Member Spotlight: Nate Hall

vote today, croppedFollowing the success of the repeal Senate Bill 5 movement of 2011, students and others previously not familiar with the labor movement became aware of the importance of organized labor to progressive causes. Nate Hall, an FCYDems member who serves as a policy analyst for the Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio Regional Council of Carpenters (IKORCC), is one such student.

Nate started working on behalf of progressive causes while still a student, at Ohio University in Athens. He started by working on Obama’s successful 2008 campaign and then later served as the College Democrats President for Ohio University until he worked as campaign manager for the successful race of Nick Barborak for the 5th Ohio House District. Beginning in January of 2013 Nate worked as a Legislative Aide for Representative Barborak. This gave him an understanding of the legislative process until he left the legislature to help run another Democratic House race in the difficult 2014-election cycle. This shift allowed Nate to stumble upon an opportunity to assist the labor movement as a staff member with IKORCC. Labor has been the back bone of the Democratic Party for one-hundred years, and will be for the next one-hundred years,” said Nate. As a policy analyst for IKORCC he has great concerns with continued restrictions on workers rights, and possible changes to unemployment compensation, championed in the Ohio Legislature, which will negatively impact those in construction and other labor workers who might be in-between work sites.

Conversely, Nate sees hope in advancing the ideals of collective bargaining, specifically it’s ability to bring wages up for all workers, however he still remains concerned with the continued movement of so called “Right to Work” legislation, reminiscence of the 2011 S.B. 5 fight, “It’s important for the Democratic Party to be vigilant against future efforts to constrict organized labor.”

IKORCC continues to be active in outreach to communities not traditionally represented in the Carpenters Union, such as women and the growing Latino population in the field. FCYDems are excited to have a member on the front lines of the future of the labor movement in Nate Hall.

 

By: Dimitri McDaniel

Members Spotlight: Serena Finlay

12038108_10206842031703825_5955207044660919054_nSerena Finlay is a Columbus transplant with a story similar to so many. She moved to the Capital City from Los Angeles to attend The Ohio State University, gaining valuable experience in internships in the public sector. Through her many opportunities, throughout her time at OSU’s John Glenn College, she was able to intern with Senator Sherrod Brown, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and Former State Representative Michael Stinziano.

Serena deeply believes that Columbus is “America’s Opportunity City,” unsurprisingly she was able to convey this message as a campaign staff member for Mayor Andrew Ginther’s 2015 election. “In addition to the career opportunities in the many different sectors that are available, there is always a laundry list of things to do in the different communities. Another appealing aspect [of Columbus] is the affordability,” she told Joe Ryan at FCYD’s 2015 Holiday Party.

Growing up in the liberal bastion that is the West Coast, Serena saw some of the complex issues being debated in the Ohio General Assembly, especially the attacks on women’s reproductive rights as disheartening, “I don’t think they understand that millions of women rely on Planned Parenthood for basic medical care,” she remarked, but instead of accepting the Republican controlled legislature’s restrictions, these actions galvanized her commitment to public service, “I feel more motivated as a woman to work in politics and government in light of what is happening.”

Serena envisions herself living and working in Columbus in the near future and at some point working towards her Master’s Degree from the John Glenn College. Her first job out of undergrad was working for the Ginther mayoral campaign. She has now returned to the 18th House District to serve as Legislative Aide to newly appoint State Representative Kristin Boggs.

By: Dimitri McDaniel, Joe Ryan

Members Spotlight: Leo Alemida

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Leo Almeida is a young energetic FCYDems member who has dedicated a large portion of his life advocating for inclusion and participation of underrepresented populations. It wasn’t until February 2009 when this lifelong American was finally able to participate in his own oath of citizenship and officially become an American citizen. The very same day he registered to vote. While an undergraduate student at Bowling Green State University, Leo’s dream of becoming a United States citizen was finally realized.

Growing up in Bellevue, OH, a small town in Erie, Huron, Sandusky, and Seneca counties, he witnessed several classmates turn 18 years old without taking advantage of their right to vote. While in college Leo helped organize voter registration drives during the 2008 election cycle.

Leo was given a chance to continue his dedication to public service through the Legislative Service Commission Fellowship program at the Ohio Legislature, “it was a great opportunity to dive into government and gain invaluable experiences”. While working in the Ohio Senate, Leo worked for Senator Skindell, Minority Leader Cafaro and Minority Leader Kearny. In December 2013, Leo left the legislature to lead the lieutenant governor candidate’s campaign, coordinating movements for Sharen Neuhardt and learning the intricacies of political engagement and fundraising.

After the 2014 election cycle, Leo returned to the Ohio Senate before moving to the Nature Conservancy in Ohio, where he is currently a policy associate. The Nature Conservancy in Ohio is a regional representative of The Nature Conservancy, which promotes clean energy, revitalizing habitats, and preserves land and water through purchase and reconstruction.

Leo also Co-Chairs the revitalized Adelante Democrats of Franklin County, which serves as a voice for the Latino Community and will promote, endorse and support democratic candidates. Adelante was previously a force of political engagement for the Latino community of Central Ohio. Adelante offered a seat at the Democratic table for our Latino community including the creation of a Spanish language sample ballot. The need for continued communication and engagement in the Latino community is an example of the forward vision that Leo has processed since his youth.

Serving on the Board of Trustees of Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS) Leo understand the issues that plague new American’s attempts to navigate the immigration system because he has lived it. As a first generation Brazilian American Leo is dedicated to the mission of CRIS, “I have been fortunate enough to live an American dream, and I want that for other people”.

For those like Leo, who dreamed to participate in our political process, not taking advantage of this most basic right is a rejection of our civil duty. September is National Voter Registration Month; it is our duty to make the process easier to understand and to participate within. Registration remains a great predictor of possible voter turnout and participation.

FCYD members, take time this month to register your friends, families, and neighbors. Registering just two more Ohioans can be the difference between a more progressive future, where lifelong Americans, like Leo, can obtain the American dream and help make that dream obtainable for others.

By: Dimitri McDaniel Jr.

Member Spotlight: Jaiza Page

Jaiza Page was working to improve Columbus long before she joined Columbus City Council last year. Growing up, Jaiza and her brother were heavily involved in community service, volunteering and helping out friends and neighbors. She didn’t come from a well to do family, but her mother always taught her ways to give back.

She attended Georgetown University for her undergraduate degree, and worked on Capitol Hill and at the National Guard while in DC. But it wasn’t long before she came back to Columbus. “I really love Columbus. As I’ve grown older, I’ve seen the economic growth of our city… I wanted to come home and be a part of the change,” she said. Jaiza applied only to Moritz College of Law at OSU where she received her law degree.

Working as Assistant City Attorney for the City of Columbus, Jaiza primarily worked on a zone initiative addressing public nuisance cases and vacant housing. One of her proudest accomplishments was shutting down and demolishing Motel One, which was a major prostitution and drug activity hub. She also focused on Myrtle Avenue, which had nearly twenty-four houses on the street with only six being occupied. Of those six homes, only one or two were owner occupied. Her work filing injunctive actions on these cases and many others has helped to increase the health, safety and welfare of our neighborhoods.

On Council, Jaiza chairs the Education Committee, along with Recreation and Parks. She said “Education is at the root of it all. We must find creative and innovative ways to provide quality education to our kids… We are partnering with our school board to find solutions – the City is right there with them.” That includes everything from improving the nutrition of school lunches to increasing the income and wealth within the I-270 belt. Education will be a major cornerstone of Jaiza’s work on Council.

Councilmember Jaiza Page is on the ballot this fall and is an endorsed candidate of the Franklin County Young Democrats.

Written by Brooke Wojdynski

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: MALLORY MURPHY

7350196For our next edition of The Membership Spotlight, Franklin County Young Democrats is proud to present long time member and local attorney Mallory Murphy. Mallory exemplifies not only the progressive values that exist within our membership but also the strong personal drive to improve the lives of our neighbors and communities here in central Ohio.

A native of Painesville (outside Cleveland), Mallory first got her taste for politics through her mother. As a young girl she was exposed to many of the intricate workings of local elections due to her mother’s work with the Board of Elections. These experiences in her early years sparked a passion and drive which eventually led her to pursue a degree of Political Science at The Ohio State University and a law degree from Capital University.

Since moving to central Ohio, Mallory has been greatly involved in local politics and elections. She first got her start in 2006 as a campaign intern for John Patrick Carney. Since then, she has served in various other campaigns as well as spending time working for the Ohio Secretary of State.

For the past 3 years, Mallory has been dedicated to building her own law firm, which has a strong focus in election law as well as personal injury. She said at first it was a scary move, but going out on her own has helped to fulfill the independence and freedom she was searching for as well as has providing a great deal of personal fulfillment.

You can learn more about Mallory and her practice at mallorymurphylaw.com. We are proud to have Mallory and many others like her as active members in our organization.

Written by Mike Liggett, edited by Brooke Wojdynski

Member Spotlight: Dontavius Lamar Jarrells

564339_581663654797_1312899856_n Many of you may know Dontavius through his work with FCYDems and as Vice President of the Ohio Young Black Democrats, but his service to his community doesn’t end there. He serves as a robotics coach for students participating in an organization called F.I.R.S.T. (For Inspiration Recognition in Science and Technology). Dontavius has been a volunteer robotics coach to children for over four years, and has been involved in the F.I.R.S.T. program for over eleven. He is the coach to a team called ‘the Gobodies,’ a name playing off the term ‘nobodies’ but turned into a positive name about how “these kids are going places.”

On February 7-8th, the Gobodies are headed to Dayton for the F.L.L. (F.I.R.S.T. Lego League) State Championship, after having won in the district and regional competitions this season. The competition will involve three sections, with the main competition being a lego robotics tournament focused on maneuvering robots on a course and completing various tasks within two and a half minutes.

Dontavius was quick to point out why he volunteers to be a coach, saying “where you come from doesn’t determine where you go.” Being one of a few African American coaches in the competition he participates in, he has made it a mission to get urban youth involved in science and technology, stating that he wants to “help them get exposure to a wider array of career opportunities… All too often, urban youth are not granted the opportunity to learn about real applications of math and science, and are not aware of what possibilities that lie ahead of them. By the time they begin thinking about potential jobs or career choices, their perceptions of the possibilities are limited.”

Dontavius is dedicated to providing a pathway and widening horizons for these children by giving them more access to opportunities and programs dedicated to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). The competitions themselves are also designed to develop valuable life skills. In fact, much of the competition is judged on how well a team practices gracious professionalism, teamwork, and collaboration with other teams. You can learn more about Dontavius’ team and donate to their other project on applied mathematics via Kickstarter here.

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Know someone who should be recognized in our next member spotlight? Email our Communications Director, Brooke Wojdynski at communications@fcydems.com and submit their name.

Written by Brooke Wojdynski

Member Spotlight: Shannon Hardin joins Columbus City Council

Shannon HardinFormer FCYDems Vice President and longtime active member, Shannon Hardin is the newest member of Columbus City Council.

Before joining City Council, Shannon worked in the mayor’s office as the External Affairs Manager. Amongst his many notable achievements, one of his highlights of his time there was starting the city’s anti-gang program.

We are very honored and proud to have Shannon amongst our membership and for his continued service with the organization. As Vice President of FCYDems, he was in charge of increasing membership within the organization. Earlier this year, as part of the Ohio Young Democrats, he travelled with the Ohio contingency to Denver and represented Columbus’ bid for the 2015 Young Democrats of America Convention.

Shannon is currently the only LGBT member on the Council. He chairs the Public Service & Transportation, and Small & Minority Business Committees. As Councilman, Shannon intends to focus on connecting the Young professional community with entrepreneurial opportunities. He will also be looking into finding ways to challenge YPs and other community members to think in innovative ways about furthering Columbus’ economic growth.

Written by Brooke Wojdynski