APRIL 16, 2023 6:00PM @ THE SPOT
Join HK Dems and Omar Edwards for our Spring Fundraiser!
Primary Election Endorsements
HKDems support the following candidates for the June 27, 2023 Primary Election:
Christine has worked for many years as a health, medicine and science journalist and editor, and is currently a freelance writer and editor. A resident of Hell's Kitchen for more than 30 years, she is president of the West 55th Street Block Association, which is famous for its winter tree lights and where she helped to launch travel scholarships to enable college-bound juniors at the High School for Environmental Studies to go on college tours out side of New York City. For the past six years, she has also worked closely wit h Afghan and Syrian refugees. She lives with her spouse Lisa and their dog Chester.
LESLIE BOGHOSIAN MURPHY
Leslie Boghosian Murphy is a long-time resident of Hell’s Kitchen living in the same pre-war apartment with her husband, daughter and rescue dog, Bailey. She is the granddaughter of immigrants who fled the Armenian Genocide and settled here in New York. As an EMMY Award winning journalist, she has dedicated her career to giving a voice to those who don’t have one through her reporting. A member of her Block Association and Hell’s Kitchen Neighborhood Coalition, she is also the 2nd Vice Chair of Community Board 4 advocating for the betterment of our neighborhoods. Leslie Co-Chairs CB4’s Waterfront, Parks & Environment Committee and serves on the Budget Task Force promoting Democratic policies and agenda and will continue to work hard as Vice President of HK Dems.
Director of Communications
Kristin Politi is a resident of Hell’s Kitchen and has been involved in the club as an active member on the communications committee for the past two years. A scientist by training, she received her PhD in Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine from Columbia University in 2017. During her studies, she held several roles as a volunteer and a paid instructor to teach neuroscience in the K-12 setting; she is passionate about access to quality education for all. Kristin now works in communications consulting at an agency that serves biotechnology, health care and medical device companies. There, her responsibilities include media relations, messaging strategy, and content development. On weekends you might find her checking out an art gallery in Chelsea, at an indie rock show in Brooklyn, or birdwatching in the Central Park Ramble.
HEATHER TRUE LaVALLE
Director of Membership and Outreach
As a 34 year resident of Hell's Kitchen, Heather has been a member of the 50th Street Block Association and a regularly attending member of the McManus Midtown Democratic Association. She has participated in a volunteer capacity in every Democratic presidential campaign since 1972. Her additional political activities have included being a founding member of the YSA (the Young Seneca Alliance): a feminist collective for Manhattan high school girls. Heather also has devoted time promoting LGBTQIA rights through education and conferences. Via her educator role, she significantly advocated issues for transgender youth and adults. Heather served as Secretary for Hell’s Kitchen Democrats before being elected as Director of Membership and Outreach. She is a member of the Communications Committee.
Director of Political Affairs
Elizabeth Keefe was born in the Midwest but has lived in the Hell’s Kitchen community for over 30 years. In a past life, she has appeared in television commercials and in numerous theatre productions in and around NYC, mostly at American Globe Theatre where for 25 years she was also Executive Director. She is a long-standing union member both in the entertainment and hotel industry. She understands both the non-profit and corporate world as she has straddled both. Organizing and the ability to communicate is her wheelhouse. Liz has been an activist (before she knew she was one) in standing up for educating children in under-served communities and organizing for labor and climate justice. As political director for HK DEMS in 2020, she committed every waking hour to defeating Donald Trump, winning back the Senate and keeping the House. She organized 32 consecutive weeks (with over 600 volunteers attending) of phone banking, text banking and post-card writing. She is extremely proud to call this neighborhood home and is very invested in seeing that it recovers to its’ pre-pandemic vitality. One of her 2021 goals is to help elect the City candidates that the Club endorsed. And it is never too soon to be thinking about the midterms in 2022…Education: MFA from FSU, Asolo Conservatory. Contact Liz.
Director of Programming and Events
Stephanie has been an active member of the Hell's Kitchen Democrats since 2017 and has enjoyed serving on the Membership & Outreach Committee over the past year. She is also a member of the Ambassador Board for Young New Yorkers, an arts-based diversion program for New York City youth facing the court system, and a member of the American Institute of Architects NY Chapter's 2020 Civic Leadership Program. Through these appointments she has hosted numerous in-person social gatherings and virtual forums. As an architect, she is delighted to bring her skills of organization, planning, and design thinking to the Director position.
Catherine ("Cat") has been a resident of Hell's Kitchen for over twenty-two years, and initially moved to the neighborhood from Brooklyn because it was a short commute to her job in international marketing at Island-Def Jam Music Group, which was then in Worldwide Plaza. Cat is an avid community organizer and gardener, and has served on the Steering Committee of the Clinton Community Garden for the past four years. As one of the gardeners in Hell's Kitchen Park, she has twice secured grant money for activities to involve kids in community conservation/planting projects. During City Councilor Erik Bottcher's campaign in 2020-21, Cat pioneered the median-planting initiatives along 9th Avenue in Hell's Kitchen, and in disused flower beds in the West Village (nearly every Sunday from September 2020 - June 2021), and engaged hundreds of neighborhood volunteers in her weekly efforts. Cat studied international relations and French as an undergraduate at American University in Washington. D.C., focusing on East/West diplomacy during the Cold War and on international development. As a graduate student in applied cultural anthropology at American University, Cat helped found the Lavender Languages and Linguistics conference and was the faculty advisor for the Polyester Liberation Organization, an LGBTQ+ fashion performance group, which coincided with her gender advocacy work (in the early 1990s). Cat is a media professional who worked alongside some of the (female) pioneers of kids' TV. She has been politically active and concerned with issues of social justice since her childhood in the Chicagoland area.
I'm a NYC native, born in Brooklyn and raised in Brooklyn, Bronx and Queens. I moved to Hell's Kitchen in 2012 and have lived in Gotham West affordable housing as an original tenant since 2013. During that time, I have served as a peer tenant representative, voicing concerns regarding various issues with Gotham Org, our landlord. Professionally speaking, I'm a retired NYC public high school English teacher having served for over 25 years in high schools in Brooklyn and Manhattan. In addition to classroom teaching, I worked in professional development through UFT-Teacher Center for 7 of those years. I was very fortunate to be granted that training and experience. On a more personal level, I'm a graduate of LaGuardia HS of Music and the Arts, SUNY-Binghamton with a Bachelors in English and Theater, and hold a Masters in Ed. from Hunter College. I am an avid theatergoer; an active member of Team NY Aquatics- an LGBT and Allies Masters Aquatics Team, a world traveller, and committed Spanish language learner. I've been a member of HK Dems for about three years, where I have served on Communications, Membership and Executive Committees. I am pleased and honored to be the Recording Secretary for the Club in 2022.
Paul T. Davis, Esq., is an attorney, progressive activist, and proud resident of Hell’s Kitchen since 2011, along with his wife Jacqueline. A native New Yorker, Paul’s grandmother was raised by his great grandfather in Hell’s Kitchen, where his father spent the first years of his life. After graduating from law school and returning to New York, Paul earned a Masters of Law in taxation. Paul is a Board Member of an environmental non-profit, the Roof Project, which focuses on implementing practical, tangible solutions to mitigate climate change and the urban heat island effect, and to strengthen our communities. Before joining the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats in 2017, Paul was active with the Manhattan Young Democrats (MYD), serving as Chair of MYD’s then Foreign Affairs Committee. Now a member of the Democratic County Committee in Manhattan, Paul serves as Chair of the Divisional County Committee for the 75th Assembly District, Part B. Contact Paul.
Member at Large
Beverly Bullock is a theatre professional, active as a director, actor, designer, producer and coach. She is an ardent progressive.
SARAH CARRANZA (FOX)
Member at Large • Founding Member
My name is Sarah Carranza (Fox) and I have been a member of the Hell's Kitchen Democrats since its founding. I acted as a Member at Large from Spring 2017 to Fall 2018 and had the distinct pleasure of getting to serve with our earliest leaders and set up the incredible club structure that we have in place today. At that time, I was on the County Committee and supported canvassing, petitioning, and membership efforts primarily. In the intervening years, I have enjoyed participating in a variety of events hosted by the club and that has allowed me to stay actively involved, while balancing my day job running HR in the tech startup space. I look forward to leaning in wherever I can be most helpful and getting reacquainted with the HK community, which I feel I’ve lost a bit of a sense of in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.When I this about success in this role, I feel that the skills I bring as an operator, communicator, and mission-driven leader will help me make a continued impact. My primary goal is to ensure that through my efforts our club continues to add incredible value to our fellow neighbors and the community at large.
Member at Large
Dan is an operations executive in the retail industry, and a long-time activist for LGBTQ+ Equality and Animal Welfare. He studied Political Science at Northeastern University in Boston, becoming involved early on in the fight for Marriage Equality in Massachusetts. He has actively campaigned for every Democratic Presidential Candidate since 2000 and was a former Delegate to the Colorado State Democratic Assembly and Convention. Dan and his rescue dog Muppet are proud HK residents.
Member at Large
Over the course of the last two years much has changed in our lives and because of that shift so has how a Democratic Club interacts within its community. As a member of Community Board 4, as a tenant association president, and a known entity among small business owners, block associations and community activists I look forward to connecting the club to more of our diverse neighbors. There is so much to do in preparation towards the federal mid-term elections and we need an army of motivated volunteers. Every role in this club is going to be critical in saving the House of Representatives and US Senate from being taken over by Trump loyalists. I look forward to a day where those people are no longer a threat to our democracy but until then let's put in the hard work to make that world a reality.
Member at Large
Ruby Rims Is not just another old Drag Queen. He has served on the Board of Directors of The Manhattan Plaza AIDS Project as well as The Manhattan Association of Cabarets (MAC) and Judson Memorial Church. He is the founder of Teddy Cares and Ruby Rims and Friends do the Can Can . Raising thousands of dollars for organizations in New York he has distributed over ten thousand teddy bears throughout hospitals in Manhattan. He received the MAC Lifetime Achievement Award Entertainer. He was the first Drag Queen to be named New York 1’s New Yorker of the Week. He has been seen on the Phil Donahue Show and has performed all around the world. Ruby joined HKDems to reunite his love for politics. Back in the day, there was no room for a Gay person, let alone a Drag Queen. He is a 28 year AIDS survivor and lives at Manhattan Plaza with his cat “LaMott”.
Member at Large
Since joining the HK Dems earlier this year, it's been a pleasure meeting everyone. I hope to meet even more people and welcome new members. I’m ready to do more and learn more with the HK Dems. I’ve always been passionate about volunteering and giving back to the community. I grew up in a small rural town in West Virginia. That’s where I fell in love with volunteerism. As the president of the Rotary Club, l started multiple community clean ups and food and coat drives. I grew up in a middle-class family. My father was the VP of the Mail Handlers Union and my mother is a long time UAW Union member. My parents always taught me that I’m not better than anyone else and to help anyone in need. After receiving my Journalism degree from West Virginia University, I made the move to NYC. In my 15 years here, I still volunteer with food drives, community clean-ups and make financial donations to as many groups as I can. I hope that I will be able to bring fresh ideas, while being a good listener and bring a positive attitude on the Executive Board as a Member at Large. It's time to do more for our area and I’m ready to get started.
MARTI GOULD CUMMINGS
Marti is a current board member of Community Board 9 as well as a member of the Mayor's Advisory Council on Nightlife. As a drag artist they are known for their political activism, concert tours, talk show, and television appearances. Marti has used their drag as a force to engage people to become active in politics. martigcummings.com
Additional Executive Committee Founding Members
CARL MICHAEL WILSON
HK Dems deplores the recent verbal abuse and intimidation of our City Council Member Erik Bottcher and others at a recent public library Drag Story Hour in Chelsea, followed by the invasion of his apartment building and offices by those who were clearly motivated by intolerance, fear and hatred. HK Dems stands in full solidarity with the LGBTQ communities of our city, state, nation and world. An attack on any member of the LGBTQ community is an attack on the freedoms of all.