DemCast Team

DemCast is a growing team of grassroots activists, writers, artists & thinkers. We’re building this initiative so that anyone can find a way to meaningfully plug in. Below, you can learn about the amazing team that is leading the way.

Jump to: BOARD OF DIRECTORSADVISORY BOARD | STAFF

Board of Directors

Hassan Ahmad

Hassan Ahmad is an immigration lawyer and advocate. Fluent or proficient in 8 languages, he founded his practice on the belief in the right to seek prosperity. A former candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates, he serves on the Commonwealth Commission for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the Virginia Asian Advisory Board. He has fought for asylum seekers, families, and businesses seeking prosperity for 16 years, and seeks to elevate stories of the aspiring American experience to policymakers at all levels. Hassan lives in northern Virginia with his wife & three children.

Travis Akers

Travis Akers is a veteran Navy Intelligence Officer in Jacksonville, FL who has risen to notoriety as a social media personality and an activist for veterans issues and gun reform. He is also the co-founder of Left of Bang, a working group comprised of fellow veterans who are creating sensible solutions to end gun violence in the United States. Travis earned degrees in Organizational Management and Public Administration from Ashford University and Villanova University. He has recently made appearance with Newsweek, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and CNN.

RACHEL MURPHY AZZARA

Rachel is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Democrats Work For America, a political action committee for and by grassroots activists. Rachel and Sudha Mohan created Democrats Work For America with the idea that ground level activists are better positioned to accurately assess districts and candidates and determine where support is needed. Through a national network of volunteers and coalitions we focus on providing resources, support and guidance to the boots on the ground. Rachel lives in Saint Louis, MO with her husband and 2 children.

Reginald Oh

Reginald Oh is Associate Director of The Loyal Opposition. His primary focus is on issues relating to constitutional law, the protection of vulnerable communities, and the reduction of political polarization in America. A law professor who teaches constitutional law and legal ethics, Reggie’s scholarship is focused on the meaning of equality under the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause. His current research focuses on the central role that dehumanization plays in fostering inequality and discrimination, and the possibility for law to counter it.

Khary Penebaker

Khary is a gun violence survivor and a prominent gun sense advocate from Wisconsin. In 2016, Khary ran for Congress in the state of Wisconsin, earning the support of Russ Feingold, Hillary Clinton, Herb Kohl, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Keith Ellison. He has since been elected as a DNC representative for Wisconsin. Khary is a proud board member of Planned Parenthood of WI and WAVE (WI Anti-Violence Effort) and is Everytown for Gun Safety‘s WI’s Survivor Fellow. A successful entrepreneur and businessman, Khary is the father of three kids ranging in age from toddler to teenager. Family plays a prominent role in his life, as does his faith.

Jill Schiller

Jill is a mother, a former attorney & Obama Administration staffer who was the Democratic nominee for the US House seat in Ohio’s 2nd District in 2018. Jill grew up in a home that valued education and hard work: her dad was a water worker and proud union member, her mom an office manager. She went on to become the first in her family to graduate from college, later running a consulting business that serves local nonprofit organizations, and eventually founding a nonprofit focused on children’s literacy. Jill lives in Cincinnati with her husband Josh, kids Reagan & Ben, and Murray – her crazy mini-goldendoodle.

Advisory Board

Kat Calvin

Kat Calvin is the Founder & Executive Director of Spread The Vote and Project ID. A lawyer, activist, and social entrepreneur, Kat has built a national organization that helps Americans obtain the IDs they need for jobs and to go to the polls. Kat is also an advisor to Ragtag, sits on the board of the California Women’s List, and occasionally writes stuff. She’s one of the 2018 Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business. Kat attended Mount Holyoke College and the University of Michigan Law School, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Charlotte Clymer

Charlotte Clymer is the Press Secretary for Rapid Response at the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ organization. She also serves on the Military and Veterans Advisory Council for Modern Military Families of America, the Board of Directors for the Center for Military and Legal Policy, and the D.C. Commission for Persons with Disabilities. Her political commentary has been published and quoted by numerous outlets. She is a military veteran and proud transgender woman based in Washington, D.C.

Adam Cohen

Adam S. Cohen is a lawyer and activist in New York. He is the founder and Managing Partner of Cohen & Siegel, a boutique law practice concentrating in Workers’ Compensation and Social Security disability law. He is a graduate of Brandeis University and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Adam also serves on the Board of Directors of Lawyers for Good Government, a national organization comprised of approximately 125,000 members which focuses on human rights, immigration rights, free and fair elections, government corruption and protecting the environment. Adam is married and has two children.

Dr. Casey Dominguez

Dr. Casey Dominguez received her PHD in Political Science from UC Berkeley in 2005. She has published scholarly research about elections and about the presidency. She offers DemCast nonpartisan, research-based analysis on civic engagement and the American political system. She resides in San Diego, where she raises her family and works as a professor of Political Science – teaching the next generation about civic engagement, elections and understanding the political process in America.

Terry Dresbach

Terry Dresbach was raised in a family of union and civil rights activists. After attending art school,Terry became a Costume Designer for Film and Television. Recognizing the power of the medium to reach people, she advocated for progressive values and principals. Terry’s work in television led to a presence on social media that allowed her to mobilize followers to engage in politics for the first time. After the 2016 election, organizing them to get out the vote, work on political campaigns and raise funds for candidates, immigrant rights organizations and public education. In the age of Trump, that’s a full time job.

Rachel Gonzalez

Rachel Gonzalez is a student activist from Missouri. In 2016, Rachel became the youngest-ever elected Missouri delegate to a political convention (at 17). She was the youngest Hillary Clinton delegate in the nation. Once chosen as the Missouri Democrats “Young Democrat of the Year,” Rachel is now an executive committee member of the MO Democratic Party. In 2017, she won the Rilla Moran award from the National Federation of Democratic Women and interned at the DNC headquarters in 2018.

Gaby Goldstein

Gaby Goldstein is Co-Founder and Political Director at the Sister District Project, a grassroots organization of over 45,000 volunteers that supports Democratic candidates in strategic, winnable state legislative races across the country through grassroots fundraising and field support. She is also Director of Research at Sister District Action Network, a nonpartisan organization engaged in public education about state policy and field research related to voter registration and turnout. She has a JD from Boston University, and her BA and PhD in health policy are from UC Berkeley.

Dr. Nolan Higdon

Dr. Nolan Higdon is an author and university lecturer of history and media studies at California State University, East Bay. Higdon sits on the boards of the Action Coalition for Media Education and Northwest Alliance For Alternative Media And Education. His most recent publication is the 2019 United States of Distraction with Mickey Huff. He is co-host of the podcast Along the Line, and a longtime contributor to Project Censored’s annual book, Censored. In addition, he has been a guest commentator for The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, and numerous television news outlets.

Ali King

Ali King is the President and Co-Founder of Nasty Women Get Shit Done, a grassroots organization ​that emerged in Portland, Oregon in response to the 2016 presidential election. NWGSD has worked to actively resist the xenophobia, racism, misogyny, ableism, anti-LGBTQIA+, anti-Muslim, anti-Semitic, anti-Earth platform and policies of the current administration. Their "In Our America” flag graphic has been distributed across the country on tens of thousands of yard signs, stickers, and posters. Proceeds from the sales of “In Our America” merchandise are donated to local organizations that support the values on the flag and currently exceed $141,000. Ali is the proud mama of two (almost) grown daughters and a Mexican street dog named Lupe.

Christine Pelosi

Christine Pelosi is an attorney, author, and advocate who serves as a Democratic Party political strategist and general counsel for We Said Enough. She has worked as a Deputy City Attorney and Assistant District Attorney in San Francisco, special counsel to HUD in the Clinton-Gore administration, and a chief of staff on Capitol Hill. Elected as California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus Chair and Democratic National Committee Executive Committeewoman, Pelosi is the author of Campaign Boot Camp and Campaign Boot Camp 2.0 and has traveled to 41 states and 4 foreign countries conducting leadership trainings. Christine resides in San Francisco, California with her husband, Emmy nominated filmmaker Peter Kaufman, and their daughter Isabella.

Joseph Sanberg

Joseph N. Sanberg is a progressive entrepreneur who is working through both the public and private sectors to make people’s lives better. Joe believes that business can be a force for good, and that entrepreneurs have an important role to play in improving public policy and encouraging public service. He founded the Golden State Opportunity Foundation to expand financial security to the millions of Californians who work hard yet experience constant financial stress. Joe has been the leading advocate for the state’s new earned income tax credit for low-income families. Joe not only lobbied California to pass the credit, but created CalEITC4Me to connect California families with $2 billion of state and federal tax refunds.

Genevieve Thiers

Genevieve Thiers is a disruptor, entrepreneur, speaker and investor who lives in the Chicago area. Cenevieve’s first company, Sittercity.com, is America’s first company to take caregiving services online, and now has millions of users across the globe. Her companies have won over 18 major awards, including the CEC Momentum Award & the WBDC Rising Start Award. She is the author of the book Love at First Sit, and frequently writes for various tech publications in the Chicago area. A mother of twins, Genevieve is producer and tech trainer on RUN, a docu-series where a team of female experts empowers female candidates in their run for political office.

Elizabeth Thorp

Elizabeth Thorp is the Editor in Chief of PYPO.com, a female-driven online comedy and news network. A former editor in chief of Capitol File magazine, Thorp has been navigating public affairs in Washington for 23 years. Elizabeth caught the acting bug late in life after landing a speaking role in season four of Netflix’s hit drama “House of Cards.” She has hosted panels for Inova Health Foundation, White House Travel Blogger Summit, The American News Women’s Club and CityCenter DC. Elizabeth is a senior adviser to Planned Parenthood and lives in Washington, DC with her husband and three daughters.

Liz Watson

Liz Watson is a workers' rights attorney and long-time social justice advocate. In 2018, she ran for Congress in Indiana on a progressive economic populist platform. Previously, Liz served as the Executive Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy, the Labor Policy Director and Chief Labor Counsel for the House Education and Labor Committee Democrats, and the Director of Workplace Justice at the National Women's Law Center. Liz is currently the Executive Director of the Progressive Caucus Action Fund. She is serving on the Advisory Board in her personal capacity.

David Yankovich

David Yankovich is a veteran democratic strategist who has worked for many US Senate members, US House members and Democratic causes. David has developed an innovative social media network of engaged constituents, major social media influencers, and local influencers to navigate the social media message and steer his clients to victory. David was named AAPC Pollie Campaign Excellence Award Winner for Digital Strategist of the Year for 2018.

Staff

Nick Knudsen,
Executive Director

Nick is a Portland, Oregon-based writer, activist and troublemaker (#GoodTrouble). He worked as a grassroots digital organizer during the 2018 midterm cycle and is creator and editor of the activist site DemWritePress. With a Masters in Policy and 15-year background in non-profit management, program administration, coalition-building & resource development, Nick is proud and ready to lead the DemCast movement. He believes strongly in the importance of civic engagement & collective impact.

Lori Coleman,
Director of Digital Strategy

After the candidacy of Donald Trump, Lori became an outspoken activist against racism, inequality, and corruption in government. Lori has a proven record of teaching activists to mobilize their collective advocacy to support the fundamentals of Democracy. Lori has over 30 years of experience as a healthcare provider and advocate, with an emphasis in adult education and management of diverse teams in multi-site locations. She resides in Tennessee with her husband and 2 children.

Kelly Therese Pollock,
Director of Content

Born on the 4th of July, Kelly has always been a firecracker, leading a revolution of girls sitting at the boys’ lunch table in 2nd grade and founding Young Independents in high school. Since earning her Masters, Kelly has spent the past 15 years as a university administrator. In the fall of 2017, Kelly co-created the Two Broads Talking Politics Podcast with her friend Sophy. As producer and co-host, Kelly quickly built the podcast into a nationally recognized interview show, featuring Democratic candidates, activists, and authors around the country. She lives in Chicago with her husband & two sons.

Jamie Carter,
Director of Partnerships

Jamie Carter worked as a Regional Field Director for the Utah Democratic Party in 2018 with four candidates, covering 10 counties across the state. She was a program manager for 501(c)(3) animal rescue org, where she ran the cat adoption program, volunteer program, social media accounts, and wrote grants and managed the database. Jamie also organized over a dozen marches locally and was one of the national organizers for the March For Truth. She lives in Utah and has an adult son.

Julie Frontera,
Graphics Manager

Julie is a Detroit area native and lifelong artist, passionate about art, history, poetry, social and political issues. She expresses her activism best via visuals and has found that making graphics for political statements is a good way to channel her frustrations and express her hopes. Several years ago, she met Nick and a great collaborative effort took shape when she was able to add imagery to his words and co-create DemWritePress. Formerly a hospice nurse, she now juggles her day job, online store and family, with an intense dedication to restoring some peace and sanity to America.

L.Renee' Chubb,
Volunteer Manager

L. Renee' is an Ohio Buckeye, born and raised. She still resides in Ohio with her husband and their 1 year old dog, an Italian Mastiff, Kane. L. Renee' has been an avid community activist, but became even more involved within the past 2 years. That includes becoming involved at Demcast, taking online courses and self educating herself, all to further develop her writing skills, public speaking and leadership. L. Renee' was a Grant Administrator for the State of Ohio, writing a $2 million block grant, right out of high school. She retired at 25 with vested benefits. After retiring, she started her own company and attended classes at Franklin University, all while raising a young son. She hasn't looked back, self-publishing 4 books and contributing to a regular column on DemWritePress.com. L. Renee' is the co-creator and co-host of Backwards and In High Heels, the Podcast, with Jenny Gattone.

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