2022 Election Watch: ARIZONA, KANSAS, MICHIGAN, MISSOURI, OHIO, WASHINGTON
It’s August and, like summer, primary season continues to heat up! Check out these 41 Run for Something endorsees that will appear on the ballot in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Washington on Tuesday, August 2. Take a look to see if any of them are near you and sign up for a couple of volunteer shifts this weekend to get them across the finish line.
Arizona House, District 22
Volunteer with Natacha
Natacha Chavez was born in Guam, the daughter of an immigrant from the Caribbean French island Guadeloupe and a Navy Veteran. She has lived in Phoenix since the age of 7. She has raised her two children in West phoenix for close to a decade.
Natacha first became involved in politics while attending Phoenix College at 19. She started volunteering with John Kerry presidential campaign. From then on she has spent her entire adulthood either volunteering or working within the Democratic party and nonprofits. She has been involved with nonprofits such as East Valley NAACP, LUCHA, PDA,Moms clean air force and countless others.
Natacha Chavez is running for the state house in LD-22 because she believes we need elected officials who will boldly stand up for issues facing our community. She believes it’s time our elected officials are diverse like our population as a millenial Black woman and mom she brings her own unique perspective. Some of the issues she will fight for at the legislature are public education, the economy, housing and food security, voting rights, the environment and many others.
Arizona House, District 24
Volunteer with Analise
Analise Ortiz is a born-and-raised Arizonan, a former journalist, and a civil rights activist running to represent West Phoenix and Glendale in the Arizona House of Representatives LD 24. Ortiz’s parents, who are both educators, taught their six kids that communities are strongest when neighbors look out for each other. Ortiz graduated from ASU with dreams of becoming an investigative journalist. As she uncovered injustice in her community, she knew it wasn’t enough to just report on it–she had to work to change it. As a campaign strategist for the ACLU of Arizona, Ortiz helped stop several bills that would have infringed upon our right to vote and our right to access reproductive healthcare. In 2021, she played a key role in the passage of the Dignity for Incarcerated Women Act. Ortiz is now an auntie to six kids and is dedicated to building a brighter future for them and all Arizonans. Ortiz will work to invest in public schools, address the high cost of housing, and bring good-paying jobs to her community.
Arizona Senate, District 18
Volunteer with Priya
Priya is running for State Senate in the new LD18 to make Arizona a leader in renewable energy, restore balance to our water needs through conservation and efficiency, and improve our democracy by making voting easy and accessible to all.
Priya was born and raised in Tucson, and wants all Arizona children to receive the excellent public education she received growing up here. She teaches natural resources law at the University of Arizona and has advocated for an environmental nonprofit organization, and her experience will be an asset to the legislature in addressing climate change and water scarcity. She is a voting rights advocate and has been leading voter protection efforts and engagement on redistricting within the Arizona Democratic Party. Priya studied engineering at MIT and law and natural resource economics at the U of A, so she knows we need more science-based decision-making in politics. As a mom of two young boys, she wants her children and all children to inherit a sustainable world and sustainable Arizona.
Casa Grande City Council
Volunteer with Devin
Devin Festa is a Pinal County community organizer running for Casa Grande City Council. She is familiar with the unique struggles of growing up in a working class rural community. With her background in political organizing, Devin wants to bring her perspective on affordable housing, community engagement, and sustainable urban development to the city council.
Originally raised in San Tan Valley, Devin moved to Casa Grande to be closer to relatives after her family lost their home during the 2008 financial crisis. Due to this experience, she understands the importance of addressing the rising cost of housing in her community. Devin wants to make sure that the city prioritizes the need for a variety of affordable housing options as it continues to expand and grow. She wants to push for multi-family zoning and rezoning existing areas throughout the city that can support various housing types that fit the needs of the community.
Additionally, through her experience interning with her local congressman and working with the local non-profit Rural Arizona Engagement (RAZE), she realized the importance of engaging with young voters. She believes that young voices can bring a much-needed fresh-perspective to local government. Finally, as Casa Grande continues to grow, she wants to make sure it does so responsibly, following the principles of sustainable development. This would be achieved by supporting water conservation, encouraging public transit development, and maintaining community sidewalks, bike lanes, and trails for easier pedestrian use.
Wyandotte County District Court Judge, 29th District Division 12
Volunteer with Candice
Candice has been working in the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office since 2016. She has worked in multiple units, including juvenile offender and adult criminal. Currently, she prosecutes juvenile and adult cases, including murders, sex cases, robberies, batteries, domestic, drugs, etc. In addition, Candice represents the DA’s Office on the Wyandotte County Youth Fatality Review Board.
Candice is a Washburn Law graduate and serves as a member of the Washburn Law Mentor Program. She is also a member of Leadership 2000 — Class 35, Kiwanis Club of Kansas City, Kansas West, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City, and the Kansas City, Kansas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, Sorority, Inc. In 2021, she was awarded the Women of Wyandotte Award.
Allegan County Board, District 5
Volunteer with Austin
Austin is running for County Commissioner in southeastern Allegan County, Michigan, where he was born and raised. Austin is running on the platform that everyone deserves a fair shot. He’s fighting for access to clean drinking water, good-paying jobs, and a reliable internet connection.
As an elected Board of Education Trustee, Austin has a track record of putting people and community first. He has voted to invest in our students, support public health, and increase pay for teachers.
Austin is in this fight because a new generation of progressive leadership is needed in board chambers.
Ayesha Ghazi Edwin
Ann Arbor City Council, Ward 3
Volunteer with Ayesha
Ayesha Ghazi Edwin is an educator, nonprofit leader, social worker, and community leader. She has dedicated her career to fighting on the frontlines of social justice causes, from advocating for affordable healthcare, disability justice, immigration reform, voting rights, labor rights, and civil rights. She is running as a progressive democrat for Ann Arbor City Council to represent her ward 3 neighbors. Ayesha is committed to making her community more affordable, equitable, and inclusive. As an Ann Arbor Human Rights Commissioner, Ayesha has worked on ordinances that include demanding transparency in traffic data from police to monitor bias, banning conversion therapy, banning housing discrimination against those with a prior criminal record, among other initiatives that have made Ann Arbor more equitable. As a first-generation immigrant, Ayesha is extensively involved in the Asian American community, and is the Governor Gretchen Whitmer appointed Chair of the state’s Michigan Asian Pacific American Affairs Commission. Ayesha was raised in Ann Arbor, where she now lives with her husband and two sons.
Ingham County Board of Commissioners, District 13
Volunteer with Graham
Graham is a student, rising educator, and climate policy researcher fighting for progressive change for his community. He is running for the Ingham County Board of Commissioners in District 13 to deliver on climate change, criminal justice reform, LGBTQIA+ equity, and reproductive rights.
Graham is a graduate of Haslett High School and Michigan State University. He lives in Haslett with his fiancée, Summer and their cat, Piper. He is running for office because he believes that better is possible, if we demand it. In his 21 years, Graham has only known a world characterized by growing threats to equality, democracy, and our environment. He believes that it is his duty to rectify the mistakes of the past in order to build a brighter tomorrow.
Macomb County Commission, District 2
Volunteer with Mai
Mai Xiong was elected to her first term on the Macomb County Board of Commissioners in November 2020. Xiong represents the residents of Center Line and parts of Warren. She is running for re-election in 2022. Xiong earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the College for Creative Studies with a focus on Web Design. She is the owner and designer of Mai&Co, a modern Hmong-American apparel and accessories brand with a storefront in Warren. She currently volunteers for a local chapter of the Lions Club and serves as a Board Member of the Macomb Food Program. She was recently named a 2022 Fellow for the Michigan Political Leadership Program at Michigan State University.
As a member of the Board of Commissioners, Xiong’s top priorities include supporting small businesses, advocating for the expansion of broadband infrastructure, and encouraging public health initiatives to protect the County’s most vulnerable populations. Mai speaks fluently in her native tongue, Hmong. As a result, she is also an occasional consultant for a translation and interpretation service organization.
Michigan House, District 18
Volunteer with Jason
Jason has spent the better part of his professional career in public service, working for the district for almost a decade as a legislative staffer for two district state legislators. He has also been elected twice to the Southfield City Council, winning his first election in 2019 by 27 votes. He was recently re-elected in 2021. He has been active on the council since he was elected, leading the city through the COVID-19 pandemic. He has worked to invest in neighborhoods, balance budgets, expand housing options, reform policing, and has been centering equity in everything the city does.
Jason is running because, in a term limited position, he has the proven experience to be ready on day one to tackle the issues that are important to the 18th district like investing in infrastructure, expanding affordable housing, and protecting the environment. A lawyer with a passion for justice, Jason will also fight against voter suppression, make reforms to Michigan’s criminal justice system, to protect reproductive freedom.
Jason was born and raised in Detroit and has lived in the district for over 10 years. He graduated from Eastern Michigan University with his bachelor’s in Political Science and his Master’s in Public Administration and he received his law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.
If elected Jason would be the first openly gay person of color ever elected to the Michigan Legislature.
Michigan House, District 18
Volunteer with Caprice
Caprice is a community change agent, rooted in community service, and she has worked with constituents on the state and federal level. Her legislative prowess, campaign knowledge, and strong ties to the community demonstrate her ability to address constituents concerns, build relationships, and work with different agencies.
As a congressional staffer for Congresswoman Brenda Lawrence, Caprice worked with the SBA, Veteran Affairs, Housing, Agriculture, and Department of Justice cases for residents of Michigan’s former 14th Congressional District. She also worked as a policy analyst for Detroit City Council District 7 and as a legislative aide and community coordinator for State Representative Kyra Harris-Bolden. She has written and helped pass some of Michigan’s most pressing laws, including HB 4132, which is part of the medically frail bill package.
Caprice has a bachelor’s degree in social relations and policy from Michigan State University.
Michigan House, District 20
Volunteer with Noah
Growing up in West Bloomfield, I was steeped in the teachings of my Jewish faith, including the phrase, “Justice, justice shall you pursue.” Those words were a lifeline for me when, 18 years old, I found myself in the courtroom testifying against the sexual predator who had assaulted me and many others.
I continued my pursuit of justice through politics, joining Governor Whitmer’s team to advocate for policies to help Oakland County. After the Pittsburgh synagogue attack, I founded the Michigan Democratic Jewish Caucus to empower Jewish Michiganders to take on hate, bigotry, and antisemitism. Most recently, I was appointed Director of Communications for the Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office, spearheading the first-ever Racial Justice Advisory Council and helping establish a partnership to assist in prosecuting hate crimes targeting LGBTQ+ people.
Each of these roles — as well as my experiences with depression and ADHD and my journey to self-acceptance as a gay man — drive my passion for addressing issues like Michigan’s mental health crisis and rising hate crimes.
I never imagined running for office, but I am tired of watching my hometown be treated like an afterthought in Lansing. We deserve a passionate, forward-thinking, relentless leader who exhausts every path to find innovative, common-sense solutions. A leader who shows up, works tirelessly, and fights for us with faith and fidelity. That’s the kind of person I am. That’s the kind of representative I’ll be. For West Bloomfield, Commerce, and the Lakes.
Michigan House, District 32
Volunteer with Marshall
Marshall Averill is an educator, coach and volunteer whose career has been dedicated to empowering marginalized communities through education and fierce advocacy. He is running to represent Michigan’s 32nd House District and fight for progressive policies that will benefit all Michiganders. As an educator, Marshall knows the importance of access to a quality education, that is why he is fighting to make Michigan’s Community Colleges tuition free. As a young black man, he is keenly aware of the mistreatment that marginalized communities suffer at the hands of law enforcement, and fights for common sense policies that will demand police accountability.
Marshall has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University in Political Science with a concentration in State and Local Government and a Non-Profit Administration Minor. He is currently pursuing a master’s in Public Policy at Michigan State University. In 2017 he was recognized by the 99th Michigan State Legislature for the positive impact his work with AmeriCorps and United Way of Washtenaw County had on his community. Today, he looks forward to the opportunity to continue to create positive change for his neighbors at home and across Michigan.
Michigan House, District 32
Volunteer with Jimmie
Jimmie Wilson Jr. is a lifelong resident of Ypsilanti, MI. He graduated from the Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology, where he obtained his airplane mechanic’s license. He later transitioned into renewable energy, building Wind Turbines. Jimmie currently works at Ford Motor Company as an electrician, where they are building hybrid batteries and all electric batteries. Jimmie was elected to the executive board of UAW Local 898 in 2014, where he is now serving his third term. In 2016, he was elected to the Ypsilanti Township Board of Trustees, where he is now serving his second term. He also sits on several boards, commissions and committees.
Jimmie is running for State Representative because he wants to make a greater impact for the Ypsilanti area that he has grown up in. He believes that housing, healthcare, and water should be a human right. We should not have people still worrying about affordable housing and where they will raise their families. They should not have to decide over whether to eat food or purchase medications. They should not be worried about whether they have clean water coming into their homes.
Jimmie understands that our rights need to be protected, whether it is worker’s rights, women’s reproductive rights, voting rights, or LGBTQ+ rights. Everyone deserves to be treated fairly and live with dignity & respect, and Jimmie will fight for nothing less than that.
Joey Andrews IV
Michigan House, District 38
Volunteer with Joey
Joey Andrews is running for Michigan’s newly drawn 38th House District located in Berrien, Allegan, and Van Buren counties. Joey was born in St. Joseph, Michigan, in 1988. He was raised in the district where he attended elementary school in Niles and Middle and High School at Lake Michigan Catholic Schools in St. Joseph before heading off to college at Carson-Newman University in Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s degree in History and Music and went to Law School at Wayne State University, graduating in 2013 with his J.D. and passing the Michigan Bar Exam a year later in 2014.
Joey’s roots in Southwest Michigan go back over 150 years, with his family members arriving in each wave of immigration to Southwest Michigan. His great grandfather was a UAW member for Studebaker. His grandfather was a union carpenter who immigrated to America after World War 2 from Germany and built a life for his family in Decatur, Michigan.
Carrie A. Rheingans
Michigan House, District 47
Volunteer with Carrie
Carrie is a health policy expert, educator, and community organizer with decades of experience bringing people and organizations together to tackle complex systems issues that improve health and reduce disparities. Running on a platform of Healthy People, Healthy Families, and Healthy Communities, Carrie believes that we can create conditions for each and every one of us to thrive to the top of our potential. Carrie currently serves as a contractor for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, working on projects related to Michigan’s behavioral health services systems and healthcare transformation. Before that, she was a health policy advocate and organizer working to ensure access for low-income community members. Carrie seeks the voices and experiences of those affected by policy to guide her when she makes policy decisions. Coming from a small town in Michigan and living in Ann Arbor for over 20 years, Carrie understands the issues that reach every corner of this district. As a Millennial parent, she knows the challenges of making ends meet with high housing costs, student loans, and high childcare costs. Carrie is active in her union, the U-M Lecturers Employee Organization, American Federation of Teachers Local 6244, and serves on her county’s Emergency Medical Services Commission and Board of Health. She is also on the executive board of her local Democratic club and the national organization Communities Joined in Action, which supports community leaders and organizations to improve health equity and reduce disparities in their own backyard.
Michigan House, District 55
Volunteer with Neil
Neil is a dedicated nonprofit leader and community organizer. He’s felt the call to serve and give back to his community from a young age, but never saw himself running for office personally. This year, he looked around his community and state and realized he had to step up to run because change is needed. He knew that whether or not we flip this seat could have huge consequences on issues like protecting healthcare access, especially abortion access for over 2 million people across the state. He’ll also fight to protect our clean air and water and stand up for our teachers and students in Lansing.
Michigan House, District 55
Volunteer with Natalie
Natalie is a current city councilmember, a former teacher, and a mom.
When Natalie moved to Berkley with her husband and two kids under two, she craved support and connection. She needed a village, but she didn’t realize that her village would need her too. Natalie signed up for the local parent-tot class only to learn that there was no teacher, so she decided to step up and teach. Natalie became the Administrative Vice President of the MOMS Club when they needed someone to lead service projects. Natalie heard of plans to build a free play space for children under five, a project that needed an organizer, and became a co-creator of the Backyard Playroom.
When a progressive candidate was needed to represent Berkley residents in the city council, Natalie stepped up to run for office. Since being elected in 2019, Natalie has voted to ban conversion therapy in Berkley, worked to expand Berkley’s non-discrimination policy to include gender identity and expression, served on a subcommittee that secured $100,000 for the installation of EV charging stations throughout the city, and passed a budget that includes a $15/hour or $40,000/year salaries for all city employees.
On the playgrounds, at the library, on the doors and on the phones, Natalie found the deep connection to her community that she was looking for. More importantly, she learned just how much we can accomplish when we value diversity, combine our strengths, and work together.
Michigan House, District 74
Volunteer with Carlee
Carlee is running for State Representative in the newly drawn 74th District to represent the communities of South Lansing and Holt, where she was born and raised. Coming from a working-class background, Carlee attended Holt Public Schools and benefited from the free lunch program. At 16, she started working minimum wage customer service jobs in the library, dining halls, restaurants, and coffee shops. Wishing to better the lives of people in her community through public service, Carlee earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from University of Michigan and attended graduate school at the University of Southern California to earn a master’s degree in Public Policy.
Most recently, Carlee served the Lansing area as the Mid-Michigan Regional Coordinator for U.S. Senator Gary Peters. In this role, Carlee acted as the bridge between the region and Washington D.C., fielding legislative requests and connecting residents with federal agencies. Carlee quickly became frustrated by the slow pace of government legislation. While communities in Michigan continue to face crises in education, economic inequality, climate, gun violence, mental health, and so many others, the policy solutions coming out of the state and federal government have been underwhelming and ineffective. That’s why Carlee is running to represent a new wave of progressive leaders who are ready to act on our most pressing issues by passing effective policy solutions to build a brighter future for people in her district and across Michigan.
Michigan House, District 77
Volunteer with Logan
Logan Byrne is an attorney, dedicated public servant, and alumnus of both Michigan State University College of Law and Eastern Michigan University. Growing up on a small family farm and participating in 4-H, he developed a strong work ethic, an appreciation for community, and an understanding of core American values. While studying Criminology at Eastern Michigan University, he originally planned a career in law enforcement. However, he decided to pursue further education and obtained his law degree to advance the lives of others through impact advocacy, which is now manifesting itself in a run for the 77th House District seat.
Politics has become inordinately divisive in recent years, which has created a deadlock in the legislature and has prevented meaningful progress. Logan is a young professional, not a career politician, and he prides himself in his ability to reach across the political aisle to build meaningful relationships with members of all political affiliations. As such, he is excited to facilitate bipartisan legislation and foster a cooperative State House environment.
Ultimately, Logan has dedicated his professional and personal life to advocating for and helping the underserved. As a result, he understands acutely what Michigan needs and he is eager to advocate for the 77th, a district that has been forgotten by the political elites. Win or lose, Logan hopes that his campaign for state representative will facilitate positive change by bringing attention to the needs of Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton County.
Michigan House, District 87
Volunteer with Debra
Debra is running for the 87th Michigan Legislative Assembly because she believes that she is the only candidate in the race who understands the real life challenges that many of our Muskegon area residents face every day. As a former elected official, health care worker and a mom of two young children, she will bring my unique perspective and skills to the job and will work hard to make sure all voices are heard in Lansing.
Debra is committed to a living wage, a strong, well-funded public education system, environmental protection and expanded voter rights. As a woman, she has a deep commitment to protecting our constitutional right to privacy and the ability for every woman to make her own choices about her reproductive health. As a health care worker, Debra will advocate for universal, quality health care free to patients at the point of care and will work hard to protect mental health services in our community.
Michigan House, District 103
Volunteer with Michael
Michael is running for the Michigan State House because of very real issues on the ballot, from combating gun violence and protecting reproductive choice, to incentivizing the construction of more attainable housing and overcoming political polarization. He has spent his entire career lowering barriers to political entry, working to make public policy more accessible, and empowering neighbors whether or not he agreed with them. Michael knows what it takes to draw young families and professionals back home, and he is committed to building the kind of year-round community that is both sustainable and opportunity-filled.
Currently serving on the Board of Directors of Traverse City’s Downtown Development Authority, Michael is also on the Planning Committee of his local congregation and will soon teach at Northwestern Michigan College. He helped build one of the country’s most successful civic technology companies from the ground up, worked as a community organizer, and researched diplomatic affairs with a foreign policy think tank.
Michael earned his bachelor’s degree summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis and masters degree with distinction from the London School of Economics. He lives with his wife in Traverse City and is glad to be building their family here.
Michigan Senate, District 8
Volunteer with Mallory
After flipping a seat against an incumbent in 2018 to help break the Republican Supermajority in the Michigan Senate, State Senator Mallory McMorrow is running for re-election to continue her tireless work to move Michigan forward. She’s been a fierce advocate on some of the most critical issues of our time: fighting back against attacks on our democracy and elections, protecting women’s reproductive rights, and as a leading voice to end gun violence. As one of the few Senators to ever give birth while in office, McMorrow has candidly shared her own struggles — including postpartum depression while taking leave — and has introduced legislation to make it easier for all moms to be empowered and supported in the workforce.
Kelsey Heck Wood
Michigan Senate, District 14
Volunteer with Kelsey
Kelsey was born and raised in rural northern Michigan. Her mom was a waitress at a local restaurant, and worked long hours to put food on the table. As she grew up, Kelsey went on to benefit from Head Start and a great public education from McBain Rural Agricultural School, and became the first in her family to graduate from college.
In 2017, Kelsey put her organizing skills to use and worked alongside members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community to help pass Jackson’s non-discrimination ordinanceInspired by the testimony of those speaking in favor of this ordinance and the bravery of those who led the way before her, it was during public comment that Kelsey came out as bisexual. The ordinance passed 5–2, and continues to serve as a reminder that the toughest fights are always the ones worth taking on, and progress can be achieved when we come together and demand it.
When another opportunity to serve her community arose, and a vacancy opened up on the City Council, Kelsey was appointed to represent the people of Ward 5. In her time on City Council, she fought hard for, and passed, progressive policies that would benefit the least privileged people in her community.
In her free time, Kelsey enjoys reading, cooking, and tackling DIY projects around the 100-year old home she shares with her husband, Conner, and two cats, Bingo and Dan.
Oakland County Board, District 4
Volunteer with Brendan
Brendan Johnson is a proud Michigander who wants to bring a new generation of leadership to his hometown. Born and raised in the greater Rochester area, he is running for Oakland County’s 4th Commissioner district. He has a background in national security, previously working for Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin and the U.S. State Department. He currently serves as the Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Michigan State Representative Samantha Steckloff, working hard to pass transformational budgets in Transportation and Higher Education. Brendan has a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University and a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Washtenaw County Commission, District 6
Volunteer with Annie
Annie Somerville is a progressive Democrat running for Washtenaw County Commission in District 6. She is running for County Commission because she believes access to food, housing, clean water, and healthcare are fundamental human rights.
Her top issues include: expanding housing access, investing in climate adaptation, increasing county-wide re-entry services, investing in youth and community-based violence de-escalation, expanding support for seniors to age in place with dignity, and protecting safe access to abortion care.
Jackson County Legislature, 3rd District at-large
Volunteer with Megan
Megan is a 20-year Marine veteran and first African American elected to the Lee’s Summit (MO) Board of Education. Megan chose to run for Jackson County Legislature, 3rd District At-Large because taxpayers deserve engaged and accessible representation from county government. Megan is fighting for taxpayer accountability, fair property tax assessments, expansion of mental health services, and proven strategies to reduce violent crime. Megan is committed to constituent engagement across Jackson County and providing greater access and equity in county government.
Jackson County Legislature, District 1
Volunteer with Justice
Justice Horn is running to serve Jackson County’s first district in the Jackson County Legislature. He’s a young Missourian running to be the first openly gay person of color elected to local office in Kansas City, Missouri. Justice is planning to bring equity, accountability, and community to Jackson County, Missouri. Justice believes that the path forward to achieve equity in Jackson County is to empower everyone in our community.
Justice believes that it should be easy to hold elected officials accountable- that’s why he wants to bring transparency to the County through technological updates to keep the community informed, as well as increasing the transparency and oversight of spending. He also believes that community organizing is a cornerstone of social change. If elected, Justice would become the first openly LGBTQ+ Jackson County Legislator, as well as the first Black representative of the first district. Justice is also of Pacific Islander and Native Blackfoot heritage.
Anthony T. Ealy, Jr.
Missouri House, District 36
Volunteer with Anthony
Anthony is a progressive activist running for the Missouri House of Representatives in District 36. He is a lawyer who represents unions and supports the causes of labor. While in law school, he was a member of the National Black Law Students Association’s (NBLSA) 52nd Board of Directors.
Anthony believes that the people of Grandview and Kansas City deserve bold, new leadership. He plans to be the progressive change that the working-class people of District 36 deserve.
Ohio House, District 7
Volunteer with DaVon
DaVon Marshall is a native of Ohio, a committed organizer, and a dedicated advocate for his community, especially those from underserved and marginalized backgrounds. Growing up, he attended grade school in Columbus City School District, the largest Ohio school district, yet, it was one of the most underfunded. Here he began his journey to become the first person in his family to attend higher education and start his career as a young mentor, educator, and volunteer for multiple organizations within his community. These organizations respond to LGBTQIA+ rights, education reform, child protection, support, and more.
DaVon promises to build out public resources. Among these are improving access to education at all levels, improving public transportation, advocating for better healthcare solutions, making broadband services more affordable for low-income households, and building out social and physical infrastructure for all Ohioans.
DaVon believes that Ohio is at a crucial time for a change, and it’s time to restore the power to the people. DaVon knows that communities deserve opportunities that will elevate them, not destroy them, and he will fight for what’s right.
Ohio House, District 24
Ohio House, District 43
Volunteer with Daniel
Daniel Ortiz is a healthcare worker and Toledo lifer running to represent his home city in the Ohio State House. As a nationally certified technician (CPhT) who has worked in healthcare most of his adult life, Daniel has come face-to-face with the real challenges that working-class families in Ohio struggle through and knows how desperately the healthcare system needs to be reformed.
With deep roots in Toledo, Daniel knows how much this city has to offer, and he’s in this fight to improve the livelihoods of his friends, neighbors, and family. He’s committed to uplifting the community that he loves through bold, progressive solutions that benefit ALL Ohioans.
Ohio House, District 43
Volunteer with Michele
Dr. Michele Grim is a public health advocate and educator who has spent her career helping communities strengthen access to medical care and respond effectively to public health emergencies. On City Council, Michele is taking on Toledo’s most serious challenges and standing up for a healthier and safer community for all of us. Michele worked to establish Toledo City Council’s Health Promotion & Access Committee and leads the committee as chair. Her professional experience includes leading preventive healthcare initiatives as an epidemiologist and health educator, strengthening funding for community clinics and developing healthcare programs as a health planner, and public policy research and data analysis in the areas of health promotion and gun violence prevention. Her doctoral research examining Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) implementation was published in the June 2021 issue of the University of Minnesota’s Public Health Review.
Michele has served in numerous capacities in the fight against HIV/AIDS, including working with AIDS Service Organizations in Toledo (Equitas Health) and Oakland, CA (AIDS Project East Bay) and with the Ohio HIV Evaluation and Training Project.
A committed leader in the struggle to end violence against women, Michele volunteered as a rape crisis counselor for ten years beginning in her teens, coordinated sexual assault education and prevention programs at the University of Toledo, volunteered as a health educator at Planned Parenthood’s Teen Clinic, and helped organize Toledo’s delegation to the March for Women’s Lives in Washington. She has since worked to fund healthcare and essential services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault as well as to promote trauma-informed crisis intervention training and more effective laws to stop domestic gun violence.
Michele grew up in a blue collar union family in Ashland, Ohio where she learned the dignity of work. The first in her immediate family to graduate college, she worked multiple jobs while a student at UT, including working in the residence halls, as a dollar store cashier, and returning home summers to join her mother on the assembly line at the local rubber factory. Michele is a proud member of both the Toledo Federation of Teachers Local 250 and Guild Freelancers (The NewsGuild / Communications Workers of America Local 39521) and a past member of United Steelworkers and the Service Employees International Union.
Michele, 40, owns a home with her husband Ben Krompak in the Lincolnshire neighborhood of West Toledo that they share with their dog Maximum Rocknroll.
Ohio House, District 56
Volunteer with Sam
Sam Cao is a high school student and a youth activist that is fighting to flip the Ohio House seat of District 56 into one of love, compassion, and unity. Sam grew up in a family of two immigrant parents; he shares a dislike for unnecessary divisiveness. He is a big advocate for commonalities rather than differences: sisterhood and brotherhood. He put his name on the ballot because he fell in love with people, and he believes that we CAN do better to make this state a better place to live for all people. Since the fifth grade, he has been active in public service, volunteering for campaigns and creating a Guinea Worm PSA that earned high accolades from several African health ministers as well as President Carter. He is the youngest in Ohio’s history to ever run for office, at 17, and would be the youngest state legislator in US history after November, bringing more representation to current generations and inspiring future ones. With the current incumbent leaving office, Ohio needs a new representative, one who doesn’t have one of the lowest attendance rates in the Columbus statehouse and has said that his vote does NOT matter, like the current officeholder. Sam runs because legislators in Columbus have not had the people’s best interests at heart. What Sam stands for is preventing a future Lost Generation, grown up in a hate-filled administration. He fights for civil rights, the environment, and for more investment in public education.
Ohio House, District 58
Volunteer with Lauren
Lauren McNally is the City of Youngstown’s 5th Ward Councilwoman. She currently lives on the West Side of Youngstown with her husband and four kids. Lauren graduated from Ursuline High School and continued her education at Miami University and Ohio State University earning degrees in Political Science and Journalism. After college, she worked around the country as a journalist for various local NPR stations and newspapers.
Previously, Lauren worked in marketing and public relations for Involta, a technology firm with offices in Youngstown. She has also served on various community organizations’ boards including the Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley, Women’s Junior League of Youngstown, Mahoning Valley Young Professionals, and Mahoning County Young Democrats. She currently gives back to the community through service in organizations including the Ladies’ Ancient Order of Hibernians, Burke School of Irish Dance, St. Christine’s Home and School and Mahoning County Democratic Party.
Ohio House, District 64
Volunteer with Bria
Bria Bennett is a community organizer who is focused on amplifying the voices of her district. She is running to represent District 64’s fight to bring back quality jobs and business opportunities, improve access to basic needs such as quality grocery stores, and to innovate and increase our healthcare services. Having successfully sued the Ohio Redistricting Commission, she is on the front lines of the fight for voter rights and fair districts. She believes it is critical for our elections to be fair and for voters to choose their representatives, not the other way around.
Bria has worked with various community organizations to bring about neighborhood revitalization, tackle health equity, improve our educational system, and fight racial disparity. Working with these organizations have given her the opportunity to meet people of all walks of life and to understand the unique challenges and opportunities in District 64. She is serving her community as the Vice President of the Trumbull County Young Democrats and Deputy Communications Director of the Ohio Young Democrats.
Ohio House, District 83
Volunteer with Claire
Claire Osborne is permanently passionate about ensuring Ohio is a great place to live, work and thrive. This can be achieved if we dare to Recover, Reimagine, & Rebuild Ohio for our future. Claire is a licensed social worker who earned her undergraduate degree from The University of Findlay and master’s degree in community social work from Baylor University. Today she works as the program manager for a local peer recovery community organization that is focused on helping build recovery skills for those who struggle with substance abuse, mental health conditions, and trauma. She is permanently passionate about investing her time and energy to help other community members who battle these issues due to her own lived experience as a formerly incarcerated individual who is in long-term recovery. Claire recognized a need for belonging for local youth in response to many of the area’s youth leaving the district for bigger cities in or outside of Ohio. As a result, she co-founded the Hancock County Young Democrats and was elected and continues to serve as its current president.
She is running for Ohio House on the belief that Ohioans deserve a high quality of life where each individual and community can thrive. Claire knows firsthand how poor policy decisions made at the state level affect a community and the people who make up that community’s well being. Together she knows we can help heal Ohio.
Kitsap County Commissioners, District 3
Volunteer with Leiyomi
Leiyomi (Lay-OH-Mee) is a certified peer counselor and community advocate who is recognized nationwide for her leadership on understanding homelessness and mental healthcare through an intersectional lens. As a survivor of domestic violence, homelessness, and depression in Kitsap County, Leiyomi understands firsthand how difficult it can be for our neighbors to receive help during their most urgent times of need, and how just a little opportunity goes a long way toward helping build a better quality of life for us all. That is why she is committed to de-stigmatizing difficult conversations about poverty, housing insecurity, mental health, race, and gender identity — and why she fights to break the barriers to support services so that folks can get help when and where they need it most.
Leiyomi believes housing is a human right, and she believes the science that shows Housing First maximizes outcomes for recovery from economic and mental-health hardship. She would expand emergency and transitional housing units on county lands, and fight to ensure that longtime residents aren’t priced out of the county due to new luxury developments. She is committed to expanding and modernizing transit infrastructure and service options — folks shouldn’t need a car to thrive in Kitsap, and infrastructure improvements help keep our county lush and green for the next generation. Leiyomi will secure full, equity-oriented funding for health and social services, to keep our neighborhoods healthy and safe, and to ease the burden on law enforcement by leaving interventions to the experts. Leiyomi lives in Bremerton with her two cats.
Washington House, District 34, Position 1
Volunteer with Leah
Leah is a school librarian, who is passionate about her district. As a librarian, Leah knows everyone has a story to tell. Eight years ago, her whole world fell apart when she was raped by a man in her neighborhood. She encountered a series of broken systems, but she also learned that the community is far more powerful when everyone shares their stories. This is what legislators should do: listen to the stories, make connections, and change systems and lives.
Leah worked on multiple laws to reform the systems which failed her, such as bills that require rape kits to be tested, tracked, and stored. As a result of Leah’s work with Senator Patty Murray on the Survivor’s Access to Supportive Care Act, $150 million have been allocated to train sexual assault nurse examiners.
Leah has worked to change the ending to her story, and she is running because she wants her neighbors to change the ending to their stories too. Her neighbors are worried about gun violence, abortion rights, the economy, climate change, accessible mental healthcare, and homelessness. She has successfully stood up to institutions to make change, and neighbors in her district can be assured she will stand with them as well.
Washington House, District 46
Volunteer with Darya
Darya Farivar (she/they) is a lifelong resident of the 46th Legislative District, a first-generation Iranian-American woman, a 27 year old millennial, and a proud Democrat. She is by far the youngest candidate in this race, and at the same time the most qualified. Darya is the Public Policy Director at Disability Rights Washington, a private, non-profit organization that protects the rights of people with disabilities statewide. As a lobbyist she spends her time working directly with the state legislature on disability and civil rights issues. Her primary focus is the intersection of behavioral health, housing/homelessness, and the criminal legal system. She has years of experience working with different levels of government on different areas of policy through her time as Co-Chair of the Seattle Women’s Commission and Policy Chair of the Washington State Special Education Advisory Council.
Darya believes we need legislators who understand disability justice, reflect the lived experiences of our communities, and bring those most impacted to the decision making table. This is why she is running as a Democrat for the Washington State House of Representatives in the 46th Legislative District for Position 2. If elected, she will continue her work to divert people with behavioral health disabilities from the criminal legal system and institutions by providing meaningful treatment as soon as it’s needed and long-term supportive housing. Darya would be proud to serve as the first millennial to represent the district and the first ever Middle Eastern Woman elected to the state legislature.
Washington House, District 47, Position 2
Volunteer with Shukri
Shukri Olow is a mother and a community organizer who has worked with the residents of South King County on issues of housing, education, and human services. As a child, she and her family fled civil war in Somalia, and found a home in the Kent public housing system. She’s running to represent the diverse community that welcomed them in District 47. At the Best Starts for Kids initiative, she has managed programs that directly support families and children, helping them reach adulthood happy, healthy, safe, and thriving. As a leader of the Youth Development Strategy, an organization that supports 32 other youth-serving organizations. Passionately invested in her community, she has served on a number of boards and organizations including Kent Youth and Family Services, Kent Rotary, Kent YMCA, and the Steering Committee for the Kent Education Levy in 2022. Shukri has a B.A. in Public Affairs, a Masters in Public Administration, and a Doctorate in Education from Seattle University. She lives in Kent with her two children.