Alexandria Ayala

NLC Palm Beach
Palm Beach County School Board

Alexandria’s story is the story of many families in our community and she is running to be an accessible voice for all parents and students in Palm Beach County. As a school board member, and the first Latina ever elected to the board, Alexandria will work tirelessly to OPTIMIZE our students, NOT STANDARDIZE them. Today’s students are indeed tomorrow’s leaders and they deserve an educational experience that prepares them to excel in the 21st century. Alexandria’s experience as a Legislative Aide in Tallahassee, community activist who helped move important issues forward, and now working as a Legislative Aide on the County Commission give her the policy perspective and leadership skills to be a strong advocate on the School Board. She understands how to identify issues, solve problems and work collaboratively to get things done.

Mike Bare

NLC Wisconsin
Dane County Board of Supervisors

In every community he has lived in, Mike Bare been active in the community or in public service. Mike lives by his values: empathy for others, equity in outcomes, fairness in processes, service to community, and progress in the face of challenge. Mike will work to help Dane County grow responsibly, protect taxpayers, ensure environmental sustainability, and commit to clean and transparent government. Mike is a father, public servant and advocate, and small business owner. He is a founder and former Chapter Director and current Advisory Board Chair of New Leaders Council-Wisconsin. He chairs the City of Verona Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Commission and serves on the Verona Plan Commission. He has been proud to support responsible growth in Verona and is ready to take that energy to Dane County government.

Ruell Calvin Brown

NLC New Jersey
South River, NJ Council

Ruell Brown is running for South River council to help bring improvements to the town. He has been involved as a Zoning Board member, member of the American Legion and VFW, and several local organizations.

Pernell Bush

NLC Orlando
Seminole County, FL Commissioner

Pernell Bush, MSW, CNP is a native of Seminole County, raised in the heart of Sanford’s historic Goldsboro community. He attended Seminole County Public Schools (Goldsboro Elementary, Sanford Middle and Lake Mary High) throughout his formative years. His hands-on, result-oriented servant leadership is focused on empowering communities to get the results they deserve. Pernell is an accomplished community social worker and a grassroot servant leader with an excellent history as a community advocate.

With nearly a decade of experience working with nonprofit and government agencies in addressing community needs through civic involvement initiatives. Pernell has proven himself to be a relentless advocate for communities he has served. He has received numerous awards for his leadership, including being named “Veteran of Influence” and “40 under 40” by the Orlando Business Journal as well Health Equity Champion by Florida Department of Health-Seminole County. He has a vision towards the future that improves the quality of life for Seminole County residents.

Pernell graduated from University of Central Florida with his bachelors and masters in Social Work. He is the managing partner and practicing mental health therapist as a State of Florida Registered Clinical Social Worker Intern (RCSWI) at K.E.Y Counseling Solutions and instructor at Valencia College Peace and Justice Institute.

Pernell is not a career politician. Pernell places great emphasis on listening to the needs of community members and stakeholders that he serves. Pernell proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps as infantry rifleman, where the importance of teamwork, communication, and mission preparedness were reinforced.

Joe DiCostanzo

NLC Omaha
Douglas County Board of Commissioners

A native Nebraskan, Joe started his path in Columbus and believes his skill set is best spent serving his fellow Nebraskans. His mother - a social worker for the developmentally disabled - married a small business owner and they worked together to teach Joe the rewards of hard work and service to others. These values guided him through his education at UNL and in the Nebraska State Legislature, where he worked while obtaining his degree. In 2008, he earned his bachelor’s in Education and Human Sciences and moved to Omaha to begin his career in education.

It was in Omaha where Joe grew as an educator and community leader. The Benson neighborhood awarded many opportunities to him: he taught at Benson High School, where he worked his way up into administration and began to explore the ways in which education shapes freedom and equality in local communities. He served as the Vice President of the Benson Neighborhood Association, was a member of the board of the Benson Theatre and the New Leaders Council - Omaha. For his bold and informed initiatives as an educator and mentor in public schools, Joe earned the Christa McAuliffe Prize for Courage and Excellence in Education.

Joe believes in informed approaches to education, and has made it a goal to continue his own education in a way that best serves his community. In 2012, while working toward his degree in Educational Leadership from Doane, he developed the My Empowerment Network for Success (MENS) Program. This program served to fill a gap for young men who reported not having consistent positive male influences in their lives. As a cross-section between education and community service, the men in the program have had tremendous success in their personal and professional lives. For the past seven years, 100% of the program participants graduated on time with a job placement or college enrollment within three months of graduation.

While earning a master’s degree in Education Policy and Management at Harvard University, Joe worked as a Fieldwork Fellow for the Education Redesign Lab, where he learned to apply the skills he was actively learning to build and serve the community that awarded him the opportunity. Through the Redesign Lab, he supported the field work in seven communities- Louisville, KY; Oakland, CA; Providence, RI; Chattanooga-Hamilton County, TN; Salem, MA; Somerville, MA; and through the state-wide work of the Partnership for Resilience in IL, on the By All Means Initiative. Joe worked to support these communities as they created cross-sector systems of wellbeing for childhood and education from birth to career and once again, put to test the skills he obtained through his education.

In addition to running for office, Joe is currently Vice Principal of a high school, where he experiences firsthand the impact of policy and community. This is the background that drives Joe to run as county commissioner for District 5: he wants a safer, stronger and more unified community so that all children have access to opportunity.

Carlene Patricia Fonseca

NLC Rhode Island
Central Falls, RI City Council

Carlene is running for City Council At-Large to move Central Falls forward by fostering job and housing resources, increasing youth and senior opportunities & advocating for better quality of life for CF residents! Like many families in Central Falls, her parents migrated to the United States in the 1980s from the Cape Verde Islands in search of a better life. Her mother, a factory worker, often working double shifts to make ends meet, instilled in her at an early age the importance of education and giving back to the community no matter how little or how much you had. As a new mother of a baby girl named Reyna, Carlene is committed to ensuring she, alongside, all of our youth in Central Falls have more opportunities in our City.

After graduating #2 in her class and as Class President at CFHS, Carlene earned a bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University and earned a master’s degree in Criminology from the George Washington University.

Carlene went on to work at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as the Confidential Assistant to the White House Liaison and Program Specialist before moving back to RI. She served as Director of 21st Century programs for the Central Falls School District managing close to half a million dollars of grant funding and currently serves as the Associate Director at the Feinstein Institute for Public Service at Providence College.

Ruby Lenora Green

NLC Broward
Broward County Public Defender

Ruby Green is an Assistant Public Defender at the Broward County Public Defender's Office since 2012. She graduated from Florida State University as a first generation college student with honors and with a double major in Criminology and Psychology. She then went on to attend Florida Coastal School of Law and became one of the first students within school history, to bring home a first place victory at a mock trial tournament. She is currently the Treasurer of the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Community Pulse Chair of the T.J. Reddick Bar Association, member of Broward League of Women Voters and member of the Broward County Bar Association. Inspired by the nay sayers, she is currently working on her first book, a biographical novel and was notably honored as South Florida's Top 40 Under 40 Leaders of today and tomorrow per Legacy Magazine as well as receiving the Presidential Service award from the National Black Caucus. In everything she does she remains steady in her faith.

Alex Joers

NLC Wisconsin
Dane County Board of Supervisors

As someone who has grown up, lived and worked here in Dane County, Alex Joers is now running for office to serve the community that raised him. Throughout the past few years Alex worked in the Wisconsin State Legislature, organized for local campaigns across the state, and helped manage his family’s small business in District 9. After the 2016 election, it became clear to Alex that if we want to see real change in our country, we have to start at the local level. That is why he hopes to be the next County Board Supervisor to continue working towards the solutions that our community deserves.

Yasmine-Imani McMorrin

NLC Los Angeles
Culver City Council

Yasmine-Imani McMorrin is an attorney, equity advocate, and mom. Yasmine is the Associate Director of Student Support at USC Gould School of Law, where she develops programming for the student body to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and overall student wellness. She also attends community meetings, serves on two Culver City government committees, takes her daughter to soccer practice, and spends time with family and friends.

Yasmine would be honored to serve her community as a member of the Culver City Council because she is committed to helping maintain the city’s quality of life for everyone, including our most vulnerable citizens. Yasmine's vision as a Council Member is to ensure that as Culver City develops, we prioritize equity, helping everyone share in our progress. If elected, Yasmine would be the first African-American woman to serve on Culver City Council, a historic milestone that would help further the city’s reputation for inclusive leadership.

Yasmine is grateful for the opportunity to run for public office. Together, we have an opportunity to build on the progressive achievements of the current City Council. Yasmine will work hard, to ensure a more just and equitable future for all Culver City residents.

Christian Motley

NLC Kentucky
Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council

The future depends on our ability build thriving communities where every child can succeed, every family can thrive, and everyone feels they belong. Christian Motley has the right experience to bring community members together around solutions to meet Lexington’s most pressing challenges.

Christian has served in the administrations of both Governor Steve Beshear and President Barack Obama, fighting for quality early childhood education and expansion of cradle to career initiatives aimed at expanding opportunity for under-served students – driven by the idea that every child can succeed. He is proud to have been a part of the team that took a leadership role to advance My Brother’s Keeper, President Obama’s initiative to create pathways of success for young men and boys of color. In 2015, Christian worked with the Kentucky General Assembly to pass legislation to improve access to high quality early care and education.

Christian’s advocacy also led him to the Kentucky Education Association, where he advocated to fund our schools, resource educators in the classroom, and fight for retirement security for working families. Today, he works nationally to support place-based efforts to wrap whole communities around the whole child with results-driven practices to achieve better, more equitable outcomes for kids.

Christian serves as a Big Brothers, Big Sisters mentor, board member for Lexington’s On the Move Art Studio and Big Brothers, Big Sisters of the Bluegrass, and chairman for Lexington’s transit authority. He served as New Leaders Council co-director from 2017-2019.

Christian lives in Lexington, KY just down the road from his beloved alma mater, Berea College.

Kristen Powers

NLC North Carolina
Alamance County Board of Commissioners

Kristen lives in Saxapahaw, where she enjoys living near the Haw River and eating pimento cheese sandwiches at the General Store. As the board chair of Benevolence Farm, a non-profit in Graham, NC, that supports women transitioning from prison, Kristen knows first-hand the importance of serving others and the difference it can make in the lives of those in her community.

It was on her family’s farm off of the Highway 54 corridor that Kristen learned how a small group of dedicated people working together could accomplish the most difficult tasks. It was this work ethic that led her father to encourage her to stop complaining and do something about the problems in her community. She did just that.

From organizing her 3rd grade fundraiser to save the grey wolves, to a high school project to create an organic garden to support local food shelters, Kristen has seen what is possible when we work together with a vision to create a better community.

That’s why this campaign is different. It’s not about one person or set of ideas, but it is about all of us in Alamance County working together to find the solutions to problems that we face everyday. 

Kristen has many achievements. She has won awards, made films, and fought through personal losses and tragedies. And even though these may seem like personal achievements, they were all made possible because of the community that surrounds her and the people in her life. The same is true with campaign. This campaign is about the people of Alamance County. It is about the prosperity and hardships of our loved ones that connect us together. This campaign is about finding ways to move forward together, building a stronger future for us all. 

Sarah Smith

NLC Wisconsin
Dane County Board of Supervisors

Sarah grew up on a farm in western Wisconsin, the daughter of a small business owner and public school teacher. Sarah was active in her community and saw the value of public service from a young age as a member of a union household and daughter of a local elected official.

 

She moved to Madison to pursue her undergraduate degree at UW-Madison and then stayed on campus to earn a master’s degree in Educational Policy. Sarah went on to work at Epic for several years before leaving to work on the campaign of State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. She then served as Treasurer Godlewski’s Chief of Staff after the inauguration of our new administration. Currently, Sarah works as the Communications Director for State Senator Patty Schachtner. Sarah currently serves on the Sustainability Committee for the city of Monona and as Emeritus Chair on the board of the Young Democrats of Wisconsin.

 

Sarah stepped up to run for Dane County Board because she was raised to believe that the most valuable way a person can spend their time is in service to their community. She watched her dad step up to lead my school’s PTA, and then our little rural township, and eventually serve as our area’s State Senator. She saw the value her mom brought to our community as a public school teacher and a member of her union. Sarah will bring that same sense of dedication and hard work to the Dane County Board.

 

Sarah will fight to ensure that Dane County continues to be a leader in issues of sustainability and equity. She will dedicate my energy to developing solutions to protect the quality of our lakes- and keep our basements dry. She wants to serve as a Dane County Supervisor to fight for the issues that matter most to my neighbors. Sarah’s vision is of a Dane County that is a green leader for the rest of our state; a Dane County that is more fair and equitable for every one of our neighbors; a community that is built on inclusion and collaboration to create the best future for all of us.

Jake R. Tonkel

NLC Silicon Valley
San Jose, CA City Council

As an environmentalist, feminist, and social justice activist, Jake has learned from and worked with so many great community organizers in San Jose that he sees a bright future for the city. However, he knows there is a system that keeps us divided. It’s time to start building a community where everyone’s voice is heard, where we learn about each other, and feel empowered to act together.

A returned Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco, Jake learned Arabic and organized successful community-driven projects for almost 2 ½ years. Jake worked on health-education initiatives with local doctors, water systems with Engineers Without Borders and started local art, computer science, and environmental programs. 

Jake earned his mechanical engineering degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, graduating with honors. In his career as a Biomedical R&D Engineer, Jake has worked to develop minimally-invasive heart valves and arthroscopic surgical equipment, bringing projects all the way from research prototypes to final commercial products.

As a community organizer in San Jose, Jake led the local effort to push for public banks. Through the South Bay Progressive Alliance, a partner of the California Public Banking Alliance, he helped pass AB857 in the California Statehouse and got the City of San José to start studying the option. A local paper, Silicon Valley Metro, gave Jake the title “Local Changemaker” in one of their July 2019 issues as he pushed for responsible investment in affordable housing, education, and the environment replacing funding of fossil fuels, private prisons and for-profit immigration detention centers. He has been endorsed by major progressive figures in the bay area including Gayle McLaughlin, former Mayor of Richmond, CA, Matt Gonzales, former SF Board of Supervisor and Sally Lieber, retired California State Assemblywoman. 

Amy Wentz

NLC Virginia
Richmond, VA City Council

There has been a gross neglect and lack of engagement for the majority of our District in the City of Richmond. Amy Wentz wants to provide fair representation, access to information and resources, and a seat at the table for all residents. 

1050 Connecticut Ave., NW, #66004
Washington, D.C. 20036

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