These are the speakers headlining our November 4th We The People Summit Workshops. The schedule and list of the Workshop and their descriptions can be found here.
I grew up in a Gullah Geechee community along the coast of Georgia – 50 miles south of Savannah, Georgia, and 100 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida. The name of the community is called Jones (in McIntosh County) My family and relatives still lives there. I’m the descendant of Africans brought to coastal Georgia as slaves to labor in the rice plantations, well over 250 years ago. ...Read more
Adrian Fontes (Democrat) is an Arizona native born and raised on the border in Nogales. His active duty service in the United States Marine Corps solidified his love of country and made him a strong advocate of the US Constitution. He took this passion back to finish his undergraduate degree with summa cum laude honors at Arizona State University, and then to the University of Denver where he received his Juris Doctorate. ...Read more
Alejandro worked to elect an African American President, pass ACA, Drop the “I” Word, and help elect progressive champion Senator Brian Schatz. He has fought for immigrant’s rights and played a lead role in helping to preserve diplomacy in the passing of the Iran deal. He is currently the Senior Electoral Manager at Democracy for America and grandson of the late Cesar Chavez.
Joining the Coalition as CEO in January 2008, Allie has held a variety of government and non-profit positions. She started at the Coalition in 2000 as an intern in the Systems Advocacy Department before becoming a Systems Advocate. ...Read more
Anabel Maldonado is the lead organizer for ACLU of Arizona’s #Demand2Learn campaign, which is aimed at ending systematic practices that that cause students to be pushed out of schools. Anabel is also a board member of Trans Queer Pueblo, a Phoenix-based organization that serves migrant LGBTQ+ community through health & legal clinics, arts activism and housing for trans people coming out of immigration detention....Read more
Angela Hughey is the co-founder and President of ONE Community. Founded in 2008, ONE Community is a member-based coalition of socially responsible businesses, organizations and individuals who support diversity, inclusion and equality for all Arizonans. ...Read more
Antonio Espree was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and entered The Michigan Department of Corrections at the age of 17 in 1988, for First Degree Murder, to serve a Natural Life Sentence Without Parole. On April 6, 2017, Antonio Espree was released from prison after serving over 29 years. Antonio Espree now resides in Phoenix, Arizona where he attends Arizona State University, pursuing his Bachelors of Science degree in Justice Studies. ...Read more
Beth is Chairwoman of Save Our Schools Arizona, a grassroots group fighting the privatization of education in our state. She has proudly taught 5th and 6th grade in Arizona for 8 years, and was honored as a Rodel Exemplary teacher. She holds a BA from the University of Notre Dame and a Master’s in Education from ASU. Her 4- and 6-year olds are thriving in our public schools.
Mr. Mundell grew up in Arizona and graduated from ASU with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and received a Juris Doctorate Degree from St. Mary’s University Law School in San Antonio, Texas. He was twenty seven when he was appointed the Presiding Judge of the Chandler Municipal Court. He served as Judge for six years when he resigned to run for the Arizona House of Representatives....Read more
Bob is a veteran political & public affairs strategist for campaigns like the groundbreaking Prop. 106 that raised the Arizona Minimum Wage and the Clinton-Gore campaigns that broke Arizona mythology. Bob’s clients have included Arizona elections like that of U.S. Sam Coppersmith to the development and branding of the Vote Vets. ...Read more
Damian Preciado is a dedicated to creating coalitions that strengthen our communities. He graduated from Brandeis University in ‘06 with a degree in Philosophy and Latin American Studies. Damian was elected in September to lead statewide initiatives as the Arizona Democratic Party Affirmative Action Moderator. In this role he ensures that the Democratic Party membership is diverse and inclusive. ...Read more
Dana has been part of the Children’s Action Alliance team for nearly 25 years, conducting analysis,
raising awareness, and lobbying the state legislature on a wide variety of policy issues that affect parents and children. She was named CEO by the Children’s Action Alliance Board of Directors in December
2006. ...Read more
Darrell Hill is a Staff Attorney with the ACLU of Arizona. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in May 2009 and began volunteering with our legal department shortly thereafter. Darrell’s work includes legal and non-legal advocacy in the areas of police practices, prisoner rights, LGBT rights, First Amendment, student rights’ and public records. ...Read more
Special Projects Coordinator for Teamsters Local 104 representing 7,400 members in Arizona. I have been a Teamster for 2 and half years, before that volunteering at Teamsters Local 104 conducting History Classes and supporting the Labor Movement in Arizona since 2010. ...Read more
Dean Baker co-founded CEPR in 1999. His areas of research include housing and macroeconomics, intellectual property, Social Security, Medicare and European labor markets. He is the author of several books, including Rigged: How Globalization and the Rules of the Modern Economy Were Structured to Make the Rich Richer, Getting Back to Full Employment: A Better Bargain for Working People, ...Read more
DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc is a Board-Certified Gynecologist and Clinical Professor who owns and operates Desert Star Family Planning, LLC in Phoenix, Arizona. At Desert Star Family Planning, abortion care is fully integrated with the delivery of women’s preventive health and wellness care. ...Read more
Dianne Post received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1979. She was a family lawyer in Arizona for 18 years, representing mostly battered women and abused children, before beginning a career in international law primarily doing gender-based violence work including training, drafting and analysis. On the international level she has worked with and for the U.S., O.S.C.E., and the U.N. in places as far flung as Russia, Mongolia, Algeria, Cambodia and Kenya. ...Read more
Elisia Manuel was born and raised in Arizona. She is the Founder of “Three Precious Miracles” to help Native youth in foster care and advocates finding forever homes for children displaced. Elisia is passionate about the youth and streamlining the services throughout Native communities. ...Read more
The son of Mexican laborers, Emmanuel was born in California and has lived in Arizona since 1992. A Cesar Chavez Leadership Institute fellow in high school, Emmanuel is an ASU grad and a former teacher. He also worked as a front desk agent and served as union shop steward at the Renaissance Downtown hotel. Emmanuel works on CASE’s Latino voter engagement and service worker organizing campaigns.
Rev. Erin Tamayo is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a member of the Grand Canyon Presbytery. Erin holds degrees in Bilingual Education as well as in Spanish with an MA in ESL and a Masters of Divinity Degree from San Francisco Theological Seminary. Formerly, Erin was an educator in the Isaac School District for 5 years. ...Read more
Francisca Porchas Coronado is a leading voice in efforts against criminalization, deportation and immigrant detention. She is the current Wellness Coordinator at Puente Movement and is building a Project called Seeds of Resilience that addresses the trauma experienced by frontline communities currently facing criminalization and deportation.
Francisco Luna is an Undocuqueer organizer in Phoenix, Arizona. Now 27, He got to the U.S. when he was only 11. He has been organizing since 2012 when, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was announced in immigration. Francisco came out of the closet as queer in 2013. He is now organizing in many cross intersections, such as Immigration and Trans Queer issues that affect undocumented people of color with Trans Queer Pueblo as a Joti-PoliticAZ coordinator (queer-politics) to create space for undocumented TQPOC.
Francisco has been living in Tucson Arizona for the last 14 years. Originally from Nogales Sonora Mexico, Francisco and his family moved in 2003 and now studies nursing at Pima Community College and works as an AVID tutor and a medical technician. At his 24 years of age, Francisco has been an active community organizer in the immigrant and LGBTQ community advocating for students, parents, and resources regardless of their immigration status. ...Read more
Isabella Bronstein is the National Grassroots Organizer at Common Cause. She builds, organizes and trains a national network of grassroots and community leaders to work on local, state and national campaigns. She joined Common Cause’s digital team in 2015, before moving to her new role in May 2017. ...Read more
Jay develops and manages Common Cause’s daily rapid response messages, national campaign communications strategy, and Common Cause’s work on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its push for an Article V constitutional convention. ...Read more
Jevin Hodge stands as a proud advocate for local communities. He has been involved in policy advising and campaign management at the municipal, state, and federal level, including advising President Barack Obama and his administration on how to best engage millennials. ...Read more
Jim currently serves as the President of Pride at Work Arizona and is one of two primary founding officers of the chapter. Since the Chapter’s charter was granted in June of 2015, the Pride at Work, Arizona has become the largest chapter in the nation. ...Read more
JJ Johnson is an activist, photographer and mitigation specialist in Arizona. He serves as the vice chair of Black Lives Matter PHX, and works to leverage relationships to promote social justice. He is a Navy veteran, and enjoys dogs, strong coffee, and social discourse.
Jodi Liggett is the Vice President for Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood Arizona, where she oversees reproductive health and rights policy objectives, and manages the work of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona, the separate organization that educates voters and candidates for public office. ...Read more
A former Sergeant with the Arizona Department of Corrections. Joe was the 1st Hispanic to run for Maricopa County Sheriff in 2016. He was born in Mexico and when he was just 4 years old his parents immigrated to the U.S. He hoped to reform the office of Sheriff by being tough on crime without violating constitutional rights and without wasteful spending of public funds. ...Read more
John Phebus is a trial attorney in Phoenix, Arizona. He practices criminal defense and personal injury law. He received his JD from the University of Illinois College of Law in 1993 before moving to Phoenix in 1994. John is involved in progressive politics. He has served on the board of the Arizona Center for Neighborhood Leadership, Phoenix Pride, Vivre Recovery Housing, and the Arizona Committee for Constitutional Defense....Read more
Karla has been a member of Teamsters Local 104 for 30 years and has served as a Business Agent for the past 18 years. She holds a vast array of experience in the labor arena. She has many years of experience in contract negotiations, Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services, Arbitrations and various panel systems. ...Read more
Katherine Roxlo has a passion for respectful conversations. She is a board member and facilitator for the Institute for Civil Dialogue. She has facilitated Civil Dialogues across the Valley at junior high and high schools, universities, libraries, and non-government organizations. ...Read more
Kelley Dupps has over 20 years’ experience as a political and community organizer and currently serves as the Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Arizona. Kelley has organized throughout the United States – working on issues ranging from education policy to animal welfare; from reproductive justice to equality for all. ...Read more
Dr. King attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and Rutgers University where she earned a PhD in political theory and the history of political thought. Her previous research includes a study of 17th century natural law theory and its construction of the ‘individual’ for political contract theory. ...Read more
Kyra Climbingbear is a performing artist, activist, and law student. She is currently pursuing a Juris Doctorate at Arizona State University’s Sandra O’Connor College of Law with a focus in Indian Law. As an enrolled member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Kyra has always been active in Indian Country and the issues that effect American Indians.
LaShanda Jackson is the engagement & fundraising specialist for the National office. She will identify, cultivate and develop major donor relationships on behalf of Common Cause. Before joining Common Cause in February 2017, LaShanda worked for the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund as the manager of gift accounting, where she oversaw financial management of an $80 million capital campaign. ...Read more
Lourdes joined Triadvocates, LLC a year ago as a Public Affairs Consultant. Triadvocates has been named the No. 1 Lobbying Firm by the Phoenix Business Journal seven years in a row. Lourdes supports the firm’s lobbying, policy and advocacy efforts. Prior to joining Triadvocates, Lourdes gained experience in state government through her service as a Democratic policy advisor at the Arizona House of Representatives. ...Read more
Máxima Guerrero is a native of Morelos, Mexico and resides in Akimel O’Odham territory [Phoenix, AZ]. She is currently the Director of Leadership Development at Aliento AZ. Her passion and commitment in community organizing and advocacy for social change comes from personal experience and exposure to the hateful rhetoric that derives from politics. Máxima has been a part of both national actions and mobilization in D.C and in Arizona. ...Read more
Melinda is a prominent Arizona grassroots activist known for her Weekly Legislative Update, a plain-language overview of the Arizona Legislature’s notable bills by session. Her journalism training and her 27 years of experience in managing editorial content help her summarize the labyrinthine movements at the Capitol, making the legislative process more accessible for concerned citizens statewide. ...Read more
Michael has spent his life pursuing a variety of interest. He is originally from the Michigan after completing his B.S in Biochemistry spent time teaching English in China. In China he began to understand the concept of a global citizen and what being an active member of a comment means.After returning from China he spent several years in Ohio. While in Ohio he developed an interest in environmental issues around the country. ...Read more
Miriam Weisman is an activist whose outreach extends to all communities. Miriam has been involved with the Anti-Defamation League for 15 years and has served as board chair, education committee chair and is presently the National Chair of Education. She is an anti-bias facilitator for both ADL and GLSEN. She passionately believes in the ADL mission to stop the defamation of the Jewish people and to protect the rights and secure fair treatment for all.
Monica Gellman is a graduate of Indiana University and Arizona State University College of Law. For seven years, she served as a felony prosecutor for Maricopa County, trying over 25 cases from simple DUIs through sex crimes. Currently, she is a stay at home mom to three children and a part-time Zumba instructor. Prior to last year, Monica did not consider herself politically active, but the 2016 election changed all that. ...Read more
Monica Trejo is a native Arizonan and a proud Tempe resident. She became the first in her household to graduate from high school. She graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Health and Master’s in Special Education. She also graduated from Columbia University with a Master’s degree in Education Leadership. She is currently a Doctoral student researching urban education at Columbia’s Teachers College....Read more
A near native of Arizona and ASU graduate, Morgan has built a career leading issue-based campaigns and strategic communications for state and national clients. She has managed a Phoenix city council campaign, worked on the front-line of the fight to save the ACA, and most recently began as a field contractor with Organizing for Action. Her current clients also include L’Ecuyer Communications and the Arizona Center for Civic Leadership at the Flinn Foundation. ...Read more
Naketa Ross is the epitome of resiliency. She founded a researched based, trauma informed program to assist young adults in preparing to age out of foster care. Upon moving to Arizona Naketa began working with marginalized youth as an advocate while educating them on making healthy decisions. ...Read more
Parris Ashley Wallace is a Black queer mother of two, bilingual, biracial children who has lived in the Phoenix area for nearly 15 years. Seeing BLM take off in states all around her, she quickly realized she wanted to be part of making social change and not let the fact that she’s not in a place like Los Angeles, New York, or even Ferguson stop her. ...Read more
Patricia Ann “Pat” Spearman (born in 1955) is an American cleric, veteran, and Democratic politician from North Las Vegas, Nevada. She was elected in November 2012 to the Nevada Senate representing District 1, that is composed of the northern section of North Las Vegas and slivers of neighboring jurisdictions, after defeating incumbent John Jay Lee in the primary, and winning the general election. ...Read more
Paul Hirt is a Professor of History and Senior Sustainability Scholar at ASU. He is the author of two books and more than two dozen articles on water, energy, and natural resources management in the American West. Dr. Hirt was elected to the Salt River Project (SRP) board of directors in 2016 running on a pro-solar platform in response to SRP’s anti-rooftop solar price plan adopted in 2015. ...Read more
Rebecca is the Founder of International Sexual Exploitation Enemies United (ISEEUHope) – an organization dedicated to activism, support and awareness of the sex trade and its damaging effects. She is also a community activist currently working on issues of police brutality Arizona education funding. Rebecca is a loyal friend and passionate defender of the value of individual journeys. ...Read more
Richard is the Founder and Principal of the Radicle Solutions Group, a company purposed to cultivate capacity within organizations to maximize impact and deliver results to the communities they serve. Mr. Crews has worked in areas ranging from the streets of South Phoenix working to transform neighborhoods, to working in boardrooms leading CEO’s and Superintendents to close the gaps for all of the 250,000+ 0-25 year olds in the Phoenix urban core. ...Read more
Ms. Banks was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised throughout the Grand Canyon State. She spent most of her adolescent years in the small town Winslow, located in the northeastern region of Arizona. In 2007, she graduated from Winslow High. After receiving her high school diploma, she went on to pursue her Bachelor’s Degree and became a Sun Devil. ...Read more
Sadi is a proud father to an one-year-old son. There is no greater joy than when he heard his boy says “papa” for the first time. His family survived the killing fields in Cambodia and was very fortunate to emigrate to the U.S. On their journey to America, they lived in multiple countries and learned the beauty of different cultures, cuisines, and languages. Sadi was taught to listen more and talk less, and always to be more kind instead of being just nice....Read more
Sandy Bahr is the Chapter Director for the Grand Canyon (Arizona) Chapter of Sierra Club, where her responsibilities include advocating for environmental protection with various state and federal agencies, conducting research, developing and evaluating policies, conducting grassroots outreach and organizing, developing and implementing priority projects, fundraising and budget development, and supervising staff, among others. ...Read more
Sarah Richardson is proud to be born and raised in Arizona. She graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in business administration and a M.Ed in education. Sarah worked in the Human Resources and Finance industries before becoming a teacher. She taught grades 7-12 and now works as an adjunct business professor for Northern Arizona University. ...Read more
As an Arizona native with a multinational family, Sara Joehnk feels part of the American immigrant story. She is the newly-appointed treasurer for Somos America and their joint monthly meetings with the People Demanding Action Arizona’s Immigration Team provides her an outlet to care for the local community and advocate for more humanitarian immigration policies. ...Read more
Scott Sefranka is an Eight Year US Coast Guard Veteran with experience in tactical law enforcement. After leaving the US Coast Guard he joined the Phoenix Police where he served as an Officer until he was nearly fatally shot in the line of duty. Currently he is medically retired from the department and works hard as an advocate for those with disabilities, and PTSD. ...Read more
Sentari M. Minor is a social impact advocate and passionate relationship builder. As the Arizona Director of Gen Next, Mr. Minor oversees the development and engagement of accomplished and purposeful local leaders to ultimately drive global change. ...Read more
Shannon Rivers is a member of the Akimel O’otham (River People) born and raised on the Gila River Indian Reservation (Community) located in the southern state of Arizona. Since 2004 Mr. Rivers has been a Participant and a former Delegate at the United Nation Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held at the UN headquarters in New York City. ...Read more
A founding member of Save Our Schools Arizona, Sharon began her career in Higher Education Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC and later served as Communications and Community Outreach director for a national healthcare management company. ...Read more
Siman is a well-seasoned public health professional, with a background in developing and administering community health programs. She started her career in refugee health followed by a ten-year tenure at the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, where she was the administrator for the Office of School Health and Wellness Initiatives. ...Read more
Sonja Klinsky is an Assistant Professor at the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. Prior to this she was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge, and through the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. Broadly speaking her research tries to understand how humans have tried, are trying, and could try to deal with the integrated challenges of climate change and inequality....Read more
Growing up in Los Angeles, I was influenced by the Chicano Moratorium Against the War, the student walk-outs in East Los Angeles, the struggles against gentrification and the union movement. My mother was a union organizer and my father was a leader of the Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers Union and the Steelworker union. ...Read more
Tamanie Sheldon has worked in Child Welfare cumulatively for 11 years and currently works as the Program Director of Foster Care and Adoption for Arizona’s Children Association, as well, Tamanie is the co-chair for Project Jigsaw. She has a Bachelor’s in Social Work from Arizona State University and continues to be an ambassador for the LGBTQ community in the child welfare realm; assuring persons from the LGBTQ community know they can be parents through foster care and/or adoption.
Tayler Tucker is a born and raised Arizonan who has always had a penchant for speaking out whether it was the sandbox politics of yonder years to the current fight back against attacks on reproductive rights. Tayler serves as the Media Relations Specialist for Planned Parenthood Arizona helping to craft messaging and lift up stories about how Planned Parenthood is an integral part of our community. ...Read more
Terry Goddard, focused his 8 years as Arizona Attorney General (2003-2011) on protecting consumers and fighting trans-national organized crime. In 2010, he received the Kelly-Wyman Award, the highest recognition given by state Attorneys General. As Mayor of Phoenix from 1984 to 1990, Terry increased citizen participation and led nationally recognized efforts in economic development, long range planning and the arts. ...Read more
Tony Cani joined the ACLU of Arizona as Political Director in September of
2017. Previously Tony served Senior Policy Advisor for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and served in a similar role for Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell. He has also served as National Political Director for the Sierra Club; National Political Director for the Young Democrats of America; Non-Traditional Campaigns Director for the Arizona Democratic Party; and as a National Youth Director on a presidential campaign.
Usama Shami has been the President of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix since 2002 and a member of the board since 1998. Usama is an active member of the community focusing on bringing Muslims and non-Muslims together through open dialogue, free exchange of ideas, teaching others about the true peaceful message of Islam and collaborating on community centric projects. ...Read more
Victor Aronow graduated from Boston College Law School in 1970. He was sent to Arizona with a fellowship by one of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty” programs to assist failing legal services programs. After being fired from his job as a result of his legal work with Wounded Knee, he taught at ASU law school, and eventually opened his own practice in Phoenix, developing an extensive criminal trial practice, representing a labor union of undocumented workers, protesters, and assorted troublemakers, as well as the usual drug dealers, bank robbers, and miscreants. ...Read more
Wade Austin Padgett
Wade Austin Padgett is an Arizona native with deep ties to an expansive variety of communities and professions in the greater Phoenix area. Wade is the owner of the August Community Consultants and serves as Vice President on the Somos America board. Wade completed a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology. ...Read more
Warren Stewart, Jr.
Warren Stewart, Jr. is the founder and lead pastor of Church of The Remnant. As a Phoenix native, he grew up as a “preacher’s kid” in the black Baptist church where his foundation of faith was forged and he was shaped for future ministry working in multicultural churches and ministries. ...Read more
Will Gaona joined ACLU of Arizona as Policy Director in June 2015. He is
responsible for lobbying the Arizona Legislature on a broad range of civil liberties issues and leading key policy and education activities at the local level, especially in the areas of immigrants’ rights and police accountability. ...Read more
Zaira has lived in Tucson, AZ since her family immigrated from Mexico in the early 90’s and is a Neuroscience major at the UofA. Founder of Progressive Minds of America and Latinas for Bernie Sanders. Former Southern Arizona Director for the statewide Prop 206 minimum wage campaign. Current organizer with immigrant rights action committee L.U.P.E. and Jobs With Justice. ...Read more
Zulema is consultant with Mom’s Clean Air Force. Mom’s Clean Air Force is a community of mom’s and dad’s United against air pollution- including the urgent crisis of our changing climate – to protect our children’s health. Rodriguez was the deputy national director concerning mass incarceration for the political advocacy group Center for Community Change (CCC) until early 2016. ...Read more