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More than 100 Young Elected Officials in 38 States + the District of Columbia Support President Biden’s “Lifesaving Leadership”

Press Release
Press Department
People For the American Way
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“Your administration understands the gravity of the illness, deaths, and economic ruin caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, 110 members of People For the American Way’s non-partisan Young Elected Officials Network (YEO) jointly signed and presented a letter to President Joe Biden to offer their support for his proposed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, which includes the wide-ranging and much-needed American Rescue Plan. Full list of signatories below.


The letter notes the failures of the previous administration to act early and prevent illness and death and follows a meeting between Biden and Senate Republicans concerning the White House proposal that aims to address vaccine distribution, financial relief to families by sending them direct checks, and helping small businesses.


“It didn’t have to be this way, and it shouldn’t have been this way,” the letter reads. “We recognize that your administration, though still in its earliest days, understands the gravity of the illness, deaths, and economic ruin caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are eager for the opportunity to work with you and your incoming cabinet on creative and actionable methods by which to stave off the continuing crises caused by the virus.”


Signatories include young elected officials who represent all regions of the country and hold positions at all levels of government - local, state, and federal. They credit the administration for its early guidance and leadership in the effort to combat COVID-19 and the related crises, calling the president’s actions “not only a breath of fresh air, but literally a lifesaver” for their constituents.


"The young elected officials who are part of People For are leading their communities in the battle against COVID-19 despite limited resources and guidance amidst a multifaceted crisis," said People For the American Way President Ben Jealous. "We fully support these young leaders and President Biden's initial $1.9 trillion relief package for the millions struggling as a result of the pandemic and the related economic fallout, which is hitting communities of color especially hard. We all look forward to working with the White House to help move the nation forward."


"The YEO Network has worked for the past year to support elected leaders at all levels of government and their communities navigate the crises,” said YEO Network Director Raquel Jones. “While our members are leading the way on so many fronts, the consequences of the previous administration's inaction are real and tragic. President Biden's package is a long-awaited relief for our most vulnerable neighbors and will give the progressive leaders working on their behalf the resources to save lives and build back better."


The letter also highlights some of the most crucial provisions in Biden’s proposal -- measures they say will assist in their own leadership and save the lives of countless more constituents:  

  • Addressing the growing hunger crisis currently faced by almost 30 million Americans.
  • Requesting that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) continue issuing unemployment insurance to employees who cannot continue working in unsafe conditions.
  • Calling on Congress to extend the 15 percent Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefit increase and the USDA to increase access to school lunches.
  • Requesting requirements for federal contractors to pay a $15 minimum wage and provide emergency paid leave to workers, and other protections for workers including restoring collective bargaining.

The YEO Network includes more than 1,300 members and alumni across the country, serving their communities and fighting for progressive values in offices ranging from local school boards to the United States Congress. Its membership is 39 percent women, 78 percent people of color, and 14 percent LGBTQ. Program members and alumni include Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, former HUD secretary Julián Castro and Congressman Joaquin Castro, and former Georgia state legislator and Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams.


**FULL LIST OF SIGNATORIES (grouped by state)**


  1. Scott Kawasaki – Senator, Fairbanks, AK
  2. Felix Rivera – Assembly Chair, Anchorage, AK


  1. Timothy L. Ragland – Mayor, Talladega, AL


  1. Cesar Aguilar – Balsz School Governing Board, Phoenix, AZ
  2. Daniel Hernandez – State Representative, Tucson, AZ
  3. Matthew Kopec – Governing Board Member, Tucson, AZ


  1. Jose Alonso – City Council Member, Mendota, CA
  2. Spencer Brandt – President of the Board, Isla Vista, CA
  3. Andrea Cardenas – Councilmember, Chula Vista, CA
  4. Adam C. Carranza – Vice President, Mountain View School District, El Monte, CA
  5. James Chang – Commissioner, Berkeley, CA
  6. James Coleman – Council member, South San Francisco, CA
  7. Chance Cutrano – Town Councilmember, Fairfax, CA
  8. Denise Diaz – Councilmember, South Gate, CA
  9. Bev Dransfeldt- Director, Pleasant Valley Recreation & Parks Board, Camarillo, CA
  10. John M. Erickson, Ph.D. – Councilmember, West Hollywood, CA
  11. Alex Garcia – Mayor, Wasco, CA
  12. Lamiya Hoque – School Board Member, Buena Park, CA
  13. Lindsey P. Horvath – Mayor, West Hollywood, CA
  14. Kevin Jenkins – Trustee, Oakland, CA
  15. Andrew Leonard – Trustee, Sonoma County Board of Education, Sonoma County, CA
  16. Andrew Lewis – Neighborhood Councilmember, Westwood Village (Los Angeles), CA
  17. Yasmine-Imani McMorrin – Culver City Council Member, Culver City, CA
  18. Nick Melvoin – Vice President, Los Angeles Board of Education, Los Angeles, CA
  19. Devin T. Murphy – Pinole City Councilor, Pinole, CA
  20. Scarlet Peralta – Councilwoman, Montebello, CA
  21. Kathryn Ramirez – School Board Member, Salinas, CA
  22. Alma Renteria – LUSD Board VP, Lynwood, CA
  23. Rigel Robinson – City Councilmember, Berkeley, CA
  24. Caroline M Torosis – Commissioner, Santa Monica Rent Control Board, Santa Monica, CA
  25. Gracie Torres – Vice President, Board of Directors, Western Municipal Water District, Riverside, CA
  26. Aisha Wahab, M.B.A. – Mayor Pro Tempore, Hayward, CA
  27. Mark A. Williams, AC Transit Director, Ward 4 (San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Castro Valley, Hayward, Fairview, Ashland & Cherryland), CA
  28. Thomas Wong – Board President, San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District, Monterey Park, CA


  1. Julia Marvin – Thornton City Councilor, Thornton, CO
  2. Skippy Mesirow – City Councilperson, Aspen, CO
  3. Dominick Moreno – State Senator, Commerce City, CO


  1. Darryl Brackeen – Alderman, New Haven, CT
  2. Tyron Harris – BOE, East Hartford, CT
  3. Campfield Heinrich – Board of Education Member, Manchester, CT
  4. Quentin Jackson – Councilmember, Hertford, CT
  5. Awet Tsegai – Town Councilor, East Hartford, CT

District of Columbia

  1. Natasha Dupee – Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Washington, DC
  2. Brooke Pinto – Councilmember, Washington, DC


  1. Rysheema Dixon – Councilwoman At-Large, Wilmington, DE


  1. Sabrina Javellana – Commissioner, Hallandale Beach, FL
  2. Vanessa Joseph – Elected City Clerk, North Miami, FL
  3. Alissa Schafer – Supervisor, Soil and Water Board, Broward County, FL
  4. Robert Stephens III – Councilman, City of Miami Gardens, FL


  1. Jasmine Bowles – Clayton County Board of Education, Clayton County, GA
  2. Jordan Johnson – Commissioner, Augusta, GA
  3. Corey B. Morgan – City Councilman, Camilla, GA


  1. Jonathan Grieder – City Councilor, Waterloo, IA
  2. Rachel Junck – Ames City Council Representative Ward 4, Ames, IA
  3. Ashley Vanorny – Councilmember, Cedar Rapids, IA


  1. Rep. Kam Buckner, Illinois State Representative, Chicago, IL
  2. Brandon Ewing – Waukegan Unit School District #60 Board President, Waukegan, IL


  1. Henry Davis, Jr. – Councilman, South Bend, IN


  1. Sollie Flora – City Councilmember, Mission, KS
  2. Brandon Woodard – State Representative, Lenexa, KS


  1. Ms. Jacquelyn M. Ryan – Town Councilor, Southbridge, MA


  1. William C. Smith, Jr. – Maryland State Senator, Silver Spring & Takoma Park, MD
  2. James Torrence, J.D. – City Council Member, District 7, Baltimore City, MD


  1. Michael T. Foley – Mayor, Westbrook, ME
  2. Spencer Thibodeau – City Councilor, Portland, ME


  1. Marlon I. Brown, Mayor Pro Tem, Mason, MI
  2. Alex Garza – State Representative, Taylor, MI
  3. Jewell Jones – State Representative, MI
  4. Mari Manoogian – State Representative, Birmingham, MI
  5. Jason Morgan – Washtenaw County Commissioner, Ann Arbor, MI
  6. Travis Radina – Council Member, Ann Arbor, MI
  7. Mai Xiong – Macomb County Commissioner, Warren & Center Line, MI


  1. Phillipe M. Cunningham – City Councilmember, Minneapolis, MN
  2. Nelsie Yang – Councilmember, Ward 6, City of St. Paul, MN


  1. Bryant DeLong – Councilmember, North Kansas City, MO
  2. Tishaura O. Jones – Treasurer, St. Louis, MO
  3. Terry Wilson – Councilman, Jennings, MO


  1. Danny Tenenbaum – Representative, House District 95, MT
  2. Emily Dean – City Commissioner, Helena, MT


  1. Jameesha Harris – Alderwoman, New Bern, NC


  1. Matt Hansen – State Senator, Lincoln, NE


  1. Mussab Ali – Jersey City Board of Education President, Jersey City, NJ


  1.  Daniel Corona – Mayor, City of West Wendover, NV
  2. Howard Watts – Assemblymember, NV


  1. Sam Fein – County Legislator, Albany, NY
  2. Delvin Moody – Councilman, Utica, NY


  1. Senator Tina Maharath, Senator, Columbus, OH


  1. Cristine Lewis – Metro Councilor, Portland Metro, OR


  1. Brendan F. Boyle – Congressman, Philadelphia, PA
  2. Marita Garrett – Mayor, Wilkinsburg, PA
  3. Matthew Shorraw – Mayor, City of Monessen, PA
  4. Dwan B Walker – Mayor, Aliquippa, PA


  1. David Morales – RI State Representative (District 7), Providence, RI
  2. Juan Carlos Payero – School Committee Member, Portsmouth, RI


  1. Marvin Pendarvis – Representative, North Charleston, SC


  1. Raumesh Akbari – Senate Democratic Caucus Chairwoman, Memphis, TN
  2. London Lamar – State Representative, Memphis, TN
  3. Evetty Satterfield, School Board Member, Knoxville, TN


  1. Nathan Alexander III – Councilmember, Prairie View, TX
  2. Candice Quarles – Councilwoman, DeSoto, TX
  3. Armando Rodriguez – Board of Trustee, Canutillo, TX
  4. Dr. Brian Rowland – Mayor, Prairie View, TX


  1. Derek L. Kitchen – Senator, Salt Lake City, UT


  1. Elizabeth Bennett-Parker – Vice Mayor, Alexandria, VA


  1. Kesha Ram – Senator, Vermont State Senate, Chittenden County, VT


  1. Jennifer Gregerson – Mayor, Mukilteo, WA


  1. Clinton Anderson – City Council Vice President, Beloit, WI
  2. Paula Phillips – School Board Director, Milwaukee, WI
  3. Katrina Shankland – State Representative, Stevens Point, WI
  4. Brian Harrington – Council member, Laramie, WY

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About the Young Elected Officials Network

The Young Elected Officials Network (YEO) was founded in 2005 with the mission to unite and support elected officials ages 35 and under who share a passion for building communities that reflect values of freedom, fairness, and opportunity for all.


A program of, by, and for young, passionate progressives holding elected office across the country, the YEO Network is committed to policy aligned with our vision for a fair, just society. The YEO Network provides cutting edge programming, investing in the full pipeline of progressive leadership and building sustained relationships with our members. We provide the resources young elected officials need to effectively impact policy, foster their own development and professional growth, and elevate their leadership in the broader progressive movement.