The Caucus structure is new for the College Democrats of Massachusetts, instituted so that the organization could focus more deeply on key issues best analyzed by students passionate about the topic. CDM is very proud of the success of the Caucus system, and we look forward to the new strides that will undoubtedly be made by the 2015-2015 Caucus Leadership team!
The Black Caucus will be led by Chair Victoria Lee, a senior at Wellesley College majoring in Political Science and Economics. Victoria is thoroughly experienced in politics, especially in relation to race; she is involved on campus with Ethos, an action committee for students of African descent, and has previously interned for Senators John Kerry and Elizabeth Warren. The Vice-Chair of the Black Caucus is Melissa Fortson, a fourth-year student at Northeastern University studying Accounting and Political Science. Melissa’s diverse interests include getting her real estate license, becoming a forensic accountant, and going to bartending school, but she realized after coming to college that she has a passion for shaping public policy. She has interned for Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and the MA Attorney General’s Office.
The Environmental Caucus is under the command of Amy Myers, a New Jersey native who migrated to Mount Holyoke College to study History and Politics. Amy is proud to serve as the Campaigns Coordinator for the Mount Holyoke College Democrats this year, a position which will allow her to channel her environmental and social political interests that she believes are shaped by her childhood on a farm.
Jen Taranto, a senior Political Science and International Studies student at Stonehill College, is the ‘15-’16 Women’s Caucus Chair. Jen founded the Sylvia Donaldson Society for Women in Politics at Stonehill, a bipartisan and interdisciplinary group that focuses on the empowerment of women and encourages them to pursue careers in public service. She spent her junior year abroad in London and interning at the White House. Jen will be working with Vice-Chair Talia Lepson, a Massachusetts native who has a long resume of experiences in national and state politics. She has previously worked to increase the amount of women in the Democratic Party with the Democratic National Committee, and also wrote a Spanish thesis on the politicization of motherhood during her experience studying abroad in Argentina this year.
CDM’s LGBTQ+ Caucus is led by Mount Holyoke College sophomore Sarah Brady. Sarah studies the unique combination of Politics and Astronomy, in addition to serving as the treasurer of the Mount Holyoke Democrats and interning in the office of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro. Sarah is interested in bringing attention to LGBTQ+ issues beyond just same-sex marriage. The Caucus Vice-Chair is Josh Trowbridge, a proud native of Vermont who currently attends Northeastern to study Psychology with a minor in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. He is heavily involved on campus with LGBTQ+ groups, and student governance commitees.
Will Beaman from Northeastern University serves as the ‘15-’16 Labor Caucus Chair. He has worked previously with the Labor Caucus on campaigns since the 2014 midterms, and is excited to build connections between the Democratic Party and organized labor to bring voice to workers; in the meantime, he’ll be studying History and Political Science. Benjamin Haideri joins the team as the Labor Vice-Chair. A student at UMass Amherst, Ben is looking ahead to attending law school and incorporate his undergraduate degree in Political Science to highlight and combat issues surrounding rights, wages, and a lack of power that he feels hinders the endless possibilities for workers and residents of his native Commonwealth.
The Latin@ Caucus is led by Santiago Narino, a fourth-year International Affairs and Economics student at Northeastern University. He has previously served as the president of the Latin America Student Organization at Northeastern, later spending 9 months in Brazil to gain experience with Latin@ issues and advocacy work. Santiago is a proud descendent of Antonio Narino, the Columbian Revolutionary.
Ash Liu joins the CDM Leadership Team as our ‘15-’16 Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Liaison. Ash is entering her second year at Northeastern University, where she studies English and Philosphy and serves the school’s Sexual Assault Response Campaign. Ash is looking forward to working with the Women’s Caucus on policies surrounding sexual assault in academic environments, such as implementation of Title IX and climate surveys.
We are looking forward to the policy focuses, blog posts, and advocacy work that our Caucuses will provide in the coming year, led by their Chairs and Vice-Chairs. CDM is so grateful to this group of outstandingly knowledgeable political students who can dive into some of the most crucial issues facing society today.