2022 Election Watch: Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma and Utah
Primary season is here and Run for Something is thrilled to share 45 endorsed candidates who will appear on the ballot in Colorado, Illinois, New York, Oklahoma and Utah on June 28th! Take a look and see if any of them are in your neighborhood and sign up to ensure they are on the ballot in November by volunteering this weekend.
Colorado House, District 1
Javier Mabrey is running for Colorado’s House District 1 to fight for hard-working families like his own. Javier’s mother raised Javier and his brother Thomas on her own, and her only source of income was her social security disability check. Javier and his family know what it means to struggle, to rely on food banks, and eventually face homelessness.
Javier dropped out of high school after his family dealt with housing instability and homelessness. He went back to school to become an advocate for families like his. He worked his way through community college washing dishes and delivering pizzas before going to Berkeley Law School to pursue a career representing tenants facing eviction. After law school, Javier helped found a non-profit focused on keeping Coloradans in their homes. Since 2020 Javier’s organization has represented thousands of Coloradans facing eviction and successfully advocated for significant policy changes to help renters in Colorado. He now works as an eviction defense attorney and community organizer. Javier is running for the statehouse to continue his advocacy for low-income and working families. If elected to represent House District 1, Javier will fight for economic justice, affordable housing, racial justice, and universal health care.
Colorado House, District 7
As an African American woman, Jennifer recognized from an early age her duty to fight for the success of disenfranchised communities. Despite their zip code, skin color, or aspirations in life, all people deserve the right to be free from oppression and live happy and prosperous lives. Because of this, Jennifer sought to educate in the classroom, build power with students and families as a lawyer and community organizer, and partner with neighbors as a school board member. Now she is running for re-election to continue serving her community as the Colorado House District 7 Representative.
From education funding, to issues in social justice or civil rights, and being able to afford to live in Colorado, the State House is where the root of many of these issues can be resolved. Jennifer knows policies typically fail because those impacted by them are not at the table when they are made. Jennifer is a leader that collaborates with stakeholders and listens to their needs and concerns to solve real issues.
Colorado House, District 17
Mischa Smith is a progressive Democrat running for House District 17 in Colorado Springs. Her core values are servant leadership, compassion, and hard work. Mischa is the daughter of dual Army parents who were stationed and chose to retire in her community when she was six months old. She is a first-generation college graduate who spent her career working towards change, growth and giving back to the community. Her passion for community and her neighbors led her to work in education, mental health, long term Medicaid, and to run small businesses. She started her journey by way of political action and public service in 2008 for Barack Obama’s campaign, knocking over one thousand doors. That experience showed her the power of representation. The hope she garnered from that race lit a fire and since then, she has spent the past decade working on campaigns and organizing for candidates in Colorado and across the country. She will defend our right to choose, will advocate for healthcare for all, and for equal treatment regardless of our race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Colorado House, District 24
Lindsey has always had a passion for activism and social justice. At just eight years old, she fought to include girls in the all-boys recess soccer game. While in college, she canvassed door-to-door to promote voter registration. Today, she is honored to be the State Representative for House District 29.
Lindsey grew up in Loveland, playing soccer for the local league. While a high school student, she led local service projects through the National Honors Society, and ran track and played basketball on the varsity teams. Growing up, Loveland was still a small community, and Lindsey came to appreciate how common values and goals shape an individual, and our societies.
For college, Lindsey attended the University of Northern Iowa on a soccer scholarship, and then the University of Denver for law school. During this time, she interned for former Congressman Bruce Braley in the House of Representatives, former Senator Tom Harkin on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pension Committee investigating for-profit colleges, and clerked for the White House Domestic Policy under the Obama Administration in Washington, DC.
After passing the Colorado bar exam, Lindsey started her own law firm where she is able to amplify the voices of those in need on a daily basis. She also volunteers at free legal nights for the underserved, and is a member of the Colorado Bar Association, Colorado Women’s Bar Association, American Association of Justice, and the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association.
On the weekends, you can find Lindsey biking the trails in Arvada or hanging out at the Old Town farmer’s market. Lindsey values the sense of community in this district, and she is committed to protecting that. She believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to participate in the decisions affecting us all, and will work to give everyone the ability to thrive.
You can read more about Lindsey on her website here: www.LindseyforColorado.com
Colorado House, District 33
William is a former community organizer and current Broomfield City Councilmember running to represent District 33 in the Colorado House of Representatives. William knows what it’s like to struggle and how important it is to create opportunities to succeed. He’s running to make Colorado more affordable, increase funding for our public schools, and to stop the devastating impacts of climate change. William lives with his partner Bria and their retired racing greyhound, Pax.
Colorado House, District 38
Representative David Ortiz is a community advocate whose life’s vocation is service to others. His service started with resettling evacuees after hurricane Katrina, creating educational and economic exchanges for the City of Houston, and as a combat aviator in the US Army. Following a crash while deployed to Afghanistan that left him paralyzed from the waist down, David returned home and made it his mission to rebuild his life and continue his mission of service, raising funds for Craig Hospital as well as serving as lead lobbyist for the United Veterans Committee of Colorado (UVC). Following his years of advocating for veterans and all Colorado residents alike, David won his election in 2020 to become the Colorado House Representative for District 38.
Colorado House, District 41
Iman Jodeh is the first Muslim and first Palestinian to be elected to the Colorado State Legislature. A lifelong resident of House District 41, she is proud to represent one of the most diverse districts in Colorado. The daughter of Palestinian immigrants and refugees, she is the product of their American Dream, and she is determined to give everyone their shot to realize their own American Dream. She has made healthcare, housing, immigrant rights, and education her policy priorities. Her record stands with landmark legislation, passing the Colorado Option, the largest healthcare bill in Colorado history, the establishment of the Office of New Americans, and protecting people from eviction and rent increases — all in her first term. She hopes to continue to champion legislation that protects all Coloradans, especially those that have been traditionally marginalized and underrepresented. Iman lives in Aurora, Colorado with her husband and large family, always coming together around spectacular food, and enjoying some of the most majestic mountains in the world by fly fishing its beautiful rivers.
Colorado Senate, District 5
Dylan Roberts currently represents House District 26 in the Colorado House of Representatives and now he is running for the Colorado State Senate. Since 2018, his work at the legislature has focused on lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, protecting our environment and water, finding ways to lower the cost of living, and promoting rural economic development. He wrote the bill that made Colorado the first state in the country to cap the cost of insulin for people with diabetes which has now been passed in many other states and this past year, he led the effort to create the Colorado Public Health Insurance Option. Since 2018, Dylan has successfully passed 70 bills into law with 97% of them receiving bipartisan support and has now held over 50 town hall meetings in all corners of his district.
Colorado’s mountain communities are at a tipping point; they are facing a crisis in affordable housing for our working class, they stand to be hurt physically and economically from climate change, and their families need relief in the rising cost of living. Dylan’s track record of turning bold ideas into real results is what is needed in the State Senate for Colorado’s future.
Colorado Senate, District 9
Arik is a security engineer, parent, and public education advocate. He’s running to represent Colorado’s newly redistricted State Senate District 9, a rapidly growing mix of suburban and rural population, and he’s fighting to improve Colorado’s public education system, invest in infrastructure (including affordable access to necessary utilities), and fund public services that are necessary for every Coloradan (including healthcare, fire safety, transportation, and so much more). He has spoken out for gun control to keep children and families safe from gun violence. He has spoken for a diverse, equitable, and inclusive education to ensure an excellent education for every child. Arik lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and four young children.
Colorado Senate, District 34
Julie Gonzales is a progressive Democrat serving north, west, and downtown Denver as the state Senator for Senate District 34. With roots that stretch back generations in Colorado, Julie has spent her life organizing working people, Latinos, and young people on issues of affordable housing, educational justice, and immigrant rights. In her first three years in office, Julie strengthened protections for immigrant communities from ICE, repealed the death penalty, streamlined Colorado’s marijuana regulations, and allocated millions of dollars towards affordable housing. She currently serves as Chair of the Finance Committee; the Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee; and a member of the Appropriations and Legislative Audit Committees. She serves as the Colorado Senate Democrats Caucus Chair, Secretary of the Colorado Democratic Latino Caucus, and Treasurer for the Board of Latino Legislative Leaders.
Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder
Amanda Gonzalez is an attorney and nationally recognized elections expert who is running for Jefferson County Clerk and Recorder, an office never held by a Latino/a/x . She ran Colorado’s largest nonpartisan election effort in 2018 and 2020 and is running for office because she wants to ensure that every eligible voter casts a ballot and has that ballot accurately counted.
In her career she has served as a grant writer, community organizer, staff attorney, program director, professor, CEO and executive director, always with the goal of creating more inclusive governments, businesses, and communities. Amanda has also served as a board member for Focus Points Family Resource Center, United for a New Economy, the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association, the Colorado Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society, New Era Colorado Education Fund, and the Colorado Fiscal Institute. Amanda holds an undergraduate degree (psychology/cognitive science) from Occidental College and a law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. In 2015 she was named the Colorado Hispanic Bar Association’s Outstanding New Hispanic Lawyer and in 2019 she was named one of Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40.
When she’s not working she can be found scouring the front range for Colorado’s best wine, tacos, donuts, or dumplings, cuddling with her rescue dogs, or planning her next vacation in a very detailed spreadsheet.
University of Colorado Board of Regents, 1st Congressional District
Johnnie Nguyen is a practicing attorney and double CU graduate. He has studied for CU, taught for CU, worked for CU, researched for CU, lobbied for CU, and even protested for CU. Now, he is running for CU Regent. His campaign is all about access to education and fighting for students’ rights.
Cassandra “CJ” Johnson
Champaign County Treasurer
Cassandra “CJ” Johnson is a retired Air Force Senior Non-Commissioned Officer currently working on her doctorate in Organizational Change and Leadership. Her work in the Air Force included being a linguist, a diplomat, an intelligence analyst, a teacher, and a financial and operations manager.
CJ is running for Champaign County Treasurer because she knows she has the skills, energy, and determination necessary to fix the problems in the Treasurer’s office. She plans to improve processes and provide strategic vision for the staff, while engaging the community to rebuild their trust in the office.
If elected, CJ would be the first African-American woman sworn in to a countywide office in Champaign County.
Jaylin D. McClinton
Cook County Board of Commissioners, District 5
Jaylin has always firmly believed in the power of a community coming together. Born and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Jaylin still lives in the same Roseland house he grew-up in. But over the better part of nearly three decades, he’s seen the detrimental effects of neglect and corruption in his neighborhood first-hand. Jaylin’s running for Cook County Commissioner to raise the level of service residents of the 5th District can come to expect. He wants to address long ignored quality of life issues impacting residents every day. Folks are getting pushed further and further out of Chicago and its suburbs due to the rising cost of living. And despite lip service from establishment politicians, neither public safety nor equity in the justice system have improved. As a law student and community organizer, Jaylin is ready to bring a fresh face, new perspective, and bold leadership to the Cook County Board that centers the voices of working families and fights to bring long overdue resources to the South Side and Southland.
Anthony Joel Quezada
Cook County Board of Commissioners, District 8
Anthony Quezada is a dedicated public servant and community organizer running for 8th District Cook County Commissioner. He is the son of working-class immigrant parents from Costa Rica and Mexico. Born in Chicago and raised in Logan Square, Anthony experienced the struggles of living in poverty and witnessed the devastating effects of rapid gentrification in his community.
Anthony is running for Cook County Commissioner because he believes we need elected leadership that does more to represent the shared compassionate values of the 8th District. He knows that poor and working-class families are struggling to make ends meet and need a Commissioner who will fight for the resources they deserve.
Anthony believes that the guiding principle of government should be to do the greatest good. As Commissioner, Anthony will seek to do the greatest good by working to fully fund the Cook County hospitals system, protect the environment and create green jobs, address homelessness and poverty, ensure public safety for all, and provide tax relief to working and middle-class families by making wealthy corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
Kevin B. Morrison
Cook County Board of Commissioners, District 15
Kevin Morrison is proud to be serving his first term as Cook County Commissioner in the 15th District. In November 2018, Kevin made history by becoming the first openly LGBTQ Cook County Commissioner, at 28 years old the youngest in history, and the first Democrat to represent the District. This race was a major upset in Illinois, as Kevin beat the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
Kevin’s priorities include improving access to critical healthcare services, especially in the realm of mental health services, supporting small business development, and pushing for a more fair and transparent home assessment process. As a member of the LGBTQ community, he has already taken steps in expanding equity for the most disproportionately impacted and marginalized communities. Kevin currently sits as Chairman of Cook County’s Technology and Innovation Committee, and the Cook County Forest Preserve District Zoological Committee.
Kevin is a member of Cook County’s Small Business Working Group which focuses on providing assistance and support to the business community during the COVID-19 pandemic and Kevin was also appointed as a Commissioner on the Small Business and Supplier Diversity Commission which focuses on improving the process for MBE’s and WBE’s to participate in the procurement process.
Raised in Elk Grove Village, where he attended public schools and graduated from Conant High School. He went on to graduate from DePaul University, studying Political Science, Environmental Science, and LGBTQ Studies. In 2019, Kevin decided to continue his education by studying law at UIC Law School’s part-time night program.
In March 2019, Kevin was appointed as a Board Member to the One Victory Board. A branch of the Victory Fund, the most influential organization supporting LGBTQ candidates in up and down the ballot races nationally. Kevin currently serves as a Board Member on the Victory Fund Board.
Leticia “Letty” Garcia
Cook County Board of Commissioners, District 16
Letty Garcia is a pandemic COVID registered nurse, humanitarian, activist, community leader, pro-choice feminist and a lifetime trustworthy Democrat who has spent the last decade volunteering, advocating and selflessly given her time to the community and it’s constituents. She sits on several boards making executive decisions, working with nonprofits and organizations to help pass legislation/policies to better the life of our communities.
She is the best candidate to be the next Cook County Commissioner of the 16th District. Her dedication, motivation towards advocating for others and representing the voices of her district with transparency is her priority.
With your vote, her passion, motivation, experience and work she wants to change the face of politics- vote for Letty Garcia on 6/28/22.
DeKalb County Clerk
Growing up in communist Vietnam taught Linh to cherish Democracy. Fair elections are the heart and soul of the democratic process. Voting rights are sacred to Linh — every eligible voter should have equal access to the ballots.
Her Ph.D. training as a computational scientist and my experience as the President of the League of Women Voters of DeKalb County uniquely qualify Linh to deliver free, fair, and accessible elections and safe, complete, and available records.
Illinois House, District 13
Hoan Huynh is a neighborhood leader, small business advocate, and community investments expert. The son of refugees and a proud Chicagoan, Hoan is fighting for a progressive, equitable, and inclusive future where everyone has safety and meaningful opportunity.
Illinois House, District 51
Nabeela Syed is a skilled organizer and educational advocate, running for State Representative in Illinois’s 51st District. With experience fighting for educational equity, reproductive justice, and worker’s rights on a local and national scale, Nabeela hopes to serve the community she was born and raised in.
With climate change, healthcare, and education top of mind, Nabeela is running to be a champion on issues that affect residents of Illinois today and tomorrow. Nabeela has been engaged in her community, serving as a mentor for youth as a high school debate coach. She is also active in her religious community and is a strong advocate for promoting interfaith dialogue and empowering young Muslim women to lead.
Illinois House, District 72
Born and raised in Rock Island, Thurgood is a passionate and dedicated advocate for his community. Thurgood is a graduate of Rock Island High School and earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois University, majoring in History with a minor in political science. Immediately upon graduating from college, Thurgood returned home to get to work. Thurgood Brooks is a community builder and organizer who believes deeply in the power of citizens to create positive change. He has spent his career advocating for youth, businesses, and the development of partnerships for the betterment of our community. Through his work as a Family Advocate at the Martin Luther King Center; football coach for Rock Island High School and the QC Steamwheelers; banker at Wells Fargo; financial representative at Modern Woodmen; member of the Rock Island Human Rights Commission; member of Rock Island County NAACP; member of the School Health Link board; and founder of two community-
driven organizations (Tut Cities Education and Entertainment, and The Resolution), Thurgood has been able to work with community partners to bring people together. Importantly, he emphasizes collaborating with communities, rather than simply speaking on their behalf. In the spring of 2021, with the help of a 21-person volunteer team, Thurgood
received 48% of the vote in the Rock Island Mayoral race. In 2021, he was named Rock Island Citizen of the Year, and Community Caring Conference Individual Hero. He also received the 2019 Rock Island County NAACP Youth Development Image award, and the Rock Island Football Assistant Coach of the Year award (the only two-time winner, in 2019 and 2021), among others.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2021, Thurgood worked with the City of Rock Island to establish a Police Community Relations Commission to improve relationships between the police and citizens.
La’Mont Raymond Williams
Illinois Senate, District 16
La’Mont is Chief of Staff and general counsel to Cook County Commissioner Bill Lowry. He is an attorney with experience drafting, analyzing, championing, and passing impactful legislation while delivering services to constituents daily. Additionally, La’Mont is a professor, coach, mentor, and most importantly a concerned neighbor, and member of our community.
La’Mont firmly believes leadership should be accessible, transparent and representative of everyone in his district.La’Mont believes leadership should be generational and not transactional, so our today is good but our tomorrow will be great! La’Mont will stand with the People, on Principle, for Progress.
Illinois Senate, District 43
Rachel Ventura was raised in Joliet by union parents. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Benedictine University and a biology degree later from Tidewater. She worked as an actuarial analyst, a naturalist, and was a military spouse. Now a single mom of twin daughters, and the business director for a publishing company, she also serves on the Will County Board for the 9th District. There she helped secure long-term clean water for 800 families living in Fairmont, spearheaded the hiring of a vaccine equity manager, chairs the Public Health and Safety committee, and pushed for a new Natural Gas Plant converting landfill methane gas to usable gas for heating homes or natural gas transportation. Rachel believes we must have a government that works for everyone. She will prioritize solutions to the climate crisis, new living wage jobs of the future, and investing in our infrastructure.
Kane County Board, District 11
Walter is an activist, educator, and organizer running to champion affordability, accessibility, and prosperity in his community. Walter originally moved to Geneva with his family in order to pursue opportunities for his disabled brother. They have since made the Fox Valley their home.
Walter brings the lessons of his childhood into everything he does. As an educator, Walter works to intellectually engage students and spur their passions in the world around them. As an activist, Walter works to ensure good government and a healthy democracy by holding those in power accountable.
Walter’s career in public service started in earnest while attending the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While studying political science, public policy, and English, Walter became involved with the student government, eventually serving as Student Body President. In that role, Walter focused on material issues that would directly benefit students’ lives. He brokered a deal between the Champaign County Clerk’s office and the University Administration to expand voting locations for students. He also instituted free menstrual hygiene products in public bathrooms across campus, eliminating the pink tax for many students. Walter also helped implement a new student-funded scholarship to assist DACA recipients with tuition. Walter also championed a student referendum to divest the university from Coal and Fossil Fuel investments which passed by an overwhelming majority.
Since leaving college, Walter has worked as a paraprofessional/debate coach and as an at-home-caregiver to his disabled brother. He has also taken opportunities to work for his neighbors by working for individuals and organizations dedicated to ensuring Geneva is well represented in government, preserving local democracy, and increasing youth engagement in public affairs.
Lake County Clerk
Anthony Vega is an organizer, advocate and public servant who has rooted his career in educating, organizing and empowering historically underserved communities. With experience in organizing around environmental advocacy, and criminal justice reform, Anthony is running for County Clerk to protect our free and fair elections from those that wish to undermine the integrity of our elections.
With attacks on the right to vote across the country, it is critical to elect Clerks that can meet the urgency of the moment and who will be a strong advocate for voting rights. Anthony is the candidate that is best prepared to lead the County Clerk’s Office during this critical moment in time. Anthony Vega holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Loyola Chicago, and a B.A. in Political Science. Anthony resides in Grayslake, IL with his husband, Jorge.
McLean County Clerk
Laura has ten years experience in customer service & office administration. She homeschools her three children, one with special needs. As a 5th generation McLean County resident, she graduated from Heartland Community College & Eureka College as a first generation graduate. Laura is well suited to represent the county demographic in age, income and family status. She is also poised to actively see and understand the struggles of multiple generations.
Laura is seeking to serve and protect voter’s rights, providing the freedom and liberty of choice, with representation that respects differences and sees the need for equity. Laura wants to improve voter knowledge to raise confidence and engagement while providing transparency with accountability.
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commission
Precious Brady-Davis is an award-winning social justice advocate, communications professional, and public speaker. She is currently the Associate Regional Communications Director at Sierra Club.
Brought up in both the foster care system Brady-Davis is a passionate advocate for marginalized LGBTQ youth. For three years she served as the Youth Outreach Coordinator at the Midwest’s largest LGBTQ community resource center, the Center on Halsted, where she coordinated youth programming surrounding HIV prevention, transgender advocacy, and LGBT leadership development. Under Precious’s tenure she launched a $1.6 million CDC grant which provided outreach, education, and testing services to over 3,000 young African American and Latino gay, bi, and trans youth across Chicagoland between the ages of 13 and 29.
Precious also previously served as the Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment Initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, where she implemented the campus-wide diversity initiative and provided leadership and oversight on national diversity recruitment and strategic policy initiatives.
A Nebraska native of multiracial background, Precious graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Liberal Arts and now resides in Chicago, IL, with her husband Myles.
Precious is a multi-faceted presenter, keynote speaker and frequently speaks at conferences, colleges & universities, LGBTQ and corporate events across the country.
She also frequently serves as a consultant on cultural competency.
Precious’s activism and advocacy have been featured in Time Magazine, The New York Times, and The Chicago Tribune.
Will County Board, District 9
Destinee Ortiz is a wife and devoted mother of three children. She is a substitute teacher’s aide for multi-needs students — a role which she adores. Destinee is passionate about community, and this is why she is a community volunteer at a local high school with their problem-solving circles program, and she also works closely with local environmental justice organizations to spread awareness and take action to resolve issues relevant to the community.
Destinee intimately lives by the values of work ethic and humility having formerly worked as a UPS Part-Time Sunrise Supervisor, (where she met her husband) and spent countless shifts as a Server and Bartender for Texas Roadhouse and Bar Louie. Being pro-union and pro-living wage jobs is part of Destinee’s DNA. She not only believes in creating clean energy union jobs in Will County, but she is also committed to prioritizing and protecting our hard-working everyday people.
Destinee is ready to give even more back to her community as it continues to give her so much — a great place to live and raise a family. She will continue to work hard for the people in her district every day. Destinee is the candidate who people can trust because SHE LISTENS. Destinee will continue listening to the pressing issues for people in her district, plunge into producing a practical solution, and take immediate action! Destinee is the people’s candidate because she lives their struggles and through compassionate listening, their voice is hers.
New York State Senate, District 26
Alana is running to bring community-based solutions to Albany on behalf of Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Waterfront.
Whether it was at city hall or at public rallies, drafting legislation, or taking to the streets to demand racial justice, Alana has worked on both the inside of government as senior legislative counsel to the New York City Council’s criminal justice committee and on the outside of government as a public defender and advocate.
Alana is running to bring economic justice, criminal legal reform, and healthcare for all to Lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Waterfront.
Patrick J. Mehler
Ithaca Common Council, Ward 4
Patrick is a rising senior at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, running in a special election to represent the Fourth Ward of Ithaca’s Common Council. After being appointed in October 2021, Patrick has worked to unite the student and permanent resident community in Collegetown, successfully passing renter-friendly housing legislation, finding an additional $1,200,000 for infrastructure reconstruction, and creating the Collegetown Celebration.
Patrick was proud to vote for Ithaca’s 2030 electrification plan and is now advocating to make Collegetown a more pedestrian-safe area that students, small business owners, and permanent Ithacans can walk, shop, eat, study, and live in. Patrick is focused on what we can do in Collegetown and what we can do now, uplifting the community through genuine grassroots organizing and people dedicated to growing Collegetown.
New York Assembly, District 43
Tim Hunter is an organizer, educator, and activist that is running for public office to ensure that the people of the 43rd Assembly district have true progressive representation in Albany. A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Tim was born to Jamaican parents that migrated to the borough in pursuit of a better life. His mother is a public school educator at Dr. Gladstone Atwell Middle School 61, and a 2-time public university graduate, getting her Bachelor’s degree from CUNY’s Medgar Evers College, and her Master’s degree from SUNY New Paltz. Growing up, he always looked up to his mother and admired her strength and resilience. His mother’s leadership led him to follow in her footsteps as an educator, and in 2016 after graduating high school at 17 years-old he started his first job as an architectural drafting high school teacher in the NYC Department of Education.
After 4 years of teaching, he then went on to work in both houses of the State legislature to advocate for universal healthcare, stronger tenant protections, and better access to public higher education. Now, Tim is a candidate for office that is fighting for a more equitable state of New York. He is a candidate that will address the rampant disparities in black mental health, ensure the wealthiest New Yorkers pay their fair share, and fight for a Green New Deal for our public housing, public schools, and public transportation.
Samy Nemir Olivares
New York Assembly, District 54
Samy was born and raised by a single mother with disabilities in the small rural town of Yauco in Puerto Rico. Growing up, their family struggled to make ends meet and were forced to rely on government programs to keep them out of poverty. Public programs were how Samy’s family could go to school, keep a roof over their head, and food on the table. Samy migrated to New York with a suitcase, $200, and enough student loan debt to last them a lifetime‚ but nothing has deterred them from fighting for a better world. In our city, Samy started working as a journalist to document the important stories of marginalized communities. Samy later worked at the Center For Popular Democracy; in campaigns to end the school to prison pipeline, fight for workers and immigrant rights, and push for free universal healthcare for all. Today, Samy works as an advocate in a civil rights nonprofit LGBTQ people and people living with HIV.
Samy is running for the Assembly because their community needs a voice in Albany. During COVID-19, Samy organized and worked hard to help feed thousands of families while some local leaders were absent and neglectful. Samy was fighting to tax the rich to fund the first in the nation Excluded Workers Fund, the current Assemblymember was nowhere to be found. Samy knows what it’s like to struggle to make ends meet and won’t let absent leadership be the reason more people in their community suffer.
New York Assembly, District 65
Illapa is a climate organizer, a social worker, and the son of Indigenous Peruvian immigrants. He would be the first ever openly gay person of color ever elected to the New York State Assembly and has been organizing in the district for almost 10 years. He has been a leader in the fight against new fossil fuel projects, the Chinatown mega jail, and displacement of low income and immigrant communities. Last summer he was arrested for protesting in support of the Build Public Renewables act, which would enable the New York Power Authority to build and run renewable energy projects.
Illapa has dealt with housing & economic insecurity for his entire life. His parents emigrated from Peru in the late 80s, and when they first arrived in New York his mom cleaned houses and his dad was a busboy at a restaurant. After Illapa was born, they were displaced from their apartment and moved to a trailer park where he lived for several years.
Illapa’s district encompasses some of the last immigrant and working class neighborhoods in lower Manhattan and will fight for a Green New Deal for NY, Universal Healthcare, free CUNY, and housing stability.
New York Assembly, District 66
Ryder Kessler is a lifelong New Yorker, community leader, and gay man running to represent downtown Manhattan in the New York State Assembly. He founded DipJar, a social impact technology company, which has helped generate tens of millions of dollars in new earnings and donations for low-wage service workers and nonprofit organizations all around the country. Since 2016, he has worked on Democratic political campaigns to take back the House, Senate, and White House, with a focus on voting rights. Ryder is a progressive member of Community Board 2 in Manhattan, where he has advocated against entrenched interests for more vibrant, equitable, sustainable neighborhoods.
Ryder is running because New York is emerging from a once-in-a-century pandemic, facing an existential climate emergency, and continuing to suffer from segregation in housing, schools, and the justice system. The city is bigger than ever, but lost 4.5% of its Black population since 2010 — a reflection of the ways New York’s vitality isn’t available to everyone. New York is a blue state, but fails to fully enfranchise all people: antiquated systems and unaccountable administrators undermine access to elections, excluding too many New Yorkers from the ballot box. New York should be a beacon of equity, sustainability, affordability, and democracy — and downtown Manhattan should be a model for the city — but it’s not living up to its potential. Ryder is running to change that.
Jessica Altagracia Woolford
New York Assembly, District 81
Jessica Altagracia Woolford is a mom, a caregiver, a mutual aid organizer, and proud Dominicana.
She’s worked in local and national Democratic politics and government for nearly a decade including at the 2016 Democratic Convention, the UFCW International, the de Blasio administration, New York Immigration Coalition, and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office.
Her grandma taught her that care should never be conditional. And that with faith, anything is possible.
In one of the wealthiest cities and wealthiest countries in the world, no one should ever go hungry. But unfortunately, too many folks can’t afford the basics, let alone keep up with all the ways the pandemic made life feel impossible. Too many families are struggling in silence, because those in power aren’t listening.
At the height of the pandemic, Woolford started Kingsbridge Unidos: a volunteer-run, mutual aid effort to deliver over 30,000 pounds of fresh produce, in addition to thousands of masks, and valuable bilingual information about COVID-19 and more, to families in Kingsbridge. What started as a door-to-door delivery program at her grandma’s building, has grown to include and prioritize families experiencing homelessness through creative, uplifting and joyful programming.
Woolford believes in the power we have to shape a vibrant world where every kid who lives here to know joy, abundance, and possibility. For every elder to know compassion, stability and dignity. And for everyone in the northwest Bronx to get a shot at living out their dreams without ever having to leave home.
New York Assembly, District 82
New York Assembly, District 89
Andrae is a first-generation American of Grenadian heritage. He grew up in New York City, where he entered the Gifted and Talented program, received a rigorous education, and participated in the Fresh Air Fund.
These opportunities served as the roots for his future endeavors working with Mariah Carey as an ambassador for the Fresh Air Fund and as a student at Howard University. While at Howard University, he commuted back to New York City to intern for a Council member where he grew up.
After graduation, Andrae served several nonprofits focused on youth programming like Oasis Children and Good Shepherd Services. He worked to open up more opportunities and unlock the potential for children like himself. He was recognized as a strong community leader for listening to people to identify their needs. Time and again, he has defied the odds by building programs from scratch to address those needs.
Today, Andrae lives with his family in Mount Vernon, where he recently graduated with a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Long Island University. Andrae laid down roots in Mount Vernon and considers the City to be the jewel of Westchester.
He is running to serve the 89th Assembly District and is committed to ensuring everyone who lives here gets the quality of life they deserve.
New York Assembly, District 135
Jen Lunsford is a member of the New York State Assembly representing the east-side suburbs of Rochester. In 2020, Jen became the only member of the Assembly to flip a red seat to blue and in her first year she passed 9 bills, more than any other freshman legislator that year. Prior to taking office Jen was a practicing litigator focusing on labor, tort and disability issues. As a mom to a young child, a lawyer and a longtime community volunteer, Jen understands how amazing government can be when it works, and how terrible it can be when it fails. Jen is running for re-election to continue helping us navigate through this pandemic. She wants to get New Yorkers back to work, make childcare more affordable, and fight for our planet!
Oklahoma County Commission, District 1
Carrie Blumert is a public health professional with a passion for justice reform and mental health. In her time as County Commissioner, Carrie has focused her work on improving access to treatment for mental illness and addiction, improving the Oklahoma county jail, investing in roads and bridges, government transparency, and helping the community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, Carrie formed a coalition of mental health and addiction treatment providers and advocates to ensure that a new city sales tax package included funding for treatment and emergency housing. Her efforts secured $40 million in funding for our residents who need treatment and housing during a crisis.
When COVID-19 hit Oklahoma County, Carrie was the only Commissioner to fight for $25 million in direct financial assistance to renters, small businesses, and nonprofits.
Carrie earned a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Services from Oklahoma State University and a masters of public health from the University of Oklahoma. She lives with her two dogs, Dottie and Taco, in Oklahoma City.
Oklahoma House, District 44
Kate Bierman is a former City Councilwoman in Norman, Oklahoma and small business owner who has the experience to advocate for better policy at the State Capitol. After graduating college, Kate worked in Constituency Services for U.S. Senator James Jeffords (I-VT), cutting through the complex bureaucracy that inhibits people from accessing critical services. Kate’s passion to help led her to get involved with local animal welfare organizations in Norman and eventually to run for City Council. On Council, Kate addressed the most pressing issues impacting the daily lives of her neighbors while also raising a family and running several small businesses in core Norman. Through her work, Kate saw firsthand that government can work for the people when the right resources are available. However, the state continues to pass policies that are bad for the people of Norman. Kate is taking the fight to the state capitol and will focus on policies that restore the voice of local concern to local governments, fight special interests to build better communities, and put people first in these divisive political times.
Oklahoma House, District 64
Kyle is a registered nurse working in the ICU. It is his experience working with critical care patients that compelled him to run for office. Kyle has been working directly with COVID-19 patients since the pandemic began.
As a community activist Kyle knocked thousands of doors in favor of Medicaid expansion in 2020. Every precinct in his district voted to expand Medicaid.
Kyle now serves as Chair of the Comanche County Democratic Party and is working to expand the voter outreach to the entire county.
Oklahoma House, District 88
Mauree Nivek Rajah Salima Turner (They / Them/ Theirs / Representative) is the State Representative for Oklahoma’s 88th House District thanks to the people.
Rep. Turner was formerly the Regional Field Director for the Campaign for Smart Justice, an ACLU campaign focusing on criminal justice reform, and its many intersections. Their life’s works are geared towards fighting for and maintaining the civil rights and liberties of all who enter America.
They are an Oklahoma community organizer, born and raised, coming from a Muslim and Baptist upbringing. In elementary school, if they were missing class it was because they were at an HIV and AIDS Awareness event or LGBTQ+ advocacy event with their mother.
Rep. Turner grew up believing in the power and duty they had to change the world for the better.
They have also worked with the NAACP of Oklahoma, Freedom Oklahoma, CAIR OK, and a number of community-based and student lead groups working in and researching the intersections of racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, religious freedom, reproductive rights — just to name a few. Working with these organizations, they have researched the history of the criminal justice system and what it does to communities of color, and Black Women especially, and they are just getting started.
Oklahoma House, District 89
Arturo Alonso is a recent graduate from the University of Oklahoma, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering, in the summer of 2022. Not one to shy away from his training, Arturo is drawn to fixing what is broken about Oklahoma. Growing up in south Oklahoma City, Arturo knows how great his home state is and can be if we’re willing to put in the work. Communities all over the south side are underrepresented at the Capitol, and we must do right by them.
Arturo is running for public office because he knows what it’s like to face financial uncertainty and structural challenges. Growing up in south Oklahoma City, Arturo saw how structural inequities have made living the American dream an impossibility for too many. As an engineer, he loves to solve problems. Oklahoma faces many challenges, and he will work hard every day to ensure all Oklahomans have strong public schools, affordable and comprehensive healthcare, a criminal justice system that focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment, economic justice, and safe communities.
Rico Trayvon Smith
Oklahoma Senate, District 48
Rico Smith is a local business owner, community organizer and fourth-generation resident of District 48. With young parents in and out of state prison, Rico was raised primarily by both sets of grandparents. Being exposed first-hand to a deeply flawed justice system, Rico grew up with focus on how law could be used to change people’s lives. This passion for law and justice inspired Rico to go to college‚ becoming the first male in his family to graduate after attending Oklahoma City Community College and the University of Oklahoma. In 2018, Rico received a Masters degree from the George Washington University’s School of Political Management, where he studied under prominent political professionals‚ both Republicans and Democrats.
Rico is running for the Oklahoma State Senate recognizing the urgency of now. That the devastations of four more years of an unchecked Republican Legislature will last for generations. When elected, Rico will be the youngest Black man elected to the Oklahoma Senate allowing him to bring several new perspectives to the Oklahoma Senate. His background as an organizer will make Rico the most effective State Senator for District 48. He’ll organize, fight, and use every tool at our disposal to force statewide votes on the issues that matter most like economic justice; and modernized schools with support for students, teachers, and administrators. With referendum power, Rico will lead efforts to recall the most repressive bills passed under the Republican supermajority allowing Oklahomans to have a direct say in the policies that affect them. With this power, Oklahoma will be a better, more inclusive state.
Utah Senate, District 13
Nate Blouin is an advocate for clean air and renewable energy with experience promoting wind and solar across the Western US. Nate is focused on improving the air quality around Salt Lake City, which is taking years off of the lives of Utahns and costs the state billions of dollars every year. Nate’s experience in the renewable energy industry has prepared him to bring business and environmental leaders to the table to get Utah moving faster towards addressing the climate crisis.
In addition to environmental issues, Nate is committed to protecting Utah’s vote by mail system and our independent redistricting commission. He’s also focused on growth and maintaining affordable living conditions for Utah families as we see rapid change around us.