Since she took office in 2014, she has successfully passed legislation to reform the deed restriction process, add ‘caregivers’ to the city’s anti-discrimination law, remove criminal history questions from initial employment applications (the “Fair Chance Act”), and enforce requirements for street numbers on buildings in Manhattan (to aid emergency workers).
Brewer previously served on the City Council for 12 years, serving as the founding chair of the Technology Committee and leading the Government Operations Committee. There, the Council passed her legislation guaranteeing paid sick leave for most hourly employees, requiring all City data be published online, and protecting domestic workers from abusive practices.
Deborah is a maverick and revered corporate titan! A tried and true change agent of multinationals, Deborah now operates in both NYC and Houston. A Pennsylvania native, Deborah is a Graduate of both Harvard and Yale. She has traveled internationally and has served as a “change agent” turning around and enhancing corporate bottom line spending/revenue generating. Her online creation “TheChisel.com” stealthy cuts to the core of the issue to “build” consensus among a variety of diverse stakeholders. Check out this revolutionary approach to facilitate dialogue for a range of audiences.
Mr. Morris descends from two of the most influential names in American history: he is the great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington. His mother, Nettie Washington Douglass, is the daughter of Nettie Hancock Washington (granddaughter of Booker T. Washington), and Dr. Frederick Douglass III (great-grandson of Frederick Douglass). Ken’s life until the year 2007 could be described as distinguished yet decisively disengaged from his lineage until Providence called. Ken continues his family’s legacy of anti-slavery and educational work as co-founder and president of the Atlanta-based nonprofit Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives (FDFI). His career and life path are driven by a clear focus on FDFI’s mission“[t]o Advance Freedom through Knowledge and Strategic Action.” He could not have predicted that one day he would so fully embrace and be defined by the characteristics that so closely defined his famous ancestors.
Ruth Hassell-Thompson, Special Advisor for Policy and Community Affairs, for New York State Housing and Community Renewal, was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2000, where she brought years of public service and community involvement to her post as the Senator of the 36th Senatorial District; representing parts of the Bronx and Westchester Counties.
Prior to holding an elected office, she was President/CEO of Whart Development Company, Inc., a real estate development company that also provided consultant services to small and developing businesses, thus, she is well known for her expertise in minority business. As the Executive Director of the Westchester Minority Contractors Association (WMCA), Ms. Hassell-Thompson became well-versed in economic development issues which impacted women and people of color. Ms. Hassell-Thompson was consultant to the Automotive Consultant, Inc. (ACI), an automobile dealership/industry organization responsible for promoting the interests of automobile dealers of color, nationally.
Ms. Hassell-Thompson is the recipient of two Honorary Doctorate degrees; Mercy College, Doctor of Humane Letters; and Eastern Theological Consortium, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Christ Theological Seminary, Doctor of Humanities. She is an alumna of Bronx Community College.
During her tenure in the Senate, Ms. Hassell-Thompson served on the following standing committees: Judiciary (Ranking); Crime Victims, Crime & Correction (Ranking Chairwoman); Commerce, Economic Development & Small Business; Alcohol and Substance Abuse; Health; Finance; Rules; Chairwoman, Conference of Black Senators; Chairwoman, Taskforce on Domestic Violence; Governor Cuomo Taskforce on MWBE
Barbara A. McGraw is Professor of Social Ethics, Law, and Public Life and founding director of the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism at Saint Mary’s College of California. She received her Ph.D. in 1999 and her J.D. in 1984, both from the University of Southern California. She has been with Saint Mary’s College since 1998. Among other things, she has served on the American Academy of Religion's standing Committee for the Public Understanding of Religion, 2011-2015, and as president of the AAR Western Region, 2001-2002.
Dr. McGraw is author or editor of many articles, chapters, and books, including Rediscovering America’s Sacred Ground: Public Religion and Pursuit of the Good in a Pluralistic America; Taking Religious Pluralism Seriously: Spiritual Politics on America’s Sacred Ground (with Jo Renee Formicola); Many Peoples, Many Faiths: Women and Men in the World Religions (with Robert S. Ellwood); and The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Religion and Politics in the U.S.
Dr. McGraw’s areas of specialization include religion, law, and politics and the role of religion in public life, especially involving religious minorities and religious pluralism as a civic value. In that regard in addition to her areas of specialization, her current interests include scholar-activism on behalf of religious minorities and the newly emerging interfaith-interreligious leadership field for which she is a thought-leader.
KATHARINE PICHARDO-ERSKINE is President of the Hamilton Campaign Network (HCN), a leading Latino-owned and managed consulting firm providing strategic advice and services to political and high-profile issue campaigns.
Founded in 2016 as a sister company to the MirRam Group, HCN counts on a team of professionals with unique backgrounds and unparalleled experience in campaign management, voter targeting and contact, field operations, research, media, direct mail, digital marketing and compliance.
A 25-year veteran of government and politics, Katharine joined the MirRam family in 2016 as Vice President to manage lobbying, community relations and communication services for corporate, labor and non-profit clients. Prior to that, her work included a lengthy tenure in the New York State Senate, where she served as Executive Director and Chief of Staff, managing policy, operations and strategic outreach for a number of Members, including leadership.
Katharine’s wealth of experience running key political and issue campaigns over the years, in addition to her diligent planning and spot-on intuitive insights, have made her a sought-after strategist in and outside New York. Throughout her career, her work has focused on building principled campaigns – supporting causes and candidates whose values emphasize community well-being and far-sighted, solutions-driven policymaking to address our shared challenges.
HCN is proud to have played a role in numerous recent path-breaking elections, including Adriano Espaillat’scampaign to become the first Dominican-American and formerly undocumented Member of Congress; Letitia James’s run for New York Attorney General as the state’s first woman and person of color elected to the office; and the campaign to elect the first Latino District Attorney in the Northeast United States, Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez.
She is a regular political commentator on Telemundo and other media outlets.
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