 million members in less than two years. Nicole has also worked to build the online communities at The Story of Stuff Project, Energy Action Coalition, and EarthShare. Nicole graduated with her BA in American Studies from the George Washington University.
Xiomara Caro Diaz is the newest member of CPD’s Organizational Capacity Building team and will be supporting the development of the organizing infrastructure in Puerto Rico. Before joining CPD, she helped create and lead the Youth Development Institute for 2 years, a new child and youth advocacy organization created by the leaders of Boys & Girls Clubs of Puerto Rico (BGCPR). In collaboration with our partners on the island called Espacios Abiertos, in 2015 Xiomara helped create a movement of more than 140 nonprofits that stopped $69 million in budget cuts proposed by the government. At BGCPR she worked for 5 years leading their fundraising and government affairs, and previously for the Puerto Rico Community Foundation. In 2010 and 2011, she was an organizer, leader and spokesperson of the student movement strikes to stop tuition hikes and austerity policies at the University of Puerto Rico. In 2012, she helped design and implement guerilla communication and grassroots campaign for a coalition that, with other efforts, helped win a constitutional referendum that would eliminate the right to bail. She holds a Juris Doctor from the Law School of the University of Puerto Rico and a Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida.
Kwesi Chappin is the Deputy Director of Civic Engagement and Politics, based in Washington DC. Kwesi was previously Training Director for New Organizing Institute (NOI). Prior to working for NOI, Kwesi was the Eastern Organizing Manager for the Sierra Club and the Deputy GOTV Director for Ohio on Obama's reelection Campaign. Kwesi began organizing on the Obama campaign in the early primary state of South Carolina as an intern. He was quickly promoted to Organizer in South Carolina, and continued to organize in four more states during the primary season. In the general election, he became Regional Field Director of Cleveland, Ohio. After the Obama campaign Kwesi continued to organize with Change That Works as the Field Director for Arkansas.
Josephine works with our Operations, Finance, and HR team. She assists in areas of finance and compliance, facilities, HR, and helps coordinate logistics. With a background in Art History and Fine Arts, Josephine has experience as a curator at the Danish Cultural Institute in Brussels and has worked in other arts organizations in London, The Netherlands, and here in Brooklyn. Josephine holds a BA in Arts and Social Sciences at Maastricht University in The Netherlands and an MA in Arts Management at Birkbeck University of London.
Maggie is a Research Analyst at the Center for Popular Democracy. Prior to joining CPD, Maggie spent four years at the Open Society Foundations where she conducted research on the future of work, conservative political infrastructure, and a range of economic justice issues. For four years Maggie also worked on a community-based participatory study addressing health disparities faced by low-income families. Maggie worked at Amnesty International where she contributed to impact assessments and grant writing while serving as shop steward for the staff union, CWA Local 1180. Maggie has almost fifteen years of grassroots organizing experience, working on low-wage and farm worker rights, gender and racial justice, and the prison industrial complex. Maggie holds a BA in International Relations from Michigan State University and an MA in International Affairs with a Human Rights concentration from The New School. She also studied at Soochow University in China after receiving the National Critical Language Fellowship through the U.S. State Department and Council for American Overseas Research. In 2012, Maggie completed Rockwood Leadership Institute’s Art of Leadership for Women in Racial Justice and Human Rights.
Hetal provides legal counsel and compliance oversight to CPD, Action for the Common Good and CPD’s field partners. Hetal brings a wealth of knowledge in tax law related to tax exempt organizations, lobbying recordkeeping and restrictions, campaign finance and other aspects of election law, and employment law. She has also worked in private practice in immigration law, general litigation and intellectual property litigation. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota School of Law. After law school she clerked on the Supreme Court for the state of Minnesota, with then Chief Justice Kathleen A. Blatz. Hetal chairs the board of the Kingfield Neighborhood Association and is a member of the board of Advocates for Justice. She also serves by appointment on the City of Minneapolis Capital Long-Range Improvement Committee.
Rachel supports CPD’s economic justice campaigns, focusing on the Fair Workweek Initiative. Before joining CPD, Rachel litigated cases involving labor and employment, elections, state and local governments, and insurance regulation at Strumwasser & Woocher, a public interest law firm. She previously clerked for Hon. Marsha S. Berzon on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Before law school, Rachel organized hospital workers with the Service Employees International Union. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Yale College. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son.
Uyen Doan has devoted much of her life to organizing her communities in the fight for social justice. In 2011, Uyen received her master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School where she focused on health care and health equity. From 2011-2014, she held the role of National Manager of Training and Organizing with Primary Care Progress, working to fill the national shortage of primary care providers by organizing nationwide chapters of health care trainees. Uyen has served on the Leadership Team and is currently an active member of the Leading Change Network, a global community of organizers, educators and researchers who seek to connect, collaborate and share learning from their various campaigns. Most recently, she has worked as a community organizing trainer and coach, supporting and building the capacity of organizing groups campaigning on a range of issues, from health care access to climate change to youth empowerment.
Steve coordinates CPD’s support of community organizing partner organizations throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. His work includes providing organizing and campaign support, growing funding and partnership opportunities, and developing organizational leadership, including staff and board development. Steve comes to CPD with 10 years of community organizing experience. He has served in organizing roles from grassroots Field Organizer to Executive Director, building power for low-income worker organizations throughout the country. Steve holds a BA from the College of William & Mary.
Tarsi works with Local Progress, providing program and membership support to the network of over 400 local municipal leaders nationwide who are united in their commitment to shared prosperity, equal justice under law, sustainable and livable cities, and good government that serves the public interest. Prior to joining CPD, Tarsi served as Program and Operations Manager at the Learning First Alliance, a coalition of national education associations committed to strengthening public education for all students and previously worked at the Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network. She currently serves on the steering committee for the Campus Network's alumni network and is a member of the National Board of Advisors for Forge Columbus. Tarsi received a BA in Political Science from Middlebury College.
Shena came to CPD from New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a civil rights law firm committed to advancing health justice, environmental justice and disability rights through community lawyering and partnerships with the private bar, where she serves as the Director of the Health Justice (HJ) Program. At NYLPI, Shena works in collaboration with community groups on a number of campaigns to ensure that people from medically undeserved neighborhoods in New York have access to quality healthcare. Shena joined NYLPI in the summer of 2010 as a staff attorney in the HJ Program. Prior to joining NYLPI, Shena was a litigation associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, LLP, where she worked on white-collar and anti-trust matters and provided pro bono representation to clients on a variety of family, criminal, and immigration law matters. Shena graduated from Yale Law School in 2008, where she served as Vice-President of the Black Law Students Association. She graduated cum laude from Princeton University in 2004, with an A.B. in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and a certificate in African-American studies.
Shena serves on the board of Gotham Health, Inc and Princeton AlumniCorps. Shena also serves as the Leader-in-Residence for Health Equity at the Colin Powell School for Civic and Global Leadership at City College, where she works closely with talented undergraduates on applied research projects related to advancing health justice.
Elianne Farhat has been a leader in many successful local, state and national campaigns over her seven years of community, labor, and electoral organizing. Her commitment to building power in low-income communities of color has been a constant thread through her diverse work experience. Prior to joining CPD, she held the position of Lead Organizer at PICO National Network’s Minnesota-based Center for Health Organizing where she supported federations across the country in their work to advance health equity, racial justice and economic opportunity for low-income children and families. Elianne received a B.A. in Geography and Political Science from Macalester College in 2007.
Evie works with CPD’s partner organizations to create and promote a progressive education agenda. Evie brings decades of education experience to CPD. She has led an educational equity coalition to end tracking in Montgomery County, MD, as well as served as Deputy Director at The Next Step Public Charter School in Washington, DC. Evie worked as a high school teacher at Bell Multicultural High School, and she served as a bus driver during desegregation bussing in Boston.
Carrie Gleason directs the Fair Workweek Initiative, a collaborative effort anchored by the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), that brings together grassroots organizations across the country to shift employer practices and win policy solutions that achieve an equitable workweek for today’s workforce. She provides analysis of part-time employment, scheduling trends and the retail sector for national policymakers and media outlets, which have included NPR and the New York Times.
Carrie co-founded the Retail Action Project (RAP), a fast-growing organization of retail workers dedicated to improving opportunities and standards in the retail industry. As RAP’s Executive Director from 2010-2014, Carrie oversaw the organization’s base-building and strategic campaigns, research and empowering direct services to grow an industry voice for New York City retail workers. RAP emerged from an innovative community-labor partnership with the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU/UFCW) and the Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES) that helped thousands of retail workers in lower Manhattan successfully fight wage theft and discrimination, winning millions in unpaid wages.
Carrie began organizing retail workers in 2005 and has worked in the labor movement for over 14 years, leading several winning unionization campaigns for the RWDSU and the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council (UNITE-HERE). She is a member of the Presidential Council of Cornell Women and served on the North Star Fund Community Funding Committee. Carrie was a 2009-2010 Charles H. Revson Fellow, a Program on the Future of New York City at Columbia University, and holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University. She lives in Brooklyn with her partner and son.
Adam has 20 years of organization-building experience in the San Francisco Bay Area. He brings expertise in community organizing, developing organizational infrastructure, and communications. Adam was initially trained in community organizing in Oakland and later became involved in the youth movement, co-founding C-Beyond in Concord, and later forming the Youth Empowerment Center, an umbrella organization for youth movement organizations. Adam was hired as Campaign Manager for the Just Cause Evictions campaign in Oakland in 2002, the organization's first staff position, and continued working with Just Cause (now Causa Justa :: Just Cause) for 13 years. In his time at CJJC, he helped to build up the organizing campaigns and infrastructure, and also helped facilitate two mergers with allied organizations.
Emma is an attorney, advocate, and organizer with experience working with organizations, labor unions, candidates and nonprofits to run electoral and advocacy campaigns. Emma cut her teeth as an organizer on Senator Paul Wellstone's 2002 campaign and has been involved in politics and democracy issues ever since. She has served as pro bono litigation counsel to the ACLU-Minnesota on multiple voting rights matters. She worked on democracy litigation at the Brennan Center for Justice and authored Strengthening the Hands of Voters in the Marketplace of Ideas: Roadmap to Campaign Finance Reform in the Post-WRTL era. Emma holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a law degree from UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Before joining CPD, she practiced law as a civil litigator at Maslon LLP and as a public defender.
Josué Guillén has been supporting the technology needs of non-profits and organizers for 15 years. He was on the Avaaz technology team, started and ran the PowerBase project (a web-based database for organizing groups) for the Progressive Technology Project, and was part of the May First Technology Collective, a nonprofit worker collective dedicated to supporting the technology needs of small nonprofits in New York City. He also co-founded May First/People Link, a membership based Internet company building technology infrastructure to support movements.
Josué was trained as an organizer by the Center for Third World Organizing and worked as a union and community organizer all over the U.S. He is also an experienced interpreter (English <-> Spanish), both simultaneous and consecutive.
Tina is proud to be a founding member of the Center for Popular Democracy where she has developed systems in the areas of finance, compliance, and operations and assisted client organizations in doing the same for themselves–helping local communities leverage skills and resources to maximize capacity, meet their unique self-determined goals, and create optimal systems and strategic alliances. Tina brings expertise in relationship building, needs assessment, and operations startup to the CPD team. She comes to the Center for Popular Democracy after nine years at the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN), where she filled many roles, including Co-Executive Director. In her time there she worked to design and implement pioneer public diplomacy initiatives through the State Department, developed for American students and their peers throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia following 9/11. In this capacity, she provided intensive training and technical assistance to establish and sustain operations in over 40 countries. Tina is a graduate of Rutgers University and completed her masters studies at NYU’s Wagner School for Public Service. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and three sons.
Jordan helps lead Fed Up, the national campaign for full employment, rising wages, and a more transparent and accountable Federal Reserve. Before joining CPD, Jordan ran numerous state legislative campaigns and was a consultant with the California Assembly Speaker’s office, advising members of the Democratic caucus on policy and helping coordinate district outreach and events. Jordan graduated from the George Washington University with a degree in Political Science.
Kate came to CPD from the New York City Office of Financial Empowerment, where she coordinated programmatic and policy initiatives to build wealth in low-income communities and to hold financial institutions accountable to New Yorkers and their families. Kate has previously worked with one of CPD's core partners, Make the Road New York, where she helped to connect under and unemployed immigrant New Yorkers to quality training programs and sustainable jobs. She also coordinated Make the Road’sCitizenship Education Program to help members pass the exam to obtain US citizenship. Kate holds a BA from the University of California at Los Angeles and an MPA from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service.
Prior to joining CPD, Jakada served as the Director of Ignite Institute at the Pacific School of Religion (PSR) where he worked to train, support, and inspire spiritually-rooted changemakers to be more resilient, creative and aligned in their work.Before PSR, Jakada served for six years as Executive Director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. After taking over from the center’s founder Van Jones, Jakada led the Center to pass federal legislation (the Green Jobs Act), lead the organization in four successful state-wide ballot measure campaigns (No on Prop 6 in 2008, No on Prop 23 in 2010 and Yes on Props 30 and 39 in 2012), and launched the center’s newest effort—a goal to reduce the US incarceration rate by 50 precent in 10 years. Before becoming Executive Director, Jakada was a lead strategist and chief team member on some of Ella Baker Center’s most high profile campaigns. He also serves on the Board of Compton Foundation and the OneLife Institute and is a member of Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples. Born and raised in Oakland, California, Jakada is the father to four powerful and creative young girls.
As Communications Director, Anita oversees CPD's Communications team and strategy. Anita brings 20 years of domestic and international experience to the role, with deep familiarity working with media, both as a communications professional and as a journalist. Most recently, Anita worked for the Environmental Defense Fund, where she led communications strategy for clean energy efforts in New York and the Northeast region. Prior to this, Anita worked as a journalist for leading outlets such as the Financial Times, Dow Jones Newswires, and Crain’s New York Business.
Sarah is co-director of Local Progress, the national network of over 300 progressive local elected officials dedicated to shared prosperity, equal justice under the law, sustainable and livable cities and good government that serves the public interest. Prior to joining CPD, Sarah served as the Managing Director at Working Families where she also ran an electoral and candidate recruitment program that doubled the size of the New York City Progressive Caucus. Sarah got her start as a political organizer for SEIU 32BJ. Sarah is a graduate of Williams College and Pratt Institute, where she received a Masters in Urban Planning.
Steve brings an enormous range of experience, skills, and insights to CPD as a decades-long veteran of community organizing. Most recently, Steve ran the Fight for a Fair Economy (FFE) program at Service Employees International Union (SEIU), a $30 million annual investment in community organizing. During this time he worked closely with CPD to develop our partnerships with Wisconsin Jobs Now, Good Jobs Now (MI), and Working Washington. Previously, Steve was a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he helped CAP develop its work on community organizing. Prior to that, Steve worked for over 35 years at ACORN in a wide variety of roles, including as Executive Director. Steve graduated from Harvard and lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Michele comes to CPD with 8 years experience as a researcher supporting political and labor campaigns. She most recently served as a researcher for 1199SEIU, one of the most dynamic and politically potent unions in the country, providing corporate and policy research to support organizing campaigns and policy advocacy. Prior to working at 1199SEIU, Michele worked as a research consultant for state and federal candidates across the country and was Research Director on Ohio Lt. Governor Lee Fisher's US Senate campaign. Michele graduated with a BA from the University of Southern California and a JD from the Benjamin N Cardozo School of Law. She is curently pursuing a Masters in Urban Studies at the City University of New York.
Hilary has been engaged in social justice and community organizing work for over 20 years, on issues such as affordable housing, immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights, and violence against women. She joined Make the Road New York’s staff in 2010 as a lead organizer, supervising MRNY’s affordable housing and workplace justice organizing work and its leadership development program. For the past year she was MRNY’s Chief of Staff. Hilary is originally from Washington, DC and she holds a BA in Political Science from UC Berkeley.
As Communications Manager, Amanda manages both print and digital communications for CPD. She brings over 15 years of communications experience, with a focus on content development for civil and human rights organizations. She has provided editorial oversight and content production for leading national and international organizations such as Lambda Legal and the Center for Reproductive Rights, and most recently managed digital communications for the Colin Powell School at The City College of New York, a public-service focused division of the college covering the social sciences. There she played a leadership role in developing the newly instituted school’s brand identity and communicating its mission to the public. In addition to her communications expertise, Amanda has worked in direct-service capacities for the welfare of women and youth in a number of organizations across Cleveland, Chicago, and New York City, including her current role as writing mentor for Girls Write Now. Amanda is a graduate of the New School University’s MFA program in Fiction and holds a BA from the University of Illinois-Chicago.
Benjamin manages CPD’s fundraising and communications work, including the development of sophisticated information and data systems. Benjamin joined CPD with more than 14 years of experience in communications, development, and nonprofit governance. Most recently, Benjamin helped build New York Sun Works, a nonprofit which promotes rooftop greenhouses for public schools, and he co-founded its for-profit sister company, BrightFarms, which develops urban greenhouses to grow fresh produce close to underserved communities. Before moving to New York, Benjamin was involved in policy, communications, and local government in the United Kingdom, including a four-year elected term as a Council Member in the Borough of Hackney in London. Benjamin holds an MA from the University of London and a BA from Keele University.
Rubén Lucio is a graduate of Columbia University School of Social Work and joined CPD after having worked with the Human Resource Administration (HRA). Before joining HRA, he was a Policy Fellow at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), where he worked to shift New York's drug policy from a criminal justice to a public health and safety approach. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, Rubén comes from a grassroots organizing background and has been involved in various campaigns to combat the criminalization of migrant communities. Rubén’s previous work also includes youth empowerment and helping marginalized communities access city resources. Through various roles, Rubén has helped teenagers transition out of the foster care system, created internship programs for at risk youth, and led initiatives to help non-English speakers access city programs. Rubén is also a proud alumnus of the Coro Fellows in Public Affairs in Southern California, Class of 2013.
TJ works as CPD's Wall Street Accountability Campaign Director to support CPD partners in running corporate campaigns that create accountability for those who financially benefit from the extraction of wealth from low-income communities. Prior to joining CPD, TJ directed Fix LA, a labor-community alliance that combined protest and advocacy to pressure city officials to recoup taxpayer money from Wall Street banks. She was a key architect of, and participant in, the all-women’s 15-day hunger strike, credited with helping ensure LA’s historic minimum wage hike did not fall short of $15 an hour. TJ also served as a chief communications strategist for Change to Win. A longtime activist and frequent fundraiser for LGBT equality, she lives in San Francisco, and holds a B.A. in Journalism with a minor in Gender Studies from California State University, Northridge.
Natalia assists the Operations and Finance team in the areas of finance and compliance, facilities, HR, technology, as well as supporting the senior staff. She has experience in administrative support, bilingual counseling, and teaching. She has worked for New York elected officials, privately held companies, and an international non-profit. Natalia holds a BA in International Studies from Long Island University.
Tony coordinates CPD’s organizing and campaign support on economic justice and workers’ rights initiatives, collaborating closely with community-based organizations and helping to foster coalitions within the labor movement. In addition, Tony has supported CPD’s membership growth and leadership development work with key partners. Tony comes to CPD after 16 years of organizing in the labor movement, supporting strawberry pickers, restaurant workers, lumberyard workers and meatpackers. For the past 10 years, Tony worked as an equipment operator on the New Jersey docks, where he helped galvanize a national reform effort within the International Longshoremen’s Association (“ILA”). In 2007, Tony was elected secretary-treasurer of his local as part of a reform slate, a position he held while continuing work as a crane operator. Tony holds a BA from Brown University.
Julia works with the Operations and Finance team in the areas of finance & compliance, facilities, human resources & benefits administration, and technology. She has over 6 years administrative experience including work at various start-ups and non-profits. She received her MA in International Affairs from The New School, and her BA in Political Science from the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.
As Communications Manager, Asya Pikovsky will help promote and shape CPD's vision for a progressive, inclusive democracy. She comes to CPD from Marathon Strategies, a national political consulting firm, where she developed and led communications campaigns to win popular support for legislative goals and raise the public profile of both political and nonprofit clients. In previous roles, she has acted as a spokesperson for a leading elected official in Massachusetts and closely analyzed the intersection of labor and budget policy as a researcher at a New York-based think tank. Asya sits on the Executive Board of the Manhattan Young Democrats and built a program through the organization to help members gain access to political organizing skills. She holds a BA with Honors from Bowdoin College. An immigrant from the former Soviet Union and a transplant from Boston, she is currently a very proud resident of Queens.
As Deputy Director of Development, Tahira works across the range of fundraising activities, but with a particular emphasis on managing CPD’s foundation fundraising program. Tahira was previously the Development Manager at ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York. Over the last twelve years, she has been deeply involved in social justice movement work, particularly focusing on the intersections of LGBTQ rights, racial justice, and economic justice. Tahira holds a BA from Tufts University, and an MPA specializing in Nonprofit Management from the NYU Wagner School of Public Service. She is a proud native of Washington, D.C.
Jay has over 15 years of accounting experience, working recently with a fortune 500 company and CPA firms PricewaterhouseCoopers, RSM and BDO Seidman. He is a Certified Public Accountant registered in NY State. Jay holds a BBA from the University of Puerto Rico.
Connie directs CPD’s broad-ranging research efforts pertaining to immigrant and civil rights, economic and community justice, and good government. In addition to researching on CPD-driven projects, the Strategic Research department also helps partner organizations meet their research needs. She comes to us from Community Labor United (CLU), a coalition of base-building community organizations and labor unions in Boston. At CLU, she directed research and policy development on campaigns for transit justice and fair contracting practices throughout Massachusetts. She has been a strategic research campaigner for more than a decade, working primarily on campaign design and implementation for labor union organizing drives. At UNITE HERE, Connie led research in support of the unionization of workers at a national healthcare laundry company. She also served the New York City Council as its Senior Policy Analyst for health issues. Connie became a union organizer after participating in an organizing drive of student employees throughout the University of California system. She holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MA and PhD from the University of California at Los Angeles.
Art oversees CPD's training and leadership development work. Prior to joining CPD, he was as a graduate student and Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School, where he taught a community organizing class with Professor Marshall Ganz for two years. He previously served as Deputy Director and Interim Director of Michigan Voice, a state-wide coalition of community organizing and progressive advocacy organizations working to increase civic participation and community-driven leadership across Michigan. Art has trained hundreds of organizers, activists and leaders across the country, and currently serves as the Board President of the Leading Change Network, a global network of organizers, educators and researchers dedicated to advancing the craft of organizing. Art is a graduate of the University of Michigan and the Harvard Kennedy School. He is orginally from Flint, Michigan.
Shawn directs the field campaign for Fed Up, supporting our dozen partner organizations around the country in training and bringing the voices of their working class members to the previously closed off policy debates about monetary policy and Federal Reserve governance. Before joining CPD, Shawn worked at the Best Practices Foundation in Bangalore, India, providing research, writing and policy support to organized federations of grassroots women's movements. Shawn then worked on issues of gentrification and slum housing in South Los Angeles at Esperanza Community Housing Corporation and immediately prior to joining CPD, Shawn was a fellow with the Anti-Corruption Unit at the Open Society Foundations' Justice Initiative. Shawn graduated from New York University Law School and the University of Iowa.
Kyle directs CPD’s education strategy. He works with CPD partner organizations and education coalitions to develop strategy and coordinates national and regional campaigns that work to bolster our public education system. Kyle comes to CPD with over 10 years of campaign experience. Kyle has received various awards recognizing his role in organizing and policy victories. Kyle is a graduate of Wesleyan University.
Marbre first joined the Center for Popular Democracy as a Soros Justice Fellow in Fall 2013. She currently helps to lead our work on Racial Justice initiatives. Her Soros Justice work focused on organizing and working with families affected by aggressive policing and criminal justice policies in New York City in order to develop meaningful bottom up policy reforms. Marbre also works extensively on police and criminal justice reform with partners across the country. Marbre received her Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School in May 2013. While in law school, Marbre focused on the intersection of criminal justice and civil rights and gained legal experience with the Bronx Defenders, the Equal Justice Initiative and the Prison Policy Initiative. Before law school Marbre received her Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and worked in Zimbabwe organizing communities impacted by violence and then in South Africa teaching at Nelson Mandela’s alma mater. Marbre graduated summa cum laude from Columbia University, with a BA in African-American History and Human Rights.
Previously, Luchelle served as the Chief of Staff to the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS), a position she was appointed to in 2015. Before that, she served in numerous leadership positions with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), including national data and technology director, national field director, director of strategic initiatives at SEIU Healthcare Minnesota, political director, communications director and executive director of the SEIU Minnesota State Council.
Luchelle has worked with many elected officials and organizations in a variety of capacities, including ISAIAH, Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, TakeAction Minnesota, AARP, Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, U.S. Senator Al Franken, the Democratic National Committee, Democracy Alliance, America Votes, State Voices, AFL-CIO, and Obama for America. An expert political and community organizer, Stevens served as campaign manager for Our Vote Our Future in Minnesota - the statewide campaign that defeated a Voter ID constitutional amendment in 2012. Against all odds, Luchelle led the campaign to a breakthrough victory with 54% of Minnesota voters opposing passage on Election Day.
Luchelle served on the board of Win Minnesota from 2009 to 2014 and co-developed the 2010 Fund, a statewide and national donor collaborative that played a critical role in the successful election of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton in 2010. Luchelle served as Senior Advisor on Al Franken’s successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2008. She directed the labor outreach and expanded organizing within key constituencies crucial in a campaign ultimately won by just 312 votes. From 2008 to 2012 Luchelle served as the co-chair of the DNC Budget and Finance Subcommittee where she organized the Democratic Party to hire its first ever Chief Diversity Officer. Luchelle championed for a diversity contracting policy that was adopted by the Charlotte 2012 Convention Host Committee and the Democratic National Convention Committee to spend at least one third of its aggregate dollars with diverse businesses. Earlier in her career, Luchelle served in the U.S. Navy as an air traffic controller and as an aerographer's mate (meteorology), and is a Gulf War veteran.
Rabia is a technology enthusiast with almost a decade of experience aligning technology with operations at organizations that promote equality, inclusion, and justice. She comes to the Center for Popular Democracy from Transportation Alternatives, the leading voice for safer, more livable streets in New York City. At TransAlt, Rabia automated business processes, introduced business intelligence tools that gave light to previously invisible data, and implemented new technologies that allowed staff to focus more on the work that advances the mission. Prior to TransAlt, she was a CRM Consultant for Build Consulting, where she helped nonprofits better leverage technology to increase marketing and fundraising success. Rabia's nonprofit career started at Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, where she worked in fundraising operations and technology. Rabia is also a proud former board member of the South Asian American Digital Archive, where she led a campaign that allowed this emerging nonprofit to hire its first salaried staff.
Kimihel works within the Development and Communications Department to support CPD's grant management and compliance functions, and coordinate CPD's sub-granting program that drives significant resources to our partners in the field. He will also work on fundraising research. Prior to CPD, Kimihel worked for 8 years in program administration with various non-profits and community organizations in Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, DC and New York, NY. He has a BA in Political Science from the University of Georgia and an MPA from Clark-Atlanta University.
Emily works in coalition with partners around the country to make policy that promotes civil rights and racial justice. Much of her work focuses on severing the relationship between immigration enforcement and the criminal justice system. Most recently, Emily served as Director of Policy and Advocacy at Detention Watch Network (DWN), an advocacy organization in Washington, DC which represents a network of 200 organizations and individuals in the national immigration policy community. DWN advocates with members of Congress and high level officials at the Department of Homeland Security and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement to push the Network’s priorities for reform of the detention and enforcement regime. Emily graduated with a JD from Boston University, an MA from Harvard University and a BA from McGill University.
A native of Colombia, Aura Vasquez is an organizer for environmental and social justice. She brings over ten years of experience working with multiple stakeholders from the government, the private sector, and diverse communities. While earning a degree in Political Science at CUNY-Lehman, she worked as a Political Advisor at Congressman Eliot Engel’s office in 2005. Her public policy experience led her to a position at the United Way of NYC. After moving to Los Angeles, Aura worked as an organizer for immigrant rights with the PICO Network in California. In March of 2014, Aura worked with former Mayor Villaraigosa, the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign, and a citywide coalition that led to the announcement that from 2025, LA will be coal free. Aura also helped spearhead the ban of single use plastic bags in California, along with a coalition of environmental groups, community based organizations, and legislators. She recently designed, led, and coordinated the Southern California Advocates for Clean Air (SCACA). Aura currently serves as Vice President of the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council and is a board member of the LA League of Conservation Voters.
Maurice supports partner work in the areas of Housing Justice and Wall Street Accountability. Maurice comes to CPD with direct experience planning effective ground campaigns at CPD partner organizations. Prior to CPD, he was the Campaign Director for Rise Up Georgia and before that spent four years as the Campaign Coordinator with The Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment where he led community campaigns in the areas Education, Predatory Debt, Racial Justice and Housing Justice. As a campaign organizer, his main focus has been on exposing injustices spurred by Wall Street and White Supremacy in ways that lead to wins for the working class and people of color through direct action. In 2009, Maurice graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania with a degree in Sociology and Peace and Conflict Studies. He is originally from Newark, NJ.