Katherine Brezler, a second-grade public school teacher, has been a staunch advocate for policies that work for New York public education. Collaborating with the Alliance for Quality Education and Citizen Action of New York in efforts to fairly fund public schools, she sits on NYSUT’s LGBTQ Task Force, which resolves to support legislation banning conversion therapy and to protect intended parental rights. She is a former member of the Board of Directors of GNYCFC and a co-founder of The People for Bernie Sanders.
Kat has been working on education policy improvement projects for the past decade. Most recently she was part of nationwide organizing for the opt-out movement regarding school testing. From early anti-war demonstrations to single-payer health care organizing, she has worked tirelessly to advocate for the 99%.
Kelly Cuvar, a founding member of GNYCFC, is a cancer survivor who has testified before a congressional committee on health insurance abuses and represented GNYCFC on CNN. After a decade-long detour in New York, Kelly returned to her native Ohio to work on progressive campaigns, including a congressional campaign against then-Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner. She recently served as Finance Director for Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty’s successful re-election campaign in Connecticut’s Fifth District and currently works for a congressional fundraising firm in Washington, DC.
Tim Foley, a founding member of GNYCFC, is best known for speaking at hundreds of forums, panels discussions, lectures, and teach-ins on the Affordable Care Act throughout New York City, Long Island, and Westchester County from 2008 until today. Tim is the Political Director for the Committee of Interns and Residents/SEIU Healthcare, a labor union for resident physicians, and sits on steering committees for the Metro New York Health Care for All Campaign, a New York City-based multi-constituency health care justice coalition, and the Save Our Safety-Net Campaign, a community-labor coalition that focuses on hospital closures that disproportionately affect low-income families and communities of color. Tim is a Democratic District Leader in the Village of Scarsdale.
Deborah (Debo) Gaffaney has a remarkable career as a graphic designer and illustrator, having worked for some of publishing’s most prestigious titles, including as Associate Art Director for Condé Nast Traveler and a senior designer for The New Yorker. A volunteer on both Obama campaigns in New York City and Ohio, she uses her digital and print media skills in organizing to assist many campaigns and non-profit organizations. As a team leader in the 2012 presidential election, Debo built the organizing group Hell’s Kitchen for Change and was a New York State delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She recently served as a captain and volunteer trainer for canvasses for Hillary for America in Philadelphia and the Keep PA Blue Coalition in the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania.
Charles Khan is an organizer at the Strong Economy For All Coalition, a coalition of labor unions and community groups focusing on legislative-driven campaigns to fight economic inequality, unequal funding of public schools, and corporate irresponsibility in New York State. He currently specializes in campaign logistics, social media, coalition building, and grassroots organizing.
Amy Miller is currently the Development Manager at BioBus, a science eduction program in NYC. Amy has worked on local and national election campaigns and organized for health care reform, climate justice, and other progressive issues. Her work includes managing events and projects with act.tv, the Let Go and Love climate film tour, 350.org, and the Occupy movement. She is a founding member of Greater NYC for Change. Amy is from California, lives in Brooklyn, and previously worked in non-profit arts administration and clinical psychology.
Aliya Quraishi is a community organizer. She received a Masters degree in Public Health from Tufts University and first became involved in grassroots organizing though advocacy for the Affordable Care Act in 2009. Aliya has worked on initiatives related to public health, including managing programs to assist woman and children affected by HIV/AIDS in Kenya and developing communications materials for the World Health Organization’s programs in Iraq. A founding member of GNYCFC and a Community Associate at Manhattan Community Board 6, Aliya is currently on leave to spend time with her twin sons.
Ethan Rips joined GNYCFC after the 2008 Obama campaign. A lifelong obsession with politics, an academic background in history and sociology, and a professional background in technical project management and computing led him to help form GNYCFC’s Technical Communication team. He also conducted teach-ins on the causes of the 2007-2008 financial crisis and a comparison of the Obama and Romney budgets in 2012. Ethan is known to many as the organizer of large-scale volunteer recruitment and voter registration efforts, and for relentless canvassing and phone banking.
Naomi Rothwell is a senior strategist at New Blue Interactive, a new media strategy firm that specializes in fundraising for Democratic candidates and causes. With over a decade of experience in communications, Naomi helps narrate each client’s story through messaging, mobilization, and digital strategy. In the past, she has advised governors, senators, congressional campaigns, the Malala Fund, and the New Leaders Council. She is proud to be a former Board President of Greater NYC for Change (2012-2013). She graduated summa cum laude from Cornell University and is a native speaker of Japanese and fluent in German. Born and raised in Atlanta, she now calls Washington, D.C., her home.
Brett Saffer, a former member of the Board of Directors of GNYCFC, is a current member of the Pre-K For All Outreach Team in New York City. Brett received his Masters of Public Administration degree from Baruch College, where he studied policies that can have an impact on urban poverty. He served as a Teach For America corps member, an experience that shaped his passion for education policy, and taught elementary school in the South Bronx from 2008 to2011.
Amy Slattery is the Legislative and Budget Director for Council Member Mark Levine, who represents the 7th Council District in Manhattan. In addition to work in politics, Amy has a career background in non-profit fundraising and financial accounting. Amy is a founding member of GNYCFC and is an Executive Committee member and former Vice-President of her local Democratic club, the Barack Obama Democratic Club of Upper Manhattan.
Kate Spaulding is the Director of Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs for the New York City Department of Probation. She is also an Adjunct Professor of Labor Economics and New York City Government and Politics for union electrician apprentices at the Harry Van Arsdale Center for Labor Studies, part of SUNY Empire State College. She continually strives to make the world fairer and more equitable for all.
Allie Feldman Taylor is the Founder and Executive Director of the newly established Empire State Humane Voters (ESHV), a grassroots organization working to elect candidates who support animal protection, lobby for stronger laws to stop animal cruelty, and hold elected officials accountable to humane voters. Formerly the Executive Director of NYCLASS, Allie has worked at the New York State Senate, the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, and on campaigns in New York, New Jersey, Florida, and Ohio. Allie is proud to be a founding member of GNYCFC.
Sara Valenzuela is a Vice President at Patrick B. Jenkins and Associates, a communications and government relations firm in New York. She was formerly the Director of National Latino Outreach for Victory 2016 and Hillary for America. Prior to her 2016 campaign work, Sara worked as Director of External Affairs in the office of New York City Public Advocate Letitia James; New York City Regional Director for State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli; Community Liaison of Immigrant Affairs, Latino Outreach, and Education for New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn; and Intergovernmental Affairs Liaison and Latino Affairs Liaison for Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. In these roles, she encouraged progressive legislation and initiatives in partnership with fellow government agencies, elected officials, and advocates in New York.
A graduate of Vanderbilt University and Teach For America alumna, Sara has dedicated her career to political and minority advocacy. Following her TFA commitment, Sara served in Washington, DC as Legislative Correspondent to then-Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joe Baca. She was later recruited to serve U.S. Senator Robert Menendez as Legislative Aide/Latino Issues Liaison. In addition, she served as Congressional Hispanic Caucus Liaison and advisor on Latino issues for members of the Senate Hispanic Task Force.
Sara is a cofounder of the New Latino Movement, a civic engagement group focused on developing young leaders to promote equal opportunity and justice for Latinos, and a former member and Vice President the Board of Directors of GNYCFC.
Tasha Williams is an accidental activist who writes and manages communications projects. A former member of Manhattan Community Board 11, she previously served GNYCfC as Vice President of the Board of Directors. Tasha is currently exploring the world from her bases in Paris, France and New York. You can connect with her on twitter at @riseupwoman.