The Front Line Leaders Academy 2011 Class
The Front Line Leaders Academy (FLLA) is the premier campaign leadership development program offered by the Young Elected Officials Network and Young People For, to twenty talented young people across the country. FLLA provides prospective candidates and campaign leaders the ability to learn from successful political campaign professionals. Fellows selected to this elite academy are trained on the basic skills needed to be an effective candidate, campaign manager, finance director, communication director or field organizer.
Progressive political operative, social justice activist, speaker & writer Michael J. Brewer, 24, serves as Chief-of-Staff to Georgia State Representative Alisha Thomas Morgan and Field Organizer at Georgia Equality, the state’s largest advocacy organization for LGBT equality. A burgeoning political voice, Brewer has worked with the Democratic Party of Georgia and the Black Alliance of Educational Options, served as Co-Chair of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s LGBT Advisory Committee and advisor to Georgia State Senator Vincent Fort’s (D-Atlanta) 2010 re-election campaign, and in July 2010 helped lead Morgan to her fifth election win to the Georgia General Assembly. One of Atlanta’s youngest emerging leaders, Brewer is a current fellow with the New Leaders Council, and has been honored as both a featured speaker at Atlanta’s 2009 Martin Luther King Day Parade and Grand Marshal of the 2010 Atlanta Pride Parade. Brewer has appeared nationally on MTVU’s “My Shot with Michael Eric Dyson” and “The Dean’s List,” and in 2008 as named one of Out Magazine's "Out 100". Brewer has been featured in the Los Angeles Times, VIBE Magazine, GA Voice, and several blog and web articles. Brewer graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in May 2009, and plans to pursue graduate degrees in public policy & law in fall 2011.
John Brougher is a partner at i3 Strategies, providing critical training and strategic communications consulting to clients around the world. John also serves as a Business Development Executive with Salsa Labs, connecting progressive nonprofits and political campaigns with the Salsa toolset. John's been working with technology and communications for years, and has a passion for progressive politics, new media, and online strategy. Previously working as New Media Communications Manager for the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), John has served as a speaker for conferences and panels and has hosted and emceed numerous events. John is currently a Partner with the Truman National Security Project, assisting with communications and training, and the Finance Director of the DC Chapter of the New Leaders Council.
Originally from Miami, FL, Miya completed her BA in Behavioral Neuroscience at Yale University, where she worked with local youth as a Community Health Educator and as a mentor for high school students. During her undergraduate career, she studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain and worked in an orphanage and taught English in Costa Rica. After graduation, Miya was selected as one of two policy interns at Obama for America National Headquarters. From headquarters, Ms. Cain was hired as a Field Organizer for the Obama campaign in Las Vegas, Nevada where she worked with the community to help Obama win the state. After the campaign, Miya worked with Partners in Health as a supply chain analyst in rural Rwanda through the Global Health Corps Fellowship. Currently, she is working as a political appointee with the Obama Administration at the US Department of Health and Human Services in the Administration for Children and Families.
Dennis Chin is an organizer, facilitator and communications professional living and working in New York City. Dennis’s work in the progressive movement is informed by his early experiences learning and growing within strong women of color and queer people of color communities organizing for visibility and survival. These early experiences led him to contribute to local, state and national campaigns for justice, dignity, access and opportunity for all people. He currently works at the Center for Community Change specializing in communications. Additionally, he serves as a youth organizer for the Gay Asian Pacific Islander Men of New York (GAPIMNY) and is active with CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities and Queers for Economic Justice. With FLLA, Dennis is looking to connect his skills and values to like-minded candidates that have roots in working class communities and communities of color. In his spare time, Dennis trains in various styles of street dance.
Alex Cumana is a graduate student at George Mason University’s School of Public Policy. A native of Miami, Florida, Alex received a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Florida International University. Alex has served for two years in the federal government, having worked in the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Treasury and at the White House. Before relocating to Washington, D.C., Alex worked for the Florida Campaign for Change and served as an intern for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Alex is active in local Maryland politics and in Hispanic advocacy organizations throughout the area. He was a fellow at the Center for Progressive Leadership and the Drum Major Institute. In his spare time, Alex enjoys watching sports, going on hikes, and exploring the city.
Tyler Dos Santos-Tam
Tyler Dos Santos-Tam was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, and graduated magna cum laude from Yale University in 2010 with a BA in Political Science and Portuguese. At Yale, he was chairman of the political action committee of the Asian American Student Alliance for four consecutive semesters. He has worked extensively on political campaigns on the state and local level in Hawaii, working for several candidates in races for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Mayor of Honolulu, and the Honolulu City Council, specializing in e-communications and field organization. In 2007, he interned as a speechwriter and analyst for the Mayor of Honolulu, and currently works as a Policy Planner at Parsons Brinckerhoff, the transportation engineering firm overseeing the development of the Honolulu Rail Transit project. He currently serves as the Vice President of the Young Democrats of Hawaii, and will soon serve as an at-large representative on his community’s neighborhood board.
Emily is an advocate for educational reform as well as a researcher of urban poverty and its connections to student achievement. As a high school science teacher, and a corps member with Teach for America, Emily has spent the past two years teaching on the south side of Chicago, during which time she completed a Masters degree in Secondary Education with a concentration in Special Education. In this time, Emily has been made privy to some of the most disgraceful aspects of American socioeconomic and educational inequality and has since been inspired to work towards change in these areas. Additionally, Emily co-writes a satirical blog on education entitled, The Deformers, which allows her and her colleagues to relate their experiences in urban education. Before entering the field of educational advocacy, Emily graduated with degrees in Biological Sciences and Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her future career goals include working in the field of public policy and writing about political and social change. Emily is also an alumnae of YP4’s Fellowship program.
Tina L. Fletcher, a native of rural Arkansas, earned a B.A. from the University of Arkansas in Political Science and African American Studies and an Ed.M. from Harvard University in Secondary Education. She has completed internships with the Southern Education Foundation, the United States Senate and the Office of the First Lady, Michelle Obama. Tina proudly serves as a Secondary Educator at Anacostia Senior High School in Washington D.C. where she was named the 2010 Teacher of the Year. She also serves as the Head Cheerleading and Tennis Coach. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the N.A.A.C.P. and serves on two non-profit boards. She and her twin sister Trina are the co-founders of the Dream Girls mentoring program. In the near future, Tina plans to earn a Ph.D. in Political Science with hopes of one day being elected to the United States Congress.
Carrie hails from Yankton, South Dakota. She is a graduate of American University and works as a legislative assistant for a Democratic Senator from the Midwest on education, telecommunication, labor, and tax policy. Carrie is active in her church, volunteers at an elementary school on Capitol Hill, and is on the board of DC EcoWomen, an environmental organization that provides professional development, educational, and networking opportunities for women in the DC area. Carrie also serves as the community service chair for the South Dakota State Society, an organization that provides social and networking opportunities for South Daktotans in the DC area. Since high school, Carrie has volunteered and worked on numerous political campaigns in South and North Dakota, Massachusetts, and Virginia. In Carrie's spare time, she enjoys distance running, reading, exploring new areas and restaurants in DC, and spending time with friends and family. Carrie is currently training for her fifth marathon and is also an alumnae of YP4’s Fellowship program.
Moses Landrum IV
Moses Landrum IV has received his B.A. in Spanish and International Studies from Morehouse College and is experienced connecting individuals to resources and to each other. His professional background is in social organizing, community outreach and relationships. Approximating seven years of experience across the philanthropic and civic service sectors, Moses forges a career committed to understanding social dynamics as opportunities to engage the conditions of human lives. Through successfully navigating internships, academic fellowships, and employment, Moses focuses on developing a well-rounded career in philanthropy, youth advocacy, and diplomacy. Moses’ affiliations include: Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, Commonwealth Seminar, Multicultural Alumni of Belmont Hill School, Greater Boston Morehouse College Alumni Association, Morehouse College Spanish Honor Society and INROADS. He also studied at Georgetown University, Columbia University, Babson College, Carnegie Mellon University, and Harvard University. He participated in study abroad programs in Zaragoza, Spain and the University of Costa Rica.
Terrance Laney is an activist and organizer for progressive causes, having worked in the LGBT equality, environmental and economic justice movements. Most recently employed with the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), he worked to advance the rights of African-American gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Prior to his work with NBJC, Terrance worked as an organizer with The DC Project, where he worked with residents in Washington, DC to to create “green jobs” for high barrier to entry workers in residential energy retrofits. He is a 2007 graduate of Georgia Southern University and a former New Leaders Fellow for the Center for Progressive Leadership and 2007 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Intern. He firmly believes in values based leadership, that acknowledges respect for all people as the driving force of creating public policy changes.
Terrance will use the training, resources and support of the Front Line Leader Academy to continue to advocate for undeserved communities and to create progressive policy reforms.
Stefanie Mach learned early in life the value of service to her community. The daughter of an Air Force Member, she experienced many cultures that illuminated a whole world of possibility to improve society. During her undergrad at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, she held many leadership roles, including Communications Director for the student government. She also interned for both the Embassy of Peru and Senator Russ Feingold. After completing her BA in International Relations & Spanish, Stefanie dedicated a year of community service through AmeriCorps *NCCC. Her work in non-profit led her to pursue a Master of Public Policy at Brown University. Recently, Stefanie served as Treasurer and Volunteer Coordinator for the campaign to elect Dustin Cox to the Arizona State House of Representatives. She serves in local and statewide leadership positions throughout the Arizona Democratic Party and mentors youth to lead the fight against social injustices. Stefanie is also currently the CEO and Co-Founder of CM Concordia Consulting, LLC.
Kristy Pagan is currently the Finance Director for Michigan State Senator Rebekah Warren, recently moving back home to Michigan after a year stint in Vermont as Deputy Finance Director for EMILY's List gubernatorial candidate Deb Markowitz and four years of living and working in our Nation's Capital. In Washington, Kristy served as Chair of WIN, the largest network for progressive young women in DC, worked two years on Capitol Hill as a legislative aide for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan and completed her Master’s degree from The George Washington Graduate School of Political Management with a concentration in women’s political leadership. Kristy is active in her hometown community, serving on the board of directors for the Plymouth Democratic Club and volunteering at FirstStep, a local domestic violence shelter in Plymouth. Kristy has also worked numerous political campaigns and aspires to one day serve in elected office.
Sarah Ray is a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), working on the connections between housing, health, and human services. Sarah will be at HUD for two years before returning to the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton to finish a Master’s in Public Affairs with a focus on Urban Policy and Planning. Sarah’s experience is in community and economic development, having worked in public housing communities in New Orleans and Trenton, in addition to working in the New Orleans Mayor’s Office. Sarah’s other experience in the federal government was through a research fellowship at the Administration for Children and Families within HHS. She also worked on the Obama campaign in Tennessee, Louisiana, and South Carolina. Sarah is a proud native Memphian and hopes to return to Tennessee to work in local politics. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from Tulane University.
Christina Sanders, a Houston native, received her Bachelor’s of Political Science and Master’s of Public Administration in Public Policy degree from Texas Southern University. Christina is the State Director for the Texas League of Young Voters (LYVEF), an organization that seeks to engage young voters in Texas. In addition, Christina is an adjunct professor of Political Science at Texas Southern University. Christina co-authored a manuscript entitled, “From ‘Block the Vote’ to ‘Protect the Vote’: Historically Black Student Voting Suppression and Disenfranchisement in Texas” published in Volume XIV of the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy; one of the country’s youngest experts on Student Voter Disenfranchisement. Christina has worked with Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis as a District Aide and Policy Analyst and in public policy as the coordinator for Houston Communities for Safe Indoor Air (HCSIA), working on smoke-free policy change and childhood obesity policy.
Veekas Jefferson Shrivastava is dual majoring in Economics and Political Science at Arizona State University. He advocates for accessibility and affordability in higher education as Legislative Affairs Committeeman for the Arizona Students’ Association and student government’s Government Affairs Director. As a member of GlobalResolve at ASU, he travelled to Ghana on a mission to use business and innovation to create social good, working on projects to bring clean-burning cooking fuel and portable, renewable electricity to the developing world. Since the age of fourteen he has volunteered for Anytown at the Y, an organization that promotes leadership on social justice issues. He previously served as a page in the Arizona State Senate and as chairman of his hometown’s Mayor’s Youth Advisory Commission. He is most thankful for his loving family, friends and mentors.
Brandon was raised in Aiken South Carolina by his Grandmother and Great-Grandmother who firmly instilled within him the principles: to always place God first in everything he does, to treat everyone with love and respect and to always use common sense. This foundation has been the driving force behind his desire to undo social and economical injustices. At the age of 17, Brandon joined the SC Army National Guard and after a fifteen month voluntary deployment to Iraq he became the youngest Staff Sergeant in the State. His fight didn’t stop in Iraq; Brandon continued to fight to empower the people in his community to get out and vote during the 2010 mid-term elections.
James Warren graduated from Emerson College in 2011 with a degree in political communication. His major policy areas of interest include education, the arts, and mandatory rape kit testing. He has run for office in his hometown of Ludlow twice and just finished his first term as a representative town meeting member. In addition, he serves on the Ludlow Cultural Council, a position to which he was appointed by the Ludlow Board of Selectmen. He has worked on numerous campaigns, including Brett Vottero’s 2010 bid for Hampden County District Attorney, Martha Coakley’s 2010 US Senate race, and Hillary Clinton’s primary campaign in 2008. He has also worked in various nonprofit and educational settings, including Phoenix Charter Academy in Chelsea, MA and the Barbara Lee Political Office in Cambridge, MA. His political role model is State Senator Gale Candaras, for whom he interned for two years.
Matthew Yagyagan recently graduated from UC Berkeley with a dual major in Political Science and Ethnic Studies. As a Golden Bear, Matthew was committed to social justice as a student organizer with the Pilipino American Alliance, the Berkeley Multicultural Community Center and Cal Students for Equal Rights and a Valid Education (CalSERVE), a progressive coalition of underresourced students. He organized against budget cuts and tuition hikes that plague public education across California, mobilized Census participation in low-income communities in Oakland, and advocated for diversity and inclusion in higher education. Matthew's institutional experience includes internships at Chula Vista City Council, the district office of Congressman Bob Filner, and most notably, on the Hill with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. He was placed in the Speaker's Office by OCA, an organization dedicated to advancing the social, political, and economic well-being of Asian Pacific Americans. Matthew was born and raised in San Diego, CA.