Collective PAC Q2 Endorsement Survey
As a donor and member of The Collective PAC, your voice is very important in our process of determining our endorsements. Please complete the following survey about prospective candidates for The Collective PAC to endorse in 2017. There will be additional surveys throughout the year, but this is our survey for the second quarter of 2017.
More information about the candidates can be found below.
Candidate for Governor of Florida
Andrew Gillum was the first in his family to graduate college and he went on to become the youngest person in history elected to the Tallahassee City Commission, before later becoming Mayor. As Mayor, Andrew developed a thriving innovation economy, beat the gun lobby in court to protect commonsense reform, and stood up to President Trump and Governor Rick Scott to defend immigrants. Under his leadership, Tallahassee established workforce training programs for underrepresented workers as one of only 50 cities in the nation included in President Obama’s TechHire program and lower violent crime in the City by almost 20 percent through increased investments in law enforcement, community policing, re-entry programs, and an expansion of social service funding.
Andrew earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Florida A&M University. He lives with his wife R. Jai and their twins in Tallahassee, Florida.
Candidate for Mayor of Compton, California
Aja Brown is currently serving as the youngest mayor in Compton history when she was elected at the age of thirty-one. She launched several community initiatives and policy changes aimed at reducing crime by tackling tough issues such as gang intervention, and domestic human trafficking, eliminating hourly motel rentals and condemning businesses that incubate human trafficking, and other illicit activity. She started Compton Empowered, a community based gang reduction and intervention initiative focused on empowering ex-gang members to take back their neighborhoods through peace treaties, unity activities and employment opportunities resulting in a nearly 50% decrease in homicides from 2014 to 2015 and continues to be the leading agency of community driven safety reform throughout the City.
Aja earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Policy, Urban Planning and Development from the University of Southern California and her Master’s degree in Urban Planning with a concentration in Economic Development from the University of Southern California. She is married to her best friend of 14 years, Van Brown.
Through her leadership the city has:
- witnessed the successful reduction in the unemployment rate by 50% in Compton from 18% in July 2013, to 9% in December 2015, through the implementation of industry-specific vocational training programs, while successfully attracting new companies and employment to Compton.
- Executed policy that improves access to Compton City employment through the First Source Hiring Agreement, adopted in October 2013, which mandates 35% local hiring for city assisted and funded projects that often times yield neighborhood improvement.
Candidate for Mayor of Cincinnati, OH
Councilwoman Yvette Simpson is a native of Cincinnati growing up in Lincoln Heights and now living in West End of the city. Councilwoman Simpson currently serves as Councilmember on Cincinnati City Council, where she was first elected to Council in 2011. Councilwoman Simpson serves as Chair of the Human Services, Youth, and Arts committee. She also serves on the Budget & Finance, Law and Public Safety, Neighborhoods and Major Transportation and Regional Cooperation committees. As a Councilwoman, she established and leads the City’s first Small Business Advisory Committee (the SBAC) and Youth Commission of Cincinnati (the YCC) composed of a diverse group of local leaders in the areas of small business and youth, respectively charged with evaluating the state of Cincinnati small business and youth, and guiding City leaders on decisions in these areas. She led the effort to create a new consortium, “Youth to Work,” improving efficiency in the City’s summer youth employment program resulted in enhanced training and educational programming, and improved tracking of key data.
Together with Vice Mayor Mann, Councilwoman Simpson helped convened a group of elected officials, staff, and local experts to review and update the City’s Human Services Funding which doubled the City’s allocated Human Services funding in 2015. Also, together with Vice Mayor Mann, established a Violence Prevention Working Group to develop a violence prevention framework with a focus on public health and human services. She established the City’s first Homeless-to-Work pilot program helps homeless citizens become economically self-sufficient through temporary employment, which could lead to permanent employment and passed legislation establishing Paid Parental Leave for all City employees. Councilwoman Simpson also supported statewide passage of the Intimate Partner Violence Bill, which expands the definition of a victim of domestic violence from a “family or household member” only to all individuals in a continuing or significant romantic relationship.
Councilwoman Simpson was appointed by the City Planning Commission as a member of the Hamilton County Regional Planning Commission.
Councilwoman Simpson earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University, Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and M.B.A. degree from Xavier University.
Chokwe Antar Lumumba
Candidate for Mayor of Jackson, Mississippi
Chokwe Antar Lumumba, the son of two lifelong activists, is currently the Managing Partner of Lumumba & Associates, Media Representative of the Coalition for Economic Justice and an active member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement.
Chokwe served in various capacities within numerous community organizations. He served as co-director of the Malcolm X Grassroots Day Camp, Media Chairperson for both the Jackson Ward 2 People’s Assembly and his father, the late Mayor Lumumba’s Ward 2 City Councilman campaign. He also served as Campaign Coordinator for his father’s successful bid for Mayor in 2013 and was instrumental in co-crafting The People’s Platform.
Chokwe was the Acting Assistant Coach for the Jackson Panthers Basketball Organization, founding member of the Mississippi Human Rights Collective where he co-organized the “Stand Up to Take It Down” rally at the State capitol to support the removal of the confederate insignia from the Mississippi State flag, legal representative to protect the election of the first black sheriff in Hinds County and board member to respond to the challenges of the Farish Street Development project.
Chokwe Antar Lumumba earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Tuskegee University and a Juris Doctorate with a certificate in sports & entertainment law from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University. Chokwe is married to Ebony and the couple has one daughter, Alake’ Maryama.
Candidate for Mayor of Pearland, TX
Quentin Wiltz currently manages a portfolio of strategic midstream pipeline coating projects for as Director of Commercial at Stupp Coatings, LLC. He is host of the live broadcast Public Affairs Public Access – a show produced by Houston MediaSource in conjunction with the League of Women Voters Houston Area Education Fund that focuses on issues faced by residents in the Pearland/Houston area. Topics ranging from the 2020 Census, Candidate Interviews, Flood Control, and Voters’ Rights.
Quentin serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Brazoria County Alliance for Children (BCAC) whose mission is to provide services for abused and neglected children and Treasurer for Zeta Tau Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Quentin earned his Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Southern University and A&M. Quentin and his wife Monique have been married for 13 years with their two sons Ethan, 11 and Evan, 8.
Candidate for Congress in South Carolina’s 5th District
Alexis Frank is a Board Member for Sweet Success 2, local non-profit with mission to help developmentally delayed adults start and operate their own businesses.
Alexis served her country for six (6) years when she enlisted in the Army. She led the Special Prosecution Unit and served in Germany and South Korea.
Alexis earned her Bachelors of Science in Judicial Studies with Concentration in Law and Legal Process. She lives in Rock Hill, SC with her husband and their two (2) children, Avery and Aliza.
Judge Carolyn H. Nichols
Candidate for the Pennsylvania Superior Court
Judge Carolyn H. Nichols was elected to Court of Common Pleas in 2011. Currently, Judge Nichols is assigned to Criminal Trial Division, Major Trials.
Judge Nichols served as Legislative Assistant to former Councilwoman Augusta Clarke, Assistant City Solicitor, General Counsel for the Philadelphia Parking Authority and Deputy Secretary of External Affairs for the Mayor’s Office. She also served as Deputy Finance Director, Director of MBEC (Minority Business Enterprise Council) and co-counsel for the Huntingdon Valley swimming pool racial discrimination case that received international attention in 2009. Judge Nichols earned her Juris Doctorate and LLM from Temple University and her MBA from Eastern University.
Candidate for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
The Honorable Dwayne D. Woodruff is a Judge on the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County – Pittsburgh, presiding primarily in the Family Court Division since 2005. Woodruff earned a degree in Business Finance from the University of Louisville (1979) and a Juris Doctor from Duquesne University School of Law (1988), which he attended, full time at night during his professional football career with the Pittsburgh Steelers – played 12 seasons, including playing in Super Bowl XIV as a rookie in 1980, being named Steelers MVP in 1982 and serving as team captain his final three seasons. Woodruff is also a past elected member of the Pennsylvania House of Delegates and maintains memberships on the Allegheny County and Pennsylvania Bar Associations.
Most significant among Woodruff’s many blessings are his marriage of 38 years to Joy Maxberry Woodruff and his three young adult children—Jillian Woodruff, MD, an Ob/Gyn medical doctor; Jenyce M. Woodruff, Esq., an attorney; and John B. Woodruff, II, Esq., an attorney and captain in the United States Marines.
Jamael Tito Brown
Candidate for Mayor, Youngstown, Ohio
Jamael Tito Brown is the Director of Operations for the Mahoning County Treasurer’s Office, where he manages the day to day operations. Prior to joining the Mahoning County Treasurer’s staff, Mr. Brown was the Director of the Human Relations Commission for the City of Youngstown. Mr. Brown served as a Community Organizer for Youngstown State University Urban & Regional Studies Department and also worked as a Caseworker for Mahoning County Children Services Board. In August, 2011, Mr. Brown was appointed to Youngstown City Council as President of Council. Prior to the appointment, he served as 3rd Ward City Councilman for 3 ½ years. Mr. Brown was also a Member of the Youngstown City School Board for 4 years. In 2013, Mr. Brown ran an exemplary campaign for the seat of Mayor of the City of Youngstown, losing the election by only 142 votes.
Mr. Brown earned both his undergraduate and Masters Degree from Youngstown State University. Mr. Brown is married to Lynette C. Brown, formerly Lynette Frost. They have 5 children, Aaron, Kimberly, Camille & Clarisa, and Quentin.
Candidate for Judge, Youngstown, Ohio
Born and raised in Youngstown, and attended Capital University in Columbus, Ohio where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science. She was admitted to the Ohio Bar in 2008 after graduating with her Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. After passing the bar, Attorney Baldwin was hired as an Assistant County Prosecutor in Mahoning County where she worked for 8 years. She served the first 3 years prosecuting cases in the general services division focusing on criminal prosecutions.
Her last 5 years were as a juvenile court prosecutor. In January of this year, Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick appointed Carla as Magistrate for the Juvenile Court. Magistrate Baldwin is extremely active in the community serving with numerous organizations. She is a member of the boards of the YWCA, Mahoning County CASA, Inspiring Minds, and Sojourner House. Carla is also a member of the Junior League, Junior Civic League (vice president), the Links, Inc., Mahoning County Young Democrats, and the Youngstown Warren Black Caucus.
Candidate for Mayor, Birmingham, Alabama
Randall L. Woodfin, Esq., born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, is a true product of the Magic City. The son of a social service worker and an elementary school teacher, Woodfin is no stranger to civic and social involvement with particular respect to area youth and education. Having attended both Birmingham City and Jefferson County Schools and himself a community activist, Woodfin is not only committed to serving Birmingham, its communities, and schools, but also has a keen understanding of the needs and even sharper insight of how to meet them.
In the summer of 2000, after his freshman year at Morehouse, Randall worked for U.S. Congressman Earl Hilliard, spending the first half of the summer working in his office in Washington, and the second half working in the district traveling all over the Black Belt. After attending Morehouse, he worked for the city council, in the Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services, and with the Jefferson County Committee on Economic Opportunity’s “Weed and Seed” program. He then attended Cumberland School of Law at Samford earning his law degree in 2007. After attaining his degree, he became an organizer, working on campaigns at all levels, in Alabama and elsewhere. Randall had clerked in the city’s Law Department during his last year of law school, and in 2009 was hired as a lawyer for the city where he worked as an advocate for victims of crime.
Candidate for Mayor, Tacoma, Washington
Victoria has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tacoma Urban League for the past 6 years. Prior to her post with the Urban League, Victoria served as Tacoma City Councilmember At Large from January 2010 to December of 2016. Woodards is also an Army veteran.
Over the last 7 years on the City Council, she has fought for public safety, family-wage jobs, better roads, responsible budgets, and support for local businesses. She has worked to build a stronger system for combating homelessness and addressing our mental health crisis and pledges to do the same as Mayor. More than 50 local elected officials and community leaders are endorsing her candidacy, including Mayor Marilyn Strickland and the entire Tacoma City Council.
Candidate for Mayor, Seattle, Washington
Nikkita Oliver is challenging incumbent Ed Murray in this year’s race for Mayor. Although Seattle elections are technically non-partisan, she will be running with the support of the newly formed “Peoples Party of Seattle” — a collection of community and civic leaders, lawyers, artists, activists and teachers that started organizing immediately following last November’s election. She teaches part-time at Washington Middle School and Franklin High School. Oliver works for Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration. She’s an attorney, which she mainly practices pro bono and is a singer and poet.
Oliver is a voice for large-scale criminal justice reform, speaking forcefully in the public sphere against funding traditional criminal justice systems — like the proposed new youth detention facility or the Seattle Police Department’s proposed new North Precinct station — advocating instead for what she refers to as “community based accountability.” Nikkita Oliver is a beloved and trusted name in grassroots organizing in Seattle. The Peoples Party of Seattle is running Nikkita Oliver to break down barriers and open doors for collective leadership that is willing, able, and experienced in divesting from practices, corporations, and institutions that don’t reflect the values and interests of our city. This campaign re-imagines the electoral process to transform governance systems and build community power that asserts the brilliance of all Seattleites.
Candidate for Mayor, Saint Paul, Minnesota
Melvin is the son of a police officer and a teacher (who later became a County Commissioner), both of whom instilled in him the value of community and public service. He has trained political candidates, community organizers and campaign staff in over 30 states with several national organizations, including Wellstone Action.
Melvin currently serves as Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, advising Governor Mark Dayton on early childhood policy and essential investments for kids and families. Prior to joining state government, Melvin served on the Saint Paul City Council from 2008 to 2013. Melvin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration from Florida A&M University and a Master of Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. As councilmember Melvin:
- Advanced equity and equal opportunity for all by leading the community process to create the city’s Department of Human Rights & Equal Economic Opportunity (HREEO)
- Championed affordable housing, transit, and investment by spearheading the creation of a $2.5 million City Affordable Housing Trust Fund to help homeowners in the wake of the foreclosure crisis
- Fought for high-quality education and safety for our children by bringing together a community-wide coalition to create the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, a broad education partnership among the City, County, School District and community organizations to ensure all children succeed from cradle to career, attracting over $20 million in investments in Saint Paul’s Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods since 2009