She has over eight years of experience working with a variety of businesses and government agencies to solve legislative and communication related issues. Ellis has 5 years of experience working with RightNOW Women PAC. She currently sits on the board of directors overseeing Candidate Training.
From 2014-2016 she has served as Campaign Manager & Consultant for numerous congressional and gubernatorial campaigns. She created a small business consulting agency in 2016, assisting over sixty small businesses. Her consulting firm partnered with the Small Business Administration to help award over $70,000 to women-led companies. Her business services and events have been featured in numerous media outlets including YahooNews!, MSNBC, and the Hill.
An Oxford alumna, she has exceptional experience from both the nonprofit and the for-profit business arena having also held positions in business development and marketing. Her non-profit experience includes media engagement and women issues advocacy. She has dealt with legal, ethical, governance, membership, communications, tax, regulatory and numerous other issues affecting small businesses and the professional concerns of entrepreneurs.
Valerie believes that politics is aspirational and that government plays an important role in the lives of people. Her work as a legislator has focused on connecting government, business, education and the safety net to serve the needs of all residents of her community.
As a former member of the Montgomery County Board of Education, and a two- term member of the Montgomery County Council where she distinguished herself as the first African American woman ever elected, she also served as the Council President. Valerie championed the issues that people in Montgomery County care about ranging from raising the minimum wage, promoting local stewardship of taxpayer money through local investment, addressing food insecurity issues, improving childhood nutrition, closing the Achievement Gap, and the many local neighborhood and civic issues that mean so much to her community.
Valerie has been a leader at the National Working Families Party since 2014 and serves as its Senior Advisor. Her work ties issues that impact working families on the local, state and federal levels, with progressive elected officials in their respective legislative bodies. This strategy has helped to pass Equal Pay for Equal Work, the $15 minimum wage, Fair Elections, Fair Scheduling and other progressive issues. She is leading the work on recruiting, training and electing a new generation of progressive candidates for public office with a focus on women and people of color. She lives in Montgomery County and is involved in local, state and national politics.
In 2016, Atima was elected Democratic National Committee Member from Virginia, and was elected Vice Chair of the DNC Women’s Caucus in 2017. She’s additionally has served in leadership in her state and local Party in Virginia. For her work, Atima has received frequent recognition including being listed as one of Ebony Magazine’s 2013 “Power 100”, and Jet Magazine’s 2013 “40 under 40”. Atima was also featured in Essence Magazine in their November 2013 list of “Ten Things We’re Talking About”.
It may be true that Jamia has spoken alongside feminist greats like Gloria Steinem and Jane Fonda, but we think they’re also lucky to have been alongside her. A true next generation leader, she has graced the stage at events such as TED Women, Netroots Nation, and Facing Race, and travels across the U.S. and beyond to college campuses to talk about race, feminism, spirituality, leadership, and so much more."-Fresh Speakers
Having spent nearly five years at EMILY’s List where she founded the first-ever homegrown candidate recruitment program - Jessica has worked on campaigns in 43 states and led national and state based programs to clear the pathway for underrepresented communities to engage in the political process.
In 2016, Jessica was named the January Woman to Watch by Essence Magazine, “12 New Faces of Black Leadership” by Time Magazine, and Rolling Stone named her one of the most influential millennials shaping the 2016 election.
Her personal interests include non-airport traveling, mentorship, and anything with guacamole on it. She is a Peter and David’s sister, a native of Columbus Ohio and a graduate of Chatham College for Women in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Leila has served as communications director for a number of non-profits, including the Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation and the Center for Community Change. Her other clients have included Al Gore's Alliance for Climate Change, the NAACP-LDF, Amnesty International, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Cancer Society.
McDowell is a former broadcast journalist and radio personality who has reported for CNN, National Public Radio, AP Radio, Inner City Broadcasting, Radio One, Sirius XM, WHUR-FM, WKYS-FM, and WPIX-TV. She also served as the Washington Bureau Chief and senior political correspondent for the London based Arise TV.
Leila earned her BFA at New York University, studying communications and film and television production.
After completing the 2002 gubernatorial campaign of H. Carl McCall where she served as the deputy finance director, Kimberly founded her New York City-based consulting firm to help develop capital for clients, organizations, and issues affecting people of color that have historically been kept outside of the mainstream.
Kimberly served as finance director for Letitia James’ successful bid to become Public Advocate of the City of New York and the first African American woman elected citywide in New York’s history.
In 2010, Kimberly was named to the Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40 list as well as named one of The Feminist Press’ 40 Under 40: The Future of Feminism.
A native Nevadan, A’shanti holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and a Master’s of Science Degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology with an emphasis on leadership development and women in leadership. A’shanti was featured as a political influencer in CQ Roll Call Magazine, named a top woman of color in policy by Walker’s Legacy, and appears on NewsOne Now with Roland Martin as a political commentator.