Jocelyn Benson
Jocelyn Benson
Secretary of State, Michigan
Our Democracy is Worth Fighting For

@JocelynBenson
Jocelyn Benson is Michigan’s 43rd Secretary of State. In this role she is focused on ensuring elections are secure and accessible, and dramatically improving customer experiences for all who interact with our offices.

Benson is the author of State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, the first major book on the role of the secretary of state in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. She is also the Chair of Michigan’s Task Force on Women in Sports, created by Governor Whitmer in 2019 to advance opportunities for women in Michigan as athletes and sports leaders.

A graduate of Harvard Law School and expert on civil rights law, education law and election law, Benson served as dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. When she was appointed dean at age 36, she became the youngest woman in U.S. history to lead a top-100, accredited law school. She continues to serve as vice chair of the advisory board for the Levin Center at Wayne Law, which she founded with former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Previously, Benson was an associate professor and associate director of Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.

Prior to her election, she served as CEO of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a national nonprofit organization using the unifying power of sports to improve race relations.

Benson is co-founder and former president of Military Spouses of Michigan, a network dedicated to providing support and services to military spouses and their children.

In 2015, she became one of the youngest women in history to be inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame.

Roxanne Brown
Roxanne Brown
United Steelworkers
International Vice President at Large
Elections Have Consequences: Combatting the Climate Crisis Here and Now

@Brownrox
Roxanne Brown is the USW’s International Vice President at Large. Brown oversees the union’s public policy and legislative agenda as well as its political work. Throughout her career, Brown has worked with members and allies to advance policies on Capitol Hill and with regulatory agencies to help workers. She has extensive experience in defense procurement policy, environmental regulation and energy policy. Brown has testified at hearings on behalf of USW members at the International Trade Commission (ITC), on Capitol Hill, before state legislatures, and has represented the USW with global policy-makers, including at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Brown was a founding Steering Committee member of the BlueGreen Alliance and is a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists. She serves on the boards of the National Endowment for Democracy, Georgetown University’s Institute of International Economic Law and the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Direct Air Capture Advisory Council.

Senator Tammy Duckworth
Senator Tammy Duckworth
U.S Senator, Illinois
Climate Leaders in Conversation: Jobs, Justice, and a Clean Energy Future

@SenDuckworth
Senator Duckworth finished high school and worked her way through college at the University of Hawai’i waitressing and with other minimum wage jobs before enrolling in a Masters in International Affairs program at the George Washington University. There, Tammy enlisted in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, where she quickly fell in love with the pure meritocracy of the Army—and met her now-husband, Bryan Bowslbey. After earning her master’s degree, Duckworth began a Ph.D. program at Northern Illinois University and continued serving in the Reserve Forces, interrupting her studies to become one of the first handful of women in the Army to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

On November 12, 2004, Tammy’s UH‐60 Black Hawk helicopter was hit by a rocket propelled grenade that exploded in her lap. She lost both legs and partial use of her right arm in the explosion. As a result of her injuries, Tammy earned a Purple Heart. After waking up wounded–but not defeated–more than a week later at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and fighting for her own life, she’s spent every day since fighting for those who sacrificed to save her—as well as for all military families. During her 13 months of painful recovery and rehabilitation, Duckworth quickly became a vocal advocate for her fellow Wounded Warriors.
After leaving Walter Reed, Tammy was named Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, where she implemented many first-in-the-nation programs to alleviate suffering from post-traumatic stress, improve traumatic brain injury screening and reduce homelessness among Veterans. President Barack Obama later nominated Tammy to be U.S. Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA). There, she headed the federal VA’s effort to end Veteran homelessness, launched the VA’s first online communications efforts and was a leader in initiatives for female Veterans.

But Tammy also realized that many of the systemic and bureaucratic problems our nation’s Veterans and military families faced could only be fixed by changing federal laws. So she ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, served two terms—and retired from the Reserve Forces at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel after 23 years of service—before winning the Senate seat she now holds. In her first term in the Senate, Tammy was named the most effective freshman Democrat by the Center for Effective Lawmaking and one of the most effective of all Senate Democrats in the 116th Congress. Several of her proposals were signed into law by the President, including her first-ever Senate bill to help support jobs in Illinois and cut bureaucratic red tape on infrastructure projects, which became law in record time.

Senator Duckworth is focused on helping working families get ahead through job development programs, protecting Social Security and Medicare, promoting civil rights and equal rights for all Illinoisans, advocating for environmental justice and supporting our Veterans and military families. She serves on the Armed Services Committee; the Environment & Public Works Committee; the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee; and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee.

Tammy lives with her husband Bryan, their two daughters Abigail and Maile and her mother Lamai.

Donna Edwards
Donna Edwards
Former US Representative and LCV Board Member
Our Democracy is Worth Fighting For

@DonnaFEdwards
The Hon. Donna Edwards is a former U.S. Representative for Maryland, 2008-2017. She was the first African American woman elected to represent Maryland in the U.S. Congress. She co-founded and led the National Network to End Domestic Violence, spearheading the effort to pass the Violence Against Women Act in 1994. From 1999 to 2008 she was the executive director of Arca Foundation, where she managed a $50 - $70 million portfolio, awarding $4-7 million/year in program and general support grants to international and domestic public policy organizations. She is a former senior fellow of the Brenna

Gene Karpinski
Gene Karpinski
League of Conservation Voters
President
Elections Have Consequences: Combatting the Climate Crisis Here and Now

Gene joined LCV in April 2006 after serving for more than a dozen years as a member of the LCV and LCVEF Boards of Directors and the LCV Political Committee. Under Gene’s leadership, LCV has played a lead role in the environmental community’s efforts to pass clean energy and climate policies. During the 2020 election cycle, Gene led LCV Victory Fund’s ClimateVote2020 campaign, which raised over $115 million, which paved a path to a pro-environment trifecta. Prior to joining LCV, Gene worked for 21 years as the Executive Director of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), the national lobbying office for state PIRGs across the country, where he led many national environmental issue campaigns. He has served on a number of national boards, including America Votes, Earth Share, the Partnership Project, the Beldon Fund, and the National Association for Public Interest Law. Gene is a graduate of Brown University and Georgetown University Law Center.

Senator Alex Padilla
Senator Alex Padilla
U.S. Senator, California
Our Democracy is Worth Fighting For

@SenAlexPadilla
Senator Alex Padilla is the proud son of immigrants from Mexico, his father a short-order cook and his mother a housekeeper. Padilla attended Los Angeles public schools and is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating from MIT, Padilla was elected to the Los Angeles City Council where he served as the youngest Council President in Los Angeles history and provided citywide leadership at critical times, including serving as acting Mayor during the tragedy of September 11, 2001. He was elected to the State Senate in 2006 to represent the more than 1.1 million people in the San Fernando Valley. As a State Senator, Padilla passed more than 70 bills, including landmark legislation to combat climate change, and was named as one of Sacramento’s "most effective legislators."

Padilla served as California’s first Latino Secretary of State starting on January 5, 2015 and was re-elected in 2018, receiving the most votes of any Latino elected official in the United States. As Secretary of State, Padilla worked to make our elections more accessible and inclusive, while fighting to protect the integrity of our voting systems.

As California's Junior U.S. Senator, Padilla serves as Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and Border Safety. He also serves as a member of the Senate Committees on Budget, Environment and Public Works, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, Judiciary, and Rules.

Senator Padilla lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife Angela and their three sons: Roman, Alex and Diego.

Representative Katie Porter
Representative Katie Porter
CA-45
Climate Leaders in Conversation: Jobs, Justice, and a Clean Energy Future

@RepKatiePorter
Congresswoman Katie Porter represents the 45th Congressional District in Orange County, California.
In Washington, Congresswoman Porter has remained committed to putting Orange County families first. As a member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, she’s asked tough questions of bank CEOs and administration officials to hold them accountable to the American people. She’s also a proud member of the House Natural Resources Committee, where she works tirelessly to protect our beaches and public lands, elevate science-based solutions to the climate crisis, and keep Orange County families safe from wildfires. She chairs the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, where she leads efforts to hold polluters accountable.

Eager to invite families into the conversations happening in the halls of Congress, Rep. Porter has developed a reputation for her use of visual aids during Congressional hearings. She wielded a whiteboard while grilling the CEO of JP Morgan Chase, Jamie Dimon, over how an entry-level employee at his bank couldn’t make ends meet. She also used her signature whiteboard to break down potential cost barriers to COVID-19 tests, which helped her secure a commitment from the Trump Administration to make testing free for every American.

Rep. Porter has also published several reports that break down issues and identify solutions on behalf of Orange County families. She’s exposed how Big Pharma’s mergers and acquisitions destroy innovation and harm patients, shined a spotlight on how the coronavirus pandemic is disproportionately burdening working women, blasted the Trump Administration for mismanaging medical supplies during a pandemic, and detailed how the Trump tax law hurts Orange County homeowners.
As a single working mom, Rep. Porter knows firsthand about the challenges that families face. She’s introduced bipartisan legislation that would more than double the amount families can set aside pre-tax to help pay for preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult daycare. She’s continued to press for a repeal of the limits on the State and Local Tax (SALT) deduction, which has hit California’s middle-class families especially hard. Her bill to hold insurance companies accountable for covering mental health was signed into law by President Trump.
Rep. Porter believes our democracy and government should reflect the people of America and serve their needs, not special interests or corporate donors. As a progressive, she’s a leader in the fight to protect taxpayers and crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse. In Congress, she’s a key voice for ending political corruption, increasing government transparency, and holding leaders of both parties accountable. She’s matched her commitment to transparency with concrete action by hosting regular town halls and publicly posting a list of meetings she takes.
Before coming to Congress, Rep. Porter spent nearly two decades taking on the special interests that dominate American politics and drown out the voices of working families. A lifelong consumer advocate, she taught bankruptcy law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law. As California’s independent watchdog against the banks, she oversaw big banks that had cheated Orange County homeowners to get them to follow through on their promise to help families get back on their feet. As a consumer finance expert, Congresswoman Porter also helped Congress pass the original Credit CARD Act in 2009, which enacted federal protections from abusive credit card fees.

Rep. Porter is a single mom of three school-aged kids. She lives with her family in Irvine, California.

Mayor Regina Romero
Mayor Regina Romero
Tucson, AZ
Climate Leaders in Conversation: Jobs, Justice, and a Clean Energy Future

Raised by immigrant farm-workers in Somerton, Arizona, Regina is the youngest of six children and began breaking barriers early on as the first member of her family to vote and the first to graduate from college. She is a proud graduate of the University of Arizona and holds a post-graduate certificate from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
In 2007, Regina became the first woman to represent Tucson’s Ward 1 on the Tucson City Council. While on the Council, Regina helped lift Tucson out of the Great Recession to its most prosperous decade in recent history, helping spur the creation of thousands of high-wage, long-term jobs. She has proven herself to be a champion for issues such as acting boldly on climate change, affordable housing, infrastructure investment, immigrant and workers rights’, and access to a high-quality education.

In November, 2019 Regina was elected Tucson Mayor, becoming the first woman and first Latina Mayor of Tucson, as well as the only Latina Mayor in the 50 largest U.S. cities. Regina is the proud mother of two bi-lingual, bi-cultural and bi-adorable children, Emiliano and Luciana, and has been married to Ruben Reyes for 15 years.

Tiernan Sittenfeld
Tiernan Sittenfeld
League of Conservation Voters
Senior Vice President of Government Affairs
@t_sittenfeld
As Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Tiernan Sittenfeld directs LCV’s policy and lobbying efforts with Congress on a range of issues, including climate change, energy, public lands, and chemical policy reform. She works on LCV’s legislative accountability campaigns and oversees the National Environmental Scorecard. She also leads the LCV Action Fund Coordinated Team, overseeing all candidate endorsements and endorsement communications, direct contributions, and coordinated field programs. Before joining LCV, Sittenfeld worked for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG) as the Preservation Advocate, specializing in national forest, public lands, and oceans issues. Prior to that, she worked for OSPIRG and CALPIRG. Sittenfeld is a graduate of Dartmouth College.