2019 Candidates

Tiff Piko- Candidate for Lancaster Ohio Mayor

Educational and professional background: I was born and raised in Lancaster. After graduating from Lancaster High School, I went to college in New York City at Parsons the New School for Design. There I studied the development of sustainable infrastructure, urban planning, and cultural preservation, to bring new ideas and solutions to Lancaster. After becoming a trained designer and completing internships in urban planning, I came back to serve our community and help others carry on the legacy of Lancaster.

I am also a businesswoman running a sustainable clothing resale shop. Through reselling, I was able to independently finance my education and create jobs for members of my community. By selling only second hand clothing, I have kept over 15,000 lbs of post consumer textile waste out of the landfill.

Top campaign issues: Job Creation - Lancaster is critically lacking in competitive, sustainable jobs. We need to take steps to balance big business and small business to diversify our economy, allow people to work where they live, and keep Lancaster’s talents local.

Neighborhood Preservation - We owe it to our community to ensure we are prepared for the future by focusing our efforts on what works and no longer wasting our resources on what does not. From fixing potholes to treating drug addiction, we have been fighting an uphill battle and it’s time to try a new approach.

Community Representation - Lancaster is a mosaic of many unique communities. Unfortunately, many of them have yet to be given a platform to voice their concerns and their hopes for our city. We need to invest in these communities and shift our focus beyond our downtown. Many of our parks are in need of updating, many of our roads need fixed, and many businesses and community members deserve our attention. It is time we afforded every part of Lancaster equal support and attention.

Sustainable Infrastructure - Lancaster became a prominent city because of its natural assets and many members of our community wish to carry on this legacy. Our city has failed to meet the needs of these citizens who have turned to private companies to provide environmental services such as home waste recycling. By partnering with these companies, we can invest in our own locally founded businesses while making their services more accessible.

Fun Fact: I am running for mayor during my senior year of college.

Website

Beverly Brooks Thompson- Candidate for Louisiana State Senate District 16

Educational and professional background: I have had 25 years of leadership and service in the public sector promoting economic and workforce development, quality education attainment and healthcare. Including executive leadership roles in two of our community’s flagship institutions: LSU and Woman’s Hospital I was the President and Executive Counsel, Brooks Thompson Consulting – national fundraising consulting and philanthropic advising firm with current clients across the United States. I was the Former Director of the Forever LSU Campaign - $798 Million in private philanthropic support, former President of Foundation for Woman’s – established and seated the supporting foundation and Board of Trustees.

I am a four time LSU alumna with a PHD in Human Resource and Leadership Development, Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE)

I am the mother of three Catholic High School alums, Brennan, junior at LSU; Dalton, freshman at LSU; William, freshman at LATech

I was given the Alumnus of the Year, LSU College of Human Science and Education in 2017. The award for influential Women in Business in 2018 and awarded top 40 Under 40 in 2009

Top campaign issues: As a small business owner and stalwart supporter of LSU, I have seen firsthand how Louisiana’s politics and the failure of our elected officials to have the hard conversations and to make the tough decisions, have hampered Louisiana’s potential. I have watched frustrated and angry on the sidelines as our leaders have done very little to enact real systemic change. It’s time for that to change.

-This means prioritizing education from cradle to university to educate and train our citizens.

-This means offering Louisiana citizens a stable tax code and economic incentives that grow our economy and support Louisiana’s businesses and workers.

-This means a fair and reasonable budget that promotes economic growth and uplifts Louisiana and its people.

We must have a return to civil discourse in our communication regarding the future of our state. This means taking politics out of the discussion and talking about common sense/common ground solutions that work – regardless of the politics. There are some who fight against the tide – speak truth about real solutions – offer to work with anyone to fix our problems but there are too many – still – who play politics with our future. It is time for this to change.

Website

Muriel Laws- Candidate for Louisiana Livingston Parish District 6 Councilwoman

Educational and professional background: In 1994, I began my Federal career, where I devoted the next 30 years of my life, and continued to implement those selfsame values my parents taught me into my tenure as a public servant.

Over the course of my career, I managed $52 million dollars of Department of Justice, Local Law Enforcement Block Grant funds to over 1,200 State and local government departments. Additionally, I was entrusted with the responsibility to serve as Special Projects lead for the $58 million initiative directed towards the Recovery of the Criminal Justice Infrastructure damaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. For this effort, I was awarded the prestigious Department of Justice, Assistant Attorney General award for Excellent Service.

In 2015, I was named the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Manager for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This required working with EPA Headquarters and 10 EPA Regions across the country. Under my leadership, EPA Headquarters and its Regions collectively raised over $1.6 million. I was twice awarded in 2007 and 2015 the CFC Manager of the year for both the Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency. During my extended Federal career, I had the distinct honor of interacting and working with many public officials across the country. I had the pleasure of meeting United States Presidents (Bush Sr., Clinton, and Obama), Presidential Cabinet Secretaries, Mayors, City Managers, Chiefs of Police, State and local government officials, State Senators and any community leaders.

Top campaign issues: Restoring Recycling, Infrastructure, Zoning

Fun Fact: Being a city girl from DC, I actually love fishing

Website

Robin Parrott- Candidate for Louisiana State Representative District 95

Educational and professional background: I graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University B.A. in English Education, Dec. 2006. I taught in the public school system for 8 years and was awarded teacher of the Year 2009-2010 school year

Top campaign issues: Education, Health Care, Environment

Fun Fact: I am the oldest sister out of 14 siblings!

Website

Erika Sugarmon- Candidate for Tennessee Memphis City Council, District 9, Position 1

Educational and professional background: I hold a Bachelors degree in business, A Masters degree in Public Administration and a Masters degree in Art and Teaching

Top campaign issues: Economic Development and Job Growth, Clean and Renewable Energy and Recycling, Expand student and adult vocational literacy programs

Fun Fact: I love to travel!

Website

Leah Cullins- Candidate for Louisiana State Representative District 67

Educational and professional background: I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, LA. Graduated from McKinley Senior High School. I am a three-time Southern University alumna graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Nursing; a Masters in Nursing Education and a Post Master’s Certification as a Nurse Practitioner. I attended the University of Alabama where I received my Doctorate of Nursing. Was a NIH Fellow and studied genetics at National Institutes of Health-National Institute of Nursing Research and obtained credit hours through Georgetown University.

I am the mother of son- T. Michael Hartford

I was awarded the Baton Rouge Business Report Top 40 Under 40- Baton Rouge Business Report Class of 2018; Women of Empowerment HUMANITARIAN Award;

Southern University Alumni Federation-Circle of Achievement in LIFE SCIENCES and MEDICINE Award; Phenomenal Woman of the Year, Baton Rouge, La. -Zeta Phi Beta Chapter; Honored and Recognized by Mayor Sharon Western Broome and Baton Rouge City Council For Serving As Medical Director For Baton Rouge Free Clinic 2018; Appointed to the Mayor’s Advisory Council- Ryan White Program and awarded the Louisiana Role Model award by Links Inc,- Baton Rouge Chapter.

I am an active and engaged resident who is devoted to helping others increase their quality of life not only physically, but also socially and economically. I am an advocate for those without a voice, the poor and a proud LGBTQ supporter. Race relations is a big issue that needs to be addressed deeply and continuously.

Heidi Stuber- Candidate for Washington Seattle City Council District 4

Educational and professional background: I started my career as an Environmental Science teacher for Teach For America in inner-city Chicago. When I moved home to Washington and my teaching certificate didn't transfer, I found a role in a local education business. Within a few months, I was promoted to be in charge of the entire office at age 23. Taking on a management role at such a young age meant I quickly learned to lead as a collaborative problem solver, listening to my team, and empowering shared leadership. After leadership roles in nonprofits, higher education, and small business I realized I loved being an ethical businesswoman and decided to pursue my MBA. My recent career has focused on organizational change, which is taking a holistic, big-picture view, looking for the opportunities for improvement, and then working with individual stakeholders to enact a shared vision. It is this ability to strategically plan for a better future, combined with my experience as a real life advocate that makes me the best choice to bring about a better Seattle.s.

Top campaign issues:

1) An Action-Oriented response to the Homelessness crisis.

Seattle's unhoused population deserves every opportunity to access services and secure safe and dignified housing. Despite increasing funding, we see more of those in need without a roof over their head. It’s time for a new approach that ensures our financial commitment to reducing homelessness is being spent wisely. As a city, we have a responsibility to organize our resources and prioritize solutions that are getting people out of homelessness and on a path towards self-sufficiency. Once we have a thorough and organized approach in place and all those who want services are offered services, the city needs to re-establish expectations for clean and safe public spaces.

2) Ensuring Affordability for all of Seattle.

When it takes two six-figure salaries to afford a home in Seattle, we are in danger of becoming a city of the 1%. Families are being squeezed by high property taxes, small businesses struggle to pay their employees a living wage and still make ends meet, and too many people are being displaced out of neighborhoods that have long been their home. We need to take a broad look at what can be done about the growing cost of living in our great city. Developers, neighborhoods, and the city need to work together for balanced solutions that allow middle class families, teachers, college students, artists, and seniors to continue to be a part of our vibrant community.

3) Protecting our Environment for the next Generation.

Climate change is the primary threat to the future of our children and grandchildren. In Seattle, 2/3 of carbon emissions are due to single-occupancy vehicles which means traffic in our city is both affecting our current quality of life and harming our future. Our path to carbon neutrality requires increased access to mass transit, carpooling, and work from home solutions. We have an opportunity while our light rail is still expanding to get more people on public transit by expanding bus lines, increasing service hours, and providing free to low cost Orca cards for middle class families and individuals. Together, we can all be a part of the solution for a sustainable Seattle.

4) Supporting Students and Schools.

Seattle taxpayers consistently show their commitment to the students of Seattle by supporting school levies. City Council should come alongside the people of Seattle by insisting that the state legislature fully fund education. Seattle can be proud of our investment in early childhood learning and a college education. Next, we should look to expand after-school and summer programming, wrap around services, and investigate how to close achievement gaps. City leadership can look for innovative ways to partner with school communities to support access to a quality education, inclusion, and achievement for all students.

Fun Fact: My friends and family call me a badass because of my history advocating for special needs students & GSD!

Website

Tina Cottone- Candidate for Hilliard Ohio City Council

Educational and professional background: I hold a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University. I am a currently a publishing project manager.

Top campaign issues:

Transparency, Development and Community Collaboration

Fun Fact: My husband understands that I live for my dogs

Website

Lisa Zargarpur- Candidate for Prince William County School Board

Educational and professional background: I hold degrees in Music (flute performance), a Master of Arts, and a Master’s in Education. I am certified K-12 and teach general music K-6. I’m a member of the Fairfax Education Association (VEA/NEA), I am Equity Lead at my school.

Top campaign issues: Student Success, School safety, Manageable class sizes, Teacher retention

Fun Fact: I also teach fitness classes: Spin, yoga, barbells!

Website

Melissa Dart- Candidate for Henrico County School Board

Educational and professional background: I have worked for nearly 20 years in healthcare administration in the private sector. I live in Henrico County with my husband, James, and our 3 boys who all attend our wonderful public schools. Our eldest son, Leo, has special needs and I've been advocated for him his entire life. That advocacy has broadened into community activism and fighting for fully funded public education for all students and families.

Top campaign issues: Transparency and accountability from the School Board to the community it is elected to serve. Funding current teacher and faculty positions in order to attract and retain the best and the brightest to our schools. Funding more teaching positions; now that we have given teachers raises, we still need more of them. When I'm elected, I will hold regular Town Halls to create an open and on-going dialogue with the families in the District

Fun Fact: I'm a huge ATP tennis fan and I'm hoping to see Roger Federer play one more time in-person before he retires.

Website

Daryl Joy Walters- Candidate for Louisiana House of Representatives District 3

Educational and professional background: I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, Post Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ and a specialized certificate from Yale University’s Women’s Campaign School.

Top campaign issues: Accessible Health Care for all, Expanding Universal Pre-K throughout Louisiana, Raising the minimum wage to a living wage.

Fun Fact: I love riding horses.

Website

Kea Sherman- Candidate for Louisiana House of Representatives District 98

Educational and professional background: I am the founder of the Sherman Law Firm, a boutique firm that advocates for individuals and small businesses in civil matters. Additionally, I act as general counsel to a number of companies located in the New Orleans area. I have spent the past decade tirelessly growing the firm, championing women’s rights by co-founding Emerge Louisiana and Les Femmes PAC and working to increase access to Early Childhood Education in Louisiana.

I received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in communications and public relations. I studied civil law at the LSU Law Center, receiving my law degree in 2004 from the South Texas College of Law.

Following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I worked as contractor with the Texas Education Agency to support the transition of relocated New Orleans students into Texas public schools.

I have served on a fundraising committee for Educare New Orleans, the Board of Directors for Kingsley House and the Board of Directors for Dress for Success New Orleans. In 2017, Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Kea to serve as a Commissioner on the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission. Kea is a member of Trinity Episcopal church in New Orleans. Super Lawyers recognized her as a Rising Star in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Kea and her work have been featured in Vanity Fair, Inside New Orleans, and on ABC’s “20/20.

Top campaign issues: Expand Early Childhood Education Statewide and Make It Affordable for Working Families (Pre-k and programs for children from birth to 3 years old)

Invest in technology, biotech, film and entertainment industries to diversify our state and local economies and support workforce development to fill good paying job opportunities

Provide flexibility for state universities and the ability to offer programs and certifications to complement 21st Century job opportunities

Close Louisiana state law loopholes that prevent equal pay for equal work

Work with city and state leaders to work through the ongoing issues facing the Sewerage and Water Board

Website

Sandi Allen- Candidate for Dublin Ohio City Council

Educational and professional background: I received my Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin in International relations with a certificate in international business. Currently I work at CIGNA as a Property and Casualty claims advisor. I have worked at Huntington National Bank as a Trading manager as well as in sales for international banking. I am the children’s director at High Street UMC and am a substitute teacher at the Educational Service Center.

Top campaign issues: Maintain connection or old and new development, preserve amenities (services, parks green space), Build the right mix of corporate, retail and residential development to retain and attract top notch talent and grow or revive base without raising taxes, Safe and inclusive diversity, civic engagement especially youth leadership development.

Fun Fact: I love to bake!

Website

Belinda Davis- Candidate for Louisiana State Representative

Alicia Calvin- Candidate for Louisiana State Representative District 16

Morgan Lamandre- Candidate for Louisiana House of Representatives District 66

Mandie Landry- Candidate for House of Representatives District 91

Vicki Slater- Candidate for Mississippi House of Representatives District 56

Missy Cotter Smasal- Candidate for Virginia State Senate District 8

Cindy Garlock- Candidate for Cedar Rapids Community School District School Board

Educational and Professional background: I have a BA from Wartburg College and an MA from College of St. Scholastica. I was a Secondary Science Teacher in Cedar Rapids School District and am now a retired teacher of 33 years

Top campaign issues: Creating pathways for all learners, Using public money for public schools, Ensuring safe schools.

Fun Fact: Charles Darwin is my hero!

Website

 
 

Salena Santibañez Guipzot- Former Candidate for San Antonio Texas City Council District 2

Johanna Guzman- Former Candidate for Virginia House of Delegates 87th District

Vania Guevera- Former Candidate for Phoenix City Council District 5


2018 Candidates

 
 

Amber Daniels- 2018 Candidate for State Representative District 78, OH

Kristine Geis- 2018 Candidate for State Representative House District 97, OH

Leah Good- 2018 Candidate for Fairfield County Commissioner, OH

Melissa Dahman- 2018 Candidate for Ohio State School Board District 8

 

Debra Jensen - 2018 Candidate for State Representative District 7, IA

Christine Ralston- 2018 Candidate for Iowa City City Council

Karli McGowan - 2018 candidate for County Commissioner for Roosevelt County, MT

Caroline Nesbitt- 2018 Candidate for State Representative Carroll County District 4, NH

 

Felicia French- 2018 Candidate for State Representative District 6, AZ

Erika Johnson- 2018 Candidate for State Representative 19th Middlesex, MA

 
 

2017 Candidates

Delegate Hala Ayala- Virginia House of Delegates District 51, VA

Melissa Dart- Virginia House of Delegates District 56, VA