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There are people who know how meaningful decisions are made and public issues are resolved.

You’ll find them here.

CO-CHAIRS
Senator Boxer
Senator Barbara Boxer
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Barbara spent 40 years in elected office in California winning 11 straight elections since 1976. She retired from the United States Senate in 2017 and since then, has been on the speaking circuit at home and abroad regarding political issues and trends.  

Barbara taught at the Center for the Political Future at USC where a Barbara Boxer Fellowship has been established. UC Berkeley hosts a Barbara Boxer Lecture Series each year. 

Barbara is known as a champion for children, families and the environment. Her priorities have always been a strong economy that includes opportunity and equality for all. She is the author of four books and appears weekly on Southern California Spectrum TV News for the Boxer Report. 

Barbara and Stewart Boxer have been married for 60 years and have two married children and four grandchildren.  

Antonio Villaraigosa
Antonio Villaraigosa
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Antonio Villaraigosa is a respected voice in American politics and a prominent policymaker with a keen understanding of America’s mainstream and emerging communities. 

In 2013, Antonio finished his two terms as 41st Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, after eight years of major strides in transportation, crime reduction, infrastructure, energy and resource sustainability, right-sizing government, business development and education reform.  

Prior to his election as Mayor, Antonio served as a member of the Los Angeles City Council from 2003 to 2005. From 1994 through 2000, he served in the California State Assembly as Democratic Whip, Majority Leader and Speaker of the Assembly. He was a member of President Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board and was the 2012 Chairman of the Democratic National Convention.  

Antonio has also served in academia, as a fellow at Harvard University and a professor of public policy at the University of Southern California. He is also a senior fellow at the Bipartisan Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Antonio works in the private sector as a senior advisor with Banc of California, amongst others, and serves on the McGraw Hill Global Education Board of Directors. 

Peter Villegas
Peter Villegas
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Peter R. Villegas is Co-Chair at Actum, where he delivers results for the world’s most successful companies, leading advocacy groups, governments, political parties, NGO’s, and prominent and political figures.

With more than 30 years of experience, Peter is a nationally recognized corporate leader with expertise in managing various corporate, civic, political, and community issues and initiatives with a focus on multicultural communities.

Prior to joining Actum, Peter served as Vice President & Head of Latin Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company, where he acted as a national spokesman responsible for North America for over six years. Prior to Coca-Cola, Peter was a national leader in the banking industry where he served as the Vice President of the Office of Corporate Responsibility at JP Morgan Chase & Co. For over two decades he developed unique approaches that made a lasting economic, environmental and social impact on communities the company served. Peter started his career as a bank teller, working his way up through various roles in the financial industry.

Currently, Peter is a Commissioner and Chair of the California State Athletic Commission, and board member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the National Association of Latino Appointed & Elected Officials, and the Eva Longoria Foundation and is Board Member of the Muhammad Ali Center.

Mick Mulvaney
Congressman
Mick Mulvaney
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Few people are as familiar with Washington, D.C., from the inside, as Mick. In the last decade, he served in more and varied positions than likely any other person. Mick managed the White House as Chief-of-Staff to the President during both an impeachment and the first days of the Coronavirus pandemic.  As the Director of the Office of Management and Budget and a Cabinet Member, he oversaw the broadest deregulatory initiative in 40 years and managed the longest government shutdown in history. Mick also served as Acting Director of one of the most controversial federal regulators, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and was Ambassador and Special Envoy to Northern Ireland during the height of Brexit. 

Prior to his executive branch service, Mick was elected four times to the United States House of Representatives, where, amongst other things, he co-founded the Freedom Caucus and the Bitcoin Caucus. He also served in the SC House and Senate. 

Prior to public service, he worked in various roles:  lawyer, real estate developer, restaurant owner/operator and franchisor and homebuilder. He is married to Pam. They have 22-year-old triplets and live in South Carolina. 

Cliff Einstein
Cliff Einstein
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Cliff Einstein is the founding partner of Dailey Advertising with a noted history of creating positions for some of the world’s major brands. Throughout a career spanning a half century he has received a long list of industry honors, among them, the American Advertising Federation naming him their Leader of the West.   

Cliff is Chair Emeritus of the Board of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and a Trustee of Otis College of Art and Design. He is a recipient of the California Governor’s Victims’ Service Award for his work with the Rape Foundation, and he is the Marketing Chair of the Jewish Community Foundation.  

Cliff and his wife, Mandy, have been listed in Art and Antiques “100 Collectors of America,” and they have been featured in a wide range of international publications as noted collectors and patrons of contemporary art. 

Ruben Diaz Jr.
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Ruben has represented The Bronx for more than two decades, where he has championed a “New Bronx” agenda based on economic development, housing, education and public safety.

Ruben first entered public office as a member of the New York State Assembly in 1997. He served seven terms in the state legislature, including tenures on the Assembly Ways and Means, Housing and Education committees. In 2009, he campaigned successfully in a special election for the Office of Bronx Borough President. While Borough President, The Bronx saw over $18.9 billion in new development of all kinds, including more than 45,000 new housing units and significant infrastructure improvements.

A staunch defender of the environment, Ruben is a leading voice against environmental racism and injustice and has led efforts to improve access to quality healthcare for Bronx residents. As Borough President, he provided tens of millions in funding to projects of all types in every Bronx neighborhood, including new technology upgrades to borough schools, green roofs and boiler upgrades, park improvements and more.

Ruben graduated from Lehman College, City University of New York, with a BA in political theory. A lifelong resident of the Bronx, he lives in the Southeast Bronx with his wife.

FOUNDERS & MANAGING PARTNERS
Kirill Goncharenko
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Kirill is an internationally respected communications and government affairs consultant, who previously founded Mercury Public Affairs and built it into a global business with over $100 million in revenue. 

In the corporate world, Kirill served as EVP corporate affairs, leading communications, government relations and investor relations and on the executive committee for Mariner, a healthcare comany with over 60,000 employees. Prior to that, he was head of crisis communications at Burson-Marsteller, the largest global public affairs firm at the time.

In politics and government, he worked in the United States Senate in international affairs, as communications director for a U.S. presidential campaign, research director on a U.S. Senate campaign and campaign manager for a statewide environmental bond initiative.  

Kirill is married to Yulia, has two teenage kids, Sasha and Katya, and serves as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Fabian Nunez
Fabian Nunez
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As one of the longest serving Assembly speakers in California history, Fabian is able to tap into a deep understanding of political, cultural, commercial and government dynamics to help advise and guide clients on the best strategies for successful outcomes.

Among his many legislative accomplishments, Fabian authored the landmark climate change legislation that became a blueprint for other states and the U.S. Congress.

Prior to serving six years in the California State Assembly, Fabian was government affairs director for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he secured millions of dollars in funding for school construction projects, children’s health insurance and low performing schools.

Fabian’s vast experience includes serving as political director for the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, on the Board of Directors for the U.S. Soccer Federation and the University of California Board of Regents, as well as national co-chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Partners
John Ek
John Ek
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John has spent the past 25 years as a contract lobbyist representing private companies, public agencies and non-profits at the City and County of Los Angeles, as well as the federal level, and is widely regarded as one of the top lobbyists in California. 

After serving as an aide to Congressman Glenn M. Anderson during his tenure as Chairman of the Public Works and Transportation Committee, John served as the federal representative for the Southern California Rapid Transit District (RTD), the largest mass transit agency in the U.S. 

Building upon his government and transportation experience, John worked for the Air Transport Association, a trade industry group for the U.S. airline industry, where he used his knowledge of government, public policy and politics to pass legislation supporting the airline industry’s growth in California, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Hawaii.   

With more than 30 years of experience in government, John has become a highly sought-after advisor and a consultant to significant private and public interests.  

 

 

 

Stefan Friedman
Stefan Friedman
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Stefan has more than 25 years of experience in public affairs, serving as a newspaper columnist, editorial board writer and reporter for almost a decade before moving into consulting. 

His long list of leading corporate and non-profit clients include AT&T, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Bloomberg LP, The Broad Foundation, The Metropolitan Water District and Major League Baseball. He specializes in strategically enhancing reputations and managing complex public relations challenges. 

Stefan is internationally recognized in the crisis communications field, having assisted companies from Paris and New York to Malaysia and Mexico City. The Wall Street Journal called his work for a client that was the subject of a negative 60 Minutes investigation “textbook crisis management.” 

Beyond his crisis work, Stefan has also led communications efforts for a number of historic advocacy campaigns around gay marriage, the #metoo movement, gun control and charter schools.  

Stefan has a daughter, Lucy, and a son, Leo. He is a lifelong New Yorker now living on the West Coast. 

Morris L. Reid
Morris L. Reid
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Morris has advised the successful campaigns of the heads of the World Trade Organization, the World Health Organization and the African Development Bank. He is one of the few people in the world who has been called on to counsel at this level.  

Morris has advised prime ministers, presidents and corporate leaders around the world. His considerable diplomatic skills were developed working with the late U.S. Commerce Secretary, Ronald H. Brown, who was celebrated for promoting international trade, new technology and his advocacy of minority and women business development.     

Morris’ history includes leading the international practice at BGR Group and serving in the Clinton Administration. He has served on the boards of Dorman Long Engineering, VH1 Save The Music, FinCanna and MFA Medical Associates. 

Morris splits his time between Washington, London and Istanbul. 

Nicole Flotteron
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With expertise in digital and social media strategy, public affairs, data and analytics and crisis management, Nicole advises publicly traded companies, burgeoning startups, c-suite executives, foreign governments and NGOs across a broad range of sectors. 

Whether it’s communicating with targeted investors and shareholders, driving IPO communications strategy, navigating complex reputational challenges, launching advocacy campaigns that shift public opinion, raising brand awareness or growing executive thought leadership, Nicole’s approach leverages digital and data-driven strategies to help clients win in high-stakes situations at the intersection of business, government and politics. 

Nicole also has deep expertise in the misinformation and disinformation space – building out in house monitoring and rapid response solutions that provide clients with the intelligence they need to navigate business critical situations.  

Prior to consulting, Nicole was at the forefront of digital politics, serving on national targeted campaigns at the state and federal level. She holds a master’s degree from the George Washington University in Political Management and a B.A. in Communications from Villanova University. 

Rachel Noerdlinger
Rachel Noerdlinger
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An award-winning communications strategist, Rachel understands the value of third-party coalition-building and issues related to diversity, inclusion and strengthening relationships for organizations working in communities of color. She has been at the forefront of major national issues, including managing media coordination for the high-profile funeral of George Floyd and for the historic civil rights march on Washington led by Actum client Rev. Al Sharpton and National Action Network.  

Rachel’s influence as a bona fide veteran on the front lines of social justice has earned her myriad accolades, including on City & State’s New York Power of Diversity: Black 100 list and, most recently, ranking as the top strategist of New York’s 2021 Political PR Power 50 by City & State.  

Rachel previously served as Chief of Staff for New York City’s First Lady, Chirlane McCray, under Mayor Bill de Blasio. Prior to joining de Blasio’s administration, she was President of Noerdlinger Media, a consulting firm representing a cross-sector of high-profile clients in politics, business, civil rights, law and entertainment. Her other career highlights include serving as press secretary during Rev. Al Sharpton’s 2004 presidential bid and as public relations advisor to the late attorney Johnnie L Cochran, Jr. 

Glenn Gritzner
Glenn Gritzner
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Glenn Gritzner brings two decades of experience with local governments throughout Southern California to his work in political outreach, policy analysis, communication and media strategy, education and urban planning and development. 

Previously, he founded the Los Angeles office of a major public affairs firm, where he oversaw external advocacy and outreach for billions of dollars in development projects, including the largest development in the history of Hollywood. Glenn has run successful ballot initiatives for the four largest local school bonds in U.S. history, resulting in over $20 billion in funding for new school construction. He has provided crisis communications support and media training for a wide range of corporate and nonprofit clients. 

Glenn serves on the boards of City Year Los Angeles and Heart of Los Angeles Youth and was an appointee to the Citizens’ Unit for Participation in Housing and Community Development, providing citizen oversight for over $165 million in annual community development block grant funding. 

He received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from UCLA, where he graduated magna cum laude, and earned his master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. 

Duncan McFetridge
Duncan McFetridge
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Duncan has a strong record of significant congressional and state legislative and lobbying experience. He brings a proven track record of developing and executing successful public affairs strategies for his clients.  

Duncan’s rich history includes managing Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s Sacramento office. In addition, he served as legislative and policy director to California’s treasurer, he worked in both the California Assembly and Senate and served as a legislative assistant to Congressman Vic Fazio in Washington, D.C.   

Duncan has a bachelor’s in Political Science from California State University, San Francisco and received his juris doctor from the University of Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law. He is a licensed member of the California State Bar.  

Michael McKeon
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Michael McKeon has been a leading public affairs practitioner in New York State for more than two decades. Building on nearly ten years as a newspaper reporter in New York, he served at high levels of State government, including acting as Communications Director for George Pataki and leading the State’s communication efforts during the 9/11 response and recovery.  

During the last 20 years, he has led public affairs campaigns at the city, state and national level for corporations, nonprofits, citizen groups and elected officials. As a result of his success for clients, Michael has repeatedly been recognized on “power lists” by top publications in New York. 

Adam Keigwin
Adam Keigwin
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Adam is uniquely skilled to provide public relations, government affairs and strategic communications counsel to labor and trade associations, professional sports franchises, corporations, startup companies and nonprofits. 

Over the past two decades, Adam has been a lobbyist, media and political consultant and chief of staff with responsibilities for landmark legislation on government transparency, criminal justice reform, gun violence, civil rights, voting access and domestic violence prevention. He has helped secure billions of dollars in revenue for public education and NGOs. 

Adam has received a long list of significant honors. They include CalNewsroom’s list of the “Top 100 best, brightest and most indispensable people in California politics,” Criminal Justice Reform Award by the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Legislative Staff Person of the Year by the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Legislative Staff Person of the Year by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and was a Golden Bear Award nominee for “Best Public Affairs/Communications Professional.” Adam is the proud father of two daughters, a cancer survivor and a graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Managing Directors
Molly Toomey
Molly Toomey
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Molly brings special skills that focus on strategic communications, media relations, diplomacy, corporate communications and political campaigns. 

From 2020-2021, Molly served as chief communications strategist for Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s campaign for Director-General of the World Trade Organization. She advised Dr. Tedros Adhanom’s campaign for Director-General of the World Health Organization in 2016, and she led crisis communications for a Premier League football club during a period of global media attention. Molly also advised the internationally recognized government of Libya during the country’s civil war and the government of Haiti before and after President Jovenel Moise’s assassination in 2021. 

Molly is from Chicago and now lives in southeast London. 

Vlada Galan
Vlada Galan
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Vlada is an acclaimed political strategist and communications expert, who has advised, managed and consulted for political campaigns, heads of state and international organizations across five continents.  

Her lengthy experience includes work in the United States, Ukraine, Israel, Serbia, Azerbaijan, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Colombia, Kazakhstan and Zambia.  

Earlier in her political career, Vlada led her own political consulting firm, Quantum International Strategies, based in the United States and Dubai, specializing in communications and election work. 

She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Georgia State University and her MLA from Harvard University in International Relations. Vlada is a practiced guest speaking at universities and national conferences on public affairs and international politics. 

Anthony Thomas
Anthony Thomas
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Anthony has almost two decades of experience leading a variety of successful campaigns from mayoral, congressional and legislative speaker elections to voter education and issue advocacy efforts. He is a strategic planning and organizational management professional who focuses on the intersection of politics, policy, strategy and advocacy to procure funding or increase public engagement for clients. 

In previous roles, Anthony served as Senior Director for Strategic Planning at the largest workforce education organization in New York City, Consortium for Worker Education, and as Political and Legislative Director for the New York City AFL-CIO, helping unions and workers build power.   

Recently, Anthony led a successful voter turnout campaign in New York City that has been heralded as leading to the election of Mayor Eric Adams and he spearheaded the campaign for New York City’s first Black City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams.  

Anthony has directed political and legislative programs across the labor movement, managed municipal campaigns in New York and San Francisco and state and federal races around the country. 

Jorge Garrido
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Jorge’s experiences range across different public affairs industries. He has worked with multiple public agencies while holding the role of a policy advisor. During his career, Jorge developed and oversaw strategies and coordination of the respective lobbying staff on education policy, environmental policy and water policy.  

Jorge worked to provide a demographic analysis of local jurisdictions and adjust the governing boundaries to accommodate the population data in the United States Census. He also served as a liaison between civil rights organizations and local governments throughout the redistricting process and secured cooperation amongst all ethnic and language-specific demographics.  

Jorge has directed clients with his community outreach. A graduate of U.C Berkeley, he now lives in Los Angeles with his two kids, Cristiano and Camila. 

George Birnbaum
George Birnbaum
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George is an international political consultant with nearly 30 years of significant political campaign experience.  

George has developed and overseen campaign strategies for national elections on five continents and in over 40 countries worldwide. He has successfully helped elect over 20 presidents, prime ministers and chancellors across the globe.  

George also served as chief of staff to former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  

John Tomlin
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John Tomlin specializes in strategic communications, media relations, crisis management and public affairs.

At Actum, Tomlin works with clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies, global leaders, nonprofits and political leaders, helping them navigate challenges in the public sphere. Whether it’s a media crisis,  issue campaign or profile-raising effort, Tomlin is goal-oriented and dogged in his approach.

He previously served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to New York State Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, and was part of the team that helped elevate her to Democratic Conference Leader in 2011. As her senior-most downstate staffer, he managed the Leader’s downstate operation and played a key role in executing her policy, communication and political objectives.

Tomlin lives in Westchester County New York with his wife and two children.

John Hooper
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Over the pat 20 years, John has played important roles on political, public affairs and corporate social responsibility campaigns across the country and internationally including helping to pioneer domestic and international digital advocacy strategies for foreign governments, fortune 100 companies and international nonprofit organizations. Most recently, John was a managing director leading the public affairs practice for Group SJR, a New York digital strategy firm owned by WPP.   Previously, he ran the Washington DC office for the California Department of Education, advised legislative leadership on policy and political strategy and lobbied for the California Chamber of Commerce.

Senior Vice Presidents
Toby Denselow
Toby Denselow
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Toby’s impressive history includes significant roles at Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the UK Parliament, where he served as an advisor to a senior MP. 

He has worked for a number of international governments offering political and media support on a range of campaigns. He has assisted heads of state and written speeches for world leaders, including at the United Nations General Assembly. 

Toby has advised on the creation of a number of supranational organizations and helped support the development of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition.   

He is an active member of the UK Labour Party and has worked on two successful General Election campaigns.  

Claire Totten
Claire Totten
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Claire has over a decade of experience in government, the non-profit sector and with Fortune 500 companies. She has led high-profile public affairs campaigns, specializing in messaging, crisis management, media relations and advertising.  

Previously, Claire led communications and strategic initiatives for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s signature initiative, which included overseeing government affairs and rapid response. Before joining the political communications world, Claire worked in fixed income sales and trading at Morgan Stanley. 

Claire is a Harvard graduate and is married to Bradley. They live in Los Angeles, California. 

Jennifer Kaufmann
Jennifer Kaufmann
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Jennifer is a seasoned government affairs and public policy professional focusing on a diverse range of client issues both domestic and international. With years of experience providing strategic counsel to a variety of interests, she works closely with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to achieve success for her clients.  

Prior to joining Actum, Jennifer served in a variety of capacities, including as U.S. Head of Public Policy for an international company focused on behavioral health, a senior vice president at a multi-client public relations and lobbying firm and professional staff for Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) and Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD).   

Bari Golin Blaugrund
Bari Golin–Blaugrund
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Bari is a preeminent advocacy and crisis strategist with over a decade of experience helping businesses and non-profits build support for their priorities at every level of government.  

Bari comes to Actum from the Cruise Lines International Association, where she served as Vice President for Strategic Communications and Public Affairs. During her time with CLIA, Bari helped shepherd the multi-billion-dollar cruise industry through the worst crisis in its history, culminating in the successful execution of an industry-wide public affairs campaign to end the more than 15-month prohibition on cruise operations due to Covid-19.  

Bari has extensive experience designing targeted communications and public affairs strategies involving policymakers, community leaders, members of the media and beyond. Most importantly, she brings a passion for problem-solving and an aptitude for execution to every project.  

Bari arrived in Washington, D.C. by way of Texas, California and Israel. She lives with her husband and their two dogs.  

Cara Noel
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Cara brings a wealth of experience in the political, labor, and community and social justice activism arenas.

She is a former Director of Communications for 1199SEIU United Workers East, where she helped give a voice to 1199SEIU’s more than 450,000 health care workers in New York as well as Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington, D.C., and Florida. Her work to support and amplify the voices of healthcare heroes during the COVID-19 pandemic has been among her proudest accomplishments.

Cara is former press secretary for the New Jersey State Senate Democrats. While with the New Jersey Senate, she also served as the communications representative for the State’s Legislative Black Caucus. Cara went on to work at the New York City AFL-CIO as its Director of Communications.

Cara is a proud graduate of Morgan State University, a historically Black college, and obtained her Master’s in Public Policy from Drexel University.

A New Jersey native, Cara resides in Brooklyn.

Barry Caro
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Barry has worked in New York politics since 2009 and as a political consultant since 2013. He has supported gubernatorial and mayoral campaigns in New York and Pennsylvania, as well as a significant number of countywide, boroughwide and state legislative campaigns. He has deep experience in New York City and the northern suburbs.

As a political consultant, Barry provides comprehensive services including campaign management, field consulting, press, direct mail, tv advertising and digital advertising. He has led campaigns that flipped a seat from red to blue in six separate election cycles and has a record of winning tough primaries against incumbent office holders.

Barry was honored by City & State Magazine as one of New York State’s top political consultants in 2019, 2020 and 2021. He lives in New York City with his wife and twin boys.

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