Staff

Across the country, the Center’s staff reflects our belief that great leadership potential exists in the communities we seek to serve.

We are from red states and blue; we are both youthful and seasoned; and we represent the rich diversity of America’s immigrants, recent and from decades past, as well as its native population. Together, we work with vigor and vision to end poverty and exclusion in America.

Organizing Team Electoral Team Executive Office Public Policy Team Communications Team Institutional Advancement Team Operations Team

Organizing Team

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  • Michael Anderson

    Michael Anderson | Director, Housing Trust Fund Project

    Quote

    “Concentrate not on the eradication of evil, but the cultivation of good.  Evil is not driven out, but crowded out” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Sulma Arias

    Sulma Arias | Immigration Field Director

    Quote

    “I realized that they could take everything from me except my mind and my heart.  Those things I still had control over, and I decided not to give them away!” – Nelson Mandela

  • Drew Astolfi

    Drew Astolfi | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “Every human being is a raindrop and when enough of the raindrops become clear and coherent they become the power of the storm.” – John Trudell

  • Mary Brooks

    Mary Brooks | Senior Advisor, Housing Trust Fund Project

    Quote

    “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi

  • Salvador Cervantes

    Salvador Cervantes | FIRM Regional Organizer

    Quote

    “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” – Alice Walker

  • Mary Dailey

    Mary Dailey | Lead Organizer

    Quote

    “I had to turn my anger into a slow burning fire, instead of a consuming fire. You don’t want the fire to go out — you never let it go out — and if it ever gets weak, you stoke it, but you don’t want it to burn you up. It keeps you going, but you subdue it, because you don’t want to be destroyed by it.

    When I talk about a slow burning fire, I mean a fire that is banked for the moment. All the fire it ever had is still there. I can uncover a little bit at a time, and if it flames up too high, I can throw more ashes on it so it won’t come up and burn me, and everybody around me. But I don’t want to put it out, I want it to stay there. It’s there, it could flare up, and there may be times when it should flare up. What you need is a good backlog going all the time.” – Myles Horton – from The Long Haul

  • Cindy Eigler

    Cindy Eigler | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “People are aware that they cannot continue in the same old way but are immobilized because they cannot imagine an alternative. We need a vision that recognizes that we are an one of the great turning points in human history when the survival of our planet and the restoration of our humanity require a great sea change in our ecological, economic, political, and spiritual values.” – Grace Lee Boggs

  • Ronnie Galvin

    Ronnie Galvin | Senior Advisor

    Quote

    “To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in rage almost all of the time.” – James Baldwin

  • Katy Heins

    Katy Heins | Senior Field Organizer

    Quote

    “Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage.  Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” –St. Augustine

  • Cesar Hernandez

    Cesar Hernandez | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “The ends you serve that are selfish will take you no further than yourself but the ends you serve that are for all, in common, will take you into eternity.” ― Marcus Garvey

  • David Kimball

    David Kimball | National Field Director

    Quote

    “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am ‘I’? If not now, then when?” – Rabbi Hillel

  • Wendoly Marte

    Wendoly Marte | Field Organizer

    Quote

    “If we have learned anything in life is that the primary factor in everything is the human being, as well as his or her quality and spirit. Those who have faith and hope in the possibilities of humankind are those who will push it forward” – José María Arizmendiarrieta

  • Kica Matos

    Kica Matos | Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice

  • Aimee Nichols

    Aimee Nichols | Senior Project Manager

    Quote

    “Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours.” – Cesar Chavez

  • Mayron Payes

    Mayron Payes | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “The rose blinds the sharpshooting champions.” – Roque Dalton

  • Deirdra Reed

    Deirdra Reed | Senior Organizer

    Quote

    “My philosophy is such that I am not going to vote against the oppressed. I have been oppressed, and so I am always going to have a vote for the oppressed, regardless of whether that oppressed is black or white or yellow or the people of the Middle East, or what. I have that feeling.” – Septima Clark

  • Gary Sandusky

    Gary Sandusky | Senior Field Organizer

    Quote

    “If one man has a dollar he didn’t work for, some other man worked for a dollar he didn’t get.” – Big Bill Haywood

  • Whitney Shepard

    Whitney Shepard | Racial Justice Program Coordinator

    Quote

    “Being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn.”- Benjamin Franklin

  • Evonne Tisdale

    Evonne Tisdale | Economic Justice Coordinator

    Quote

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that frightens us most.” – Marianne Williamson

  • Peter Woiwode

    Peter Woiwode | Regional Field Organizer

    Quote

    “The best country in the world, they say. May be, I haven’t really lived anywhere else. But it’s not good enough as far as I am concerned.” – Ella Baker

Electoral Team

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  • Ben Hanna

    Ben Hanna | National Political Field Director

    Quote

    “When the water starts boiling it is foolish to turn off the heat.” -Nelson Mandela

  • Grecia Lima

    Grecia Lima | Senior Electoral Organizer

    Quote

    “Baila, baila Zarite por que esclavo es libre…mientras baila. Yo eh bailado siempre.” – La Isla Bajo el Mar, Isabel Allende

    Translation: “Dance, dance Zarite because slave that dances is free…while dancing.. I have always danced.” – The Island under the Sea, Isabel Allende

  • Erick Pleitez

    Erick Pleitez | Electoral Data Manager

Executive Office

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  • Emily Andrews

    Emily Andrews | Senior Project Manager

    Quote

    “Freedom is never given; it is won.” – A. Philip Randolph

  • Tavia Benjamin

    Tavia Benjamin | Senior Project Manager

    Quote

    “When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.” – Audre Lorde

  • Deepak Bhargava

    Deepak Bhargava | Executive Director

    Quote

    “If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle.” – Frederick Douglass

  • Seth Borgos

    Seth Borgos | Director of Research and Program Development

    Quote

    “Without contraries there is no progress.” – William Blake

  • Kyle Grassi

    Kyle Grassi | Project Manager

    Quote

    “A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela

  • Mary Lassen

    Mary Lassen | Managing Director

    Quote

    “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” – Albert Einstein

  • Julia Paik

    Julia Paik | Interim Deputy Director of Institutional Advancement

    Quote

    “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,/Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

  • Deepak Pateriya

    Deepak Pateriya | Chief of Staff

    Quote

    “Only people with hope will struggle. If people are in trouble, if people are suffering and exploited and want to get out from under the heel of oppression, if they have hope that it can be done, if they can see a path that leads to a solution, a path that makes sense to them and is consistent with their beliefs and their experience, then they’ll move. But it must be a path that they’ve started clearing. They’ve got to know the direction in which they are going and have a general idea of the kind of society they’d like to have.” – Myles Horton (from The Long Haul)

Public Policy Team

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  • Allegra Baider

    Allegra Baider | Deputy Director of Public Policy

    Quote

    “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” – Jane Addams

  • Kate Kahan

    Kate Kahan | Legislative Director

    Quote

    “If we want a beloved community, we must stand for justice, have recognition for difference without attaching difference to privilege.” – Bell Hooks

  • Chirag Mehta

    Chirag Mehta | Senior Policy Advisor

    Quote

    “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” – George Orwell

  • Jaimie Philip

    Jaimie Philip | Policy Analyst

    Quote

    “Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water it and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.” – Wangari Maathai

  • Steve Savner

    Steve Savner | Director of Public Policy

Communications Team

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  • Marisol Bello

    Marisol Bello | Senior Political Writer

    Quote

    “It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

  • Donna De la Cruz

    Donna De la Cruz | Deputy Director of Communications

    Quote

    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

  • Sarah English

    Sarah English | Senior Communications Manager

    Quote

    “Love isn’t about what we did yesterday; it’s about what we do today and tomorrow and the day after.” – Grace Lee Boggs

  • Jeff Parcher

    Jeff Parcher | Director of Communications

    Quote

    “It is not enough to understand, or to see clearly. The future will be shaped in the arena of human activity, by those willing to commit their minds and their bodies to the task.” – Robert Kennedy

  • Joseph Pate

    Joseph Pate | Digital Community Manager

    Quote

    “In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” – Marianne Williamson

  • Tarah Walsh

    Tarah Walsh | Campaign Project Manager

    Quote

    “Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” — Emily Dickinson

  • Anh K. Hoang

    Anh K. Hoang | Web Developer

    Quote

    “If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.”

    Grace Hopper

Institutional Advancement Team

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Operations Team

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  • Trevor Bass

    Trevor Bass | Finance Manager

    Quote

    “If there is no struggle there is no progress” – Frederick Douglass

  • Marcia Glasgow

    Marcia Glasgow | Facilities & Administrative Services Coordinator

    Quote

    “I’m grateful for being here, for being able to think, for being able to see, for being able to taste, for appreciating love – for knowing that it exists in a world so rife with vulgarity, with brutality and violence, and yet love exists. I’m grateful to know that it exists.” ― Maya Angelou

  • Amber Hobbs

    Amber Hobbs | Technology Support Manager

    Quote

    “You are the somewhere you are trying to get to.” – Mooji

  • Darnetta Hollis

    Darnetta Hollis | Operations Coordinator

    Quote

    “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

  • Kathy Mor

    Kathy Mor | Operations Manager -- Convenings & Travel

    Quote

    The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.” – Jane Addams

  • Tony Nam

    Tony Nam | Project Finance Manager

    Quote

    “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening/that is translated through you into action,/ and because there is only one of you in all time,/this expression is unique./If you block it,/it will never exist through any other medium/and be lost./The world will not have it./It is not your business to determine how good it is;/nor how valuable it is;/nor how it compares with other expressions./It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly,/to keep the channel open.” – Martha Graham in a letter to Agnes DeMille

  • Linda Nguyen

    Linda Nguyen | Director of Talent Acquisition & Development

    Quote

    “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action,
    And because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. 
    If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and will be lost.
    The world will not have it.
    It is not your business to determine how good it is,
    Nor how it compares to other expressions.
    It is simply your business to keep the channel open.”  – Martha Graham

  • Irma Rivera

    Irma Rivera | Director of Administration

  • Miriam Savad

    Miriam Savad | Director of Data & Technology

    Quote

    “When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.” -Audre Lorde

  • Petra Smith

    Petra Smith | Director of Human Resources

  • Ryan Young

    Ryan Young | Director of Operations

  • Daniel Yu

    Daniel Yu | Director of Finance

    Quote

    “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” -Lao Tzu