Vote Run Lead Strengthens Political Team and Expands Vote Run Lead Action Arm in Preparation for 2024 Elections

Political Training Powerhouse Adds Regional Head of the West, Director of Strategic Partnerships and State Directors for Michigan, Washington, Oregon and New Mexico

NEW YORK, N.Y., Feb. 12, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Vote Run Lead, the nonprofit that trains women to run for political office and win, is thrilled to announce the expansion of Vote Run Lead Action, a sister organization focused on training and supporting pro-democracy, anti-racist and feminist women to address the longstanding underrepresentation of women in state legislatures. In support of this work to elect more women, Vote Run Lead has added six new team members: Melissa Jackowski, regional head, west, Cee Maul, Michigan state director, Emily Carmichael, Washington state director, Becca Phelps, Oregon state director, Angelica Rubio, New Mexico state director, and Stephanie Demmons, director of strategic partnerships. These moves set the stage for the 2024 election cycle and what could be a paradigm-shifting political year.

“Vote Run Lead, our educational arm, was founded in 2014 with a passion and purpose to invite, uplift and train women to run for office,” noted Sabrina Shulman, chief political officer for Vote Run Lead and Vote Run Lead Action. “Vote Run Lead Action was born out of the need to provide deeper resources throughout the political journey. It also allows us to have an impact at the ballot box for values-aligned women candidates and have a more powerful impact on representation in our statehouses. As a nonpartisan, values-forward and mission-driven organization, Vote Run Lead Action recruits and trains women to run for their statehouses, drives the conversation on key issues affecting women’s equal representation in government, and promotes and defends democracy. To accomplish this, we are also pleased to expand our political team with the addition of Melissa Jackowski, Cee Maul, Emily Carmichael, Becca Phelps and Angelica Rubio, focused on pivotal states and areas of the country where women can really make a difference in state legislatures. Stephanie Demmons is expanding our engagement with strategic organizations to ensure the women being recruited to run are as diverse as, and reflective of, the populations they will represent.”

Melissa Jackowski, regional head, West, brings almost two decades of experience in organizing for candidates, issues and ballot initiative campaigns. Having worked with unions, political parties, and non-profit corporations, Jackowski's expertise spans from community-level organizing to presidential field direction. She holds a master's degree in political management from George Washington University and is a graduate of The Campaign School at Yale and the Emerge program.

Cee Maul, Michigan state director, is a seasoned political organizer and lifelong Michigan resident. With a decade of experience in Michigan politics, Maul specializes in statehouse campaigns, grassroots organizing and constituent outreach. Holding a degree from Central Michigan University, Maul is deeply passionate about feminism and queer rights. Maul also served on Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's Community Engagement team after spending six years with the Michigan House Democratic Caucus.

Emily Carmichael, Washington state director, has a long history of empowering women in politics and increasing women's representation in Washington State. She is a dedicated progressive advocate with a background in fundraising, program management, candidate training and political strategy. Previous organizations include Emerge Washington and Common Power. Carmichael holds a bachelor’s degree in French studies from Brown University; a master’s degree from Middlebury College, also in French studies; and a master’s degree in museum studies from NYU.

Becca Phelps, Oregon state director, has served as a teacher in rural Kentucky, Kenya and Bend, Oregon. In politics, roles of note include managing multiple campaigns — for candidates and ballot measures — and engaging in several approaches to sustainability, environmental and climate advocacy. Phelps is active in educating about sustainable practices and how to be more responsible stewards of shared resources. She earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University Southeast.

Angelica Rubio, New Mexico state director, was born and raised in New Mexico, and has served in the New Mexico state House of Representatives since 2017, giving her an especially strong understanding of the Vote Run Lead Action community. In addition to her legislative experience, she has served as a campaign manager and staffer for many campaigns and held leadership roles across a range of social justice nonprofit organizations. Rubio earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at New Mexico State University and a master’s degree in Latin American studies at California State University, Los Angeles.

Stephanie Demmons, director of strategic partnerships, has a professional background that includes developing and scaling organizing programs at the state and national levels, as well as building collaborative partnerships and coalitions toward community, legislative and electoral goals. Demmons has more than a decade of experience leading within the reproductive health and rights movement, most recently in leadership roles at NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood of NYC. She is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College.

“We are thrilled to have our new political team in place and know that their work will be pivotal to our success in training more women to run for office,” Shulman said. “We can’t wait to see what this team accomplishes as they work to help more women secure seats in state legislatures. When candidates and campaign managers attend our training, Vote Run Lead Action encourages them to speak freely and honestly about what inspired them to step up, and what motivates them to stay in the fight even when it gets challenging. Vote Run Lead Action believes in right and wrong, and we are not afraid to stand up, speak up, and show up for women and marginalized people who deserve to be not only heard, but fairly represented in our government.”

About Vote Run Lead Action

Vote Run Lead Action, ​​the 501(c4) arm of Vote Run Lead, the country’s largest nonprofit training resource for women to run for political office and win, has a primary focus: improving gender representation in America’s statehouses. The organization seeks to unleash the political power of women as voters, candidates and leaders to create an equitable democracy. To learn more, visit or follow on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram.


Vote Run Lead Action team at RUN51 Summit_Nov 2023_pc_Robin Gamble Photography

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