Officers

The California Young Democrats is an all-volunteer run political organization operated by an elected board of directors with the support of many appointed leaders. Below you will find CYD’s officers for the 2016-2017 term. Officers are elected at our annual statewide convention and serve a term of one or two years, depending on the office held.

At-Large

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President

Eddie Kirby is the elected President of the California Young Democrats. Additionally, he is the Statewide Political Organizer for the California Faculty Association (CFA) representing more than 27,000 faculty members across the California State University system.

Eddie has over a decade of experience in California Democratic politics: he got his start during his freshman year of high school through the Young Democrats and has since moved on to serve dozens of state legislators in various capacities before joining CFA.

For more than six years, Eddie was part of Dan Weitzman’s fundraising team, where he tracked and collected millions of dollars in contributions and helped plan and execute some of the largest fundraisers in California. In 2011, he left Weitzman’s shop to serve as Dr. Richard Pan’s Assembly and Senate Deputy District Director and Volunteer Field Coordinator helping to build a healthier Sacramento through community organizing. In 2015, Eddie served Assemblyman Mike Gatto as his Deputy District Director and Senate Campaign Manager before joining CFA’s Government Relations team.

Eddie has served as a local Young Democrat chapter leader at all levels from high school, college and young professional throuhgout his time being involved with CYD. As President of the Mira Loma High School Young Democrats, he helped grow the club to be the largest high school Democratic club in the nation with over 300 members at its peak. That year the chapter was recognized as the CYD High School Young Democrats Chapter of the Year.

In 2007, while serving as President of the Sacramento State College Democrats he was elected to serve as the California College Democrats Vice President of Membership where he developed and implemented an aggressive campus outreach plan which resulted in numerous new college chapters being established throughout the State.

In 2009, he was appointed as Chair of that year’s CYD Lake Tahoe Retreat, which was the largest and most successful Tahoe Retreat in the history of the organization and became a model for all future Tahoe Retreats. On the final day of that Retreat he was elected to fill a vacancy as CYD’s Vice President of Finance in which he served in that capacity through 2011.

In 2010, Eddie envisioned, wrote and ran one of the most successful campaigns in the history of the Young Democrats of America, the 2010 Young Voter Revolution campaign. That campaign helped produce the only Republican-to-Democrat seat-flip in the nation that year electing Dr. Richard Pan to represent California’s 5th Assembly District. With Eddie’s leadership, the campaign was financed with more than $70k, employed 13 full-time paid staff members and resulted in over 3,000 low-propensity young Democrats voting in that very closely contested election.

For his efforts, Eddie was awarded both the 2010 CYD Project of the Year as well as the 2010 CYD Outstanding Leader award at the 2011 Democratic Convention in Sacramento.

At the beginning of 2015 Eddie was appointed to again serve as the CYD Tahoe Retreat Chair. The retreat was a success with hundreds of Young Democrats coming from across California to participate in numerous trainings, team building exercises and fun events which Eddie planned throughout the year. Eddie raised nearly $30k at the 2015 retreat to help pay down over half of the debt CYD had on its balance sheets. For that hard work, at CYD’s 2016 State Convention, Eddie was presented with CYD’s Man of the Year award before being formally elected President.

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Vice President of Membership

Allan Acevedo was born in Mexico and raised along the San Diego-Mexican border.  A graduate of San Diego State (go Aztecs), Allan is the first in his family to graduate college – thanks to a Point Foundation scholarship.  Allan recently graduated law school, where he served as President of his Student Bar Association and a staff writer for the Law Review and International Law Journal.

Allan’s activism started in high school where he served three years as President of the Gay-Straight Alliance and was an active with GLSEN and GSA Network.  Allan traveled the country training other youth in direct community organizing, grassroots fundraising, and public speaking.  Previously, Allan served on the boards of the GSA Network, Equality California PAC, and many college clubs and student council.

Professionally, Allan has worked on six political campaigns including for State Senator Marty Block’s first state assembly campaign; San Diego Supervisor Dave Roberts; and former Speaker Pro Tem Lori Saldaña’s spirited but unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Allan has served many roles within the California Young Democrats including as: President of both the San Diego State Democrats and the Stonewall Young Democrats, San Diego; CYD Regional Director; LGBT Caucus Chair; Latino Caucus Vice Chair; Secretary; Communications Director; and Vice President of Membership.

 

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Vice President of Finance
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Secretary

Will Rodriguez-Kennedy is a Non-Profit and Political Resource Development Manager, award winning former journalist, activist and veteran of the United States Marine Corps and has nearly a decade of combined military and community service.

In 2008, Will was honorably discharged from the military under the discriminative “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. He made international headlines in his fight against the policy specifically being amongst the first to attempt to reenlist when it was ruled unconstitutional in 2010.

Since then he has been active in local politics. Amongst his awards he was named Veteran of the Year for the 77th Assembly District in 2009, he was voted Outstanding Community Activist at the Nicky Awards in 2011, received a San Diego Press Club award for his coverage of government and politics in a non-daily newspaper, San Diego LGBT Weekly and was inducted into the San Diego LGBT Community Center’s Benjamin Dillingham and Bridget Wilson Veteran’s Wall of Honor in 2013.

Will is a graduate of the inaugural class of the Young Professional Council’s leadership academy, a program of the San Diego LGBT Community Center and is currently a communications major.

Will served on the board of directors of San Diego LGBT Pride from 2010 to 2013 and as an officer of the board from 2011-2013.

He currently serves as President for of the San Diego Democrats for Equality, as State Secretary of the California Young Democrats, as an appointed member and Secretary of the San Diego County Veteran’s Advisory Council, Deputy Vice Chair (Central Area) and Membership Development Coordinator of the San Diego County Democratic Party’s Central Committee and as a delegate to the California Democratic Party’s State Central Committee.

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Political Director
Communications Director
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National Committeewoman

Carrie McFadden was born and raised in a union household in Santa Cruz, California. Her interest in politics was cultivated during the lead up to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, during which she participated in multiple protests on her high school campus. She attended Cabrillo College and then transferred to UCLA, becoming the first person in her family to attend a four-year university. A Political Science major, she was the first transfer student to be elected President of the Bruin Democrats, and also spent her time involved in student government.

Since graduating college in 2010, Carrie has worked on various local, state, and federal campaigns throughout the state of California before moving to San Francisco in early 2015. She currently works as a Political Compliance Specialist at the Sutton Law Firm, serving as a treasurer and compliance officer for various campaigns, independent expenditures, PACs, lobbyists, and non-profit organizations.
She has been an elected board member of CYD since 2010, as Secretary, Political Director, and now National Committeewoman since spring 2015. As one of California’s two representatives to the Young Democrats of America, she attends national events in order to ensure that California’s interests are heard. She was appointed in late 2015 to serve as YDA Site Selection Chair, where she is tasked with reviewing bids for all YDA meetings and conventions. Locally, she was recently elected as the Treasurer of the San Francisco Young Democrats. In her (little) free time, she enjoys pub trivia, hiking, and watching sloth videos.
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National Committeeman

A California native Michael Soto, can trace his Latino heritage back to Hernando De Soto and Moctezuma yet his grandfather was born and raised in Compton. Despite having such an incongruent heritage Michael spent his childhood in blissful innocence raised in the foothills of Ventura County.  Michael’s passion for politics was initially started by Stephen Colbert’s book I Am American (And so Can You!).  Michael’s political aspirations were further galvanized by Obama’s first presidential campaign although he wasn’t old enough to vote at the time.  Michael will be graduating from Sacramento State with a degree in Government this spring.  Michael got his start in Democratic politics with the Sacramento State College Democrats which ignited a lifelong passion for grassroots organizing and political activism. Working on his first campaign in 2012 Michael has continued his political career working on campaigns up and down the state from Los Angeles and Santa Barbara all the way up to Sacramento, as well as doing non-profit fundraising. Prior to being elected to National Committeeman, he was Communications Director for the California College Democrats and Central Coast Regional Director for the California Young Democrats where he helped charter three new chapters in his region. Upon graduation Michael plans to work on another campaign for the 2016 election cycle.  Outside of politics Michael also wishes to start a non-profit for cat and dog who have PTSD.

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Parliamentarian
Jenny Bach is the current CYD Parliamentarian. She was born in Massachusetts and moved to California when she was ten years old. She is a recent graduate from California State University Sacramento where she was an active College Democrat, serving a year as President of her chapter. She is now working as a Field Representative at State Senator Richard Pan’s office. Jenny’s other roles with Young Democrats include being the current Vice President of Fundraising at Sacramento County Young Democrats.
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Immediate Past President

Gabe Kearney has been a member of the CYD Executive Committee since 2008. He is currently the Immediate Past President. He has held the office of President, Parliamentarian, and Chair of the LGBT Caucus.

Having lived in Petaluma since childhood, Gabe has a strong passion for all things Petaluma, and Sonoma County. He was appointed to the Petaluma City Council in March 2011, and was elected to a full four-year term in November of 2012. When not tending his duties as a Council member, Gabe works for the Burning Man organization overseeing Safety for the annual Burning Man event in Nevada.

After graduating from Casa Grande High School, Gabe completed his paramedic training at Mendocino College and studied Healthcare Administration at the University of San Francisco. Prior to being on the Petaluma City Council he worked in radio and was the co-host of the morning show on what is now Y100.9 in Santa Rosa.

In his free time Gabe enjoys spending time with his dog Brick, and watching sporting events.

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California College Democrats (CCD)

Xochitl is a senior at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) studying Political Science and Communication Studies. She has has been on the executive board of one of LA County’s strongest college democrats chapter, CSUN Young Democrats every year since her Freshman year. She was the past Communications Director and Southern California Regional Director for CCD and has continued to expand of her efforts to revitalize higher education. Her involvement in Los Angeles has given her the experience to keep networking with college Dems and young professional chapters statewide. She is a recognized chapter leader wtihin the LA region of the California Young Democrats. She has been involved on numerous campaigns and community events for many years and hopes to run her very own political consulting firm one day.

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California High School Democrats (CHSD)

Ana Little-Saña is a San Diego native and the High School Caucus Chair of the California Young Democrats. She currently serves as the Projects Director of the High School Democrats of America, a nationwide network of high school activists who aim to advance progressive ideals and help elect progressive Democrats into office. Since starting with HSDA, Ana has successfully organized voter registration drives, issue advocacy projects, and has implemented HSDA curriculum in High School Democrat clubs across the country. A junior at e3 Civic High in downtown San Diego, Ana is looking forward to a career in progressive politics and policy and hopes to eventually run for office. She is excited to work with California Young Democrats in order to empower students to the future leaders of the Democratic Party.

Regional Directors

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North State
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North Coast

Maureen “Mo” De Nieva is a fervent proponent of civic engagement among underrepresented groups and communities. As a resident of San Rafael, and one of few Asian American women in civic leadership roles, she has a personal goal of diversifying the leadership landscape of Marin County. Mo has a decade of experience working with nonprofits & government agencies in youth development, community organizing, and public health policy while utilizing social media for positive social change. She is North Coast Regional Chair for the California Young Democrats, Alternate for the Chair of the Marin Democratic Party, and AD-10 delegate to the California Democratic Party. Mo is President-Elect and Charter Member of the Rotary Club of Rafael Evening. In 2014, she was unanimously appointed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors to the Marin Women’s Commission.

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Bay Area

Dyana Delfín-Polk is a native of Merced, California but has proudly called the Bay Area home for over 9 years. Dyana holds a BA in American History and Chicano/a Studies from the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!) and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Mills College. She was appointed to the Community Environmental Advisory Commission for the City of Berkeley in 2014 and serves as the Vice President of Finance for the Latinx Young Democrats of the East Bay. Dyana is excited to serve a second term as Bay Area Regional Director for the California Young Democrats to ensure that Bay Area Young Democrats have a strong voice in Democratic politics.

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North Central Valley

Matt Wainwright is a native of the Central Valley and has served as Regional Director for Central Valley North since his election in 2016. For seven years he has lived in Merced, California after attending the University of California, Merced and graduating with a B.A. in Political Science with an emphasis in American Studies. While attending UC Merced Matt was active in the Young Democrats at UC Merced, serving as the club’s first External Vice President. Matt also served as Senate Pro Tempore with the Associated Students at UC Merced (ASUCM) in addition to co-founding the grassroots organization I Will Ride in support of California’s High-Speed Rail project. Professionally Matt Wainwright serves as Senior District Representative for Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16).

South Central Valley
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Central Coast

Tyler was born in East Tennessee and raised in North Carolina where he attended The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He was a field organizer for Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in NC.

He moved to California in 2013 to work on Eric Garcetti’s mayoral campaign. Since then he has organized in the California 24th U.S. Congressional District in Santa Barbara for Rep. Lois Capps’ 2014 campaign.

He served as Student Trustee at Santa Barbara City College in 2015 and is now the Volunteer Coordinator for Salud Carbajal’s 2016 U.S. Congressional campaign.

He enjoys reading, talking sports, and playing guitar on oil free beaches.

Tyler serves as Regional Director – Central Coast since 2015

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Orange County & Inland Empire

Oscar Reyes is the Regional Director for Orange County and the Inland Empire.

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Los Angeles

Sean M. Rivas is the Los Angeles Region Director and the CYD Latino Caucus Chair on the California Young Democrats Executive Board. Sean’s roles help him represent the 14 Los Angeles based young democratic chapters and young Latino democratic members throughout the state. He/she is a member of San Fernando Valley Young Democrats and the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley; he has served as the Corresponding Secretary for Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, and has worked to bring more young democrats onto the board.  Since being elected in the summer of 2014 as the Los Angeles Region Director, Sean has worked with the numerous chapters in the region to forge partnerships that have allowed the region to grow and work together in an effort to make an impact in all elections. Also, in 2014 when he was elected as the Chair of the CYD Latino Caucus Sean made it a personal goal to create the most active caucus the California Young Democrats have seen to date. All of his efforts to build relationships region wide has not only allowed him to expand his relationships, but has continued to grow to what is now a state wide relationship with many of his fellow officers.  Feel free to communicate with him via email at sean@cayoungdems.com.

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South State

Jennifer Sosa received her BA in Political Science at the University of California, San Diego, where she was an active member of the College Democrats at UC San Diego. There she spent her undergraduate career fighting for equal access to higher education and retention of historically underrepresented students through her work with Associated Students-Office of Local Affairs. Upon graduating, Jennifer has consistently made strides in strengthening the foundation of the California Young Democrats. She has established networks of new Young Democrats, many of whom she has mentored and helped cement the success of their chapters throughout San Diego. She is also an elected board member of the San Diego County Young Democrats as their Communications Chair. In 2014, while working with the California Democratic Party, she was instrumental in re-election of Congressman Scott Peters in a district that has proven to be a contentious region for Democrats. Soon after, she managed and helped get elected more Democrats in Los Angeles County on the Mayoral to City Council level. Her proactive presence within the Young Democrats encompasses to further strengthen and deepen a presence of the progressive ideas Democrats have always been fighting for and will continue to do. Jennifer continues to work campaigns in Greater San Diego.