THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Elected February 18th, 2021:
President • Founding Member
A life-long resident of Hell’s Kitchen, Aleta has been serving her community since she was a child working beside her mother as a volunteer during the AIDS crisis. She became politically active in her teen years, campaigning for local and presidential candidates, as well as working with NARAL as a lobbyist for a woman’s right to choose. She marched on Washington against the Gulf War. Beyond our shores, her community service extended to the mountains of Costa Rica, where she traveled with other volunteers to help rebuild septic systems assist after the devastation of hurricane Cesar. She returned to community service in 2016, initially as Secretary of the Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association. The following year she put a slate together and was elected President. In December of 2017 she and her team were re-elected to serve the 3500 tenant body once again. Raising her four-year-old son, and serving her vibrant community are the joy and passion of her life.
Adrienne Ford is a life long resident of Hell’s Kitchen. She exemplifies "a New Yorker" as a National Golden Gloves champion. With her fighters mentality, she has marched on Washington at the Million Woman March and the Women's March. She has also advocated with empathy as a counselor for the Mount Sinai Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention Program. Adrienne dual-majored in Urban Affairs & Planning and Sociology but found her niche in Sports Television with a notable 2018 Emmy Award win. She has served her community since 2017 as Vice President of the Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association and as the mother of twin boys, is also a member of the Parents Association at Avenues: The World School.
Director of Communications • Founding Member
A founding member of the Club, Sean has previously served as Treasurer and Executive Committee Member at Large. He works for Speaker Corey Johnson and lives on 49th Street with his wife, Stephanie, and 2 cats, Odin and Loki.
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 • Founding Member
Carl is a longtime resident of HK and proud to have been a founder member of the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats. Carl served as the assistant campaign manager for Deborah Glick’s re-election campaign and was the Co-Manager for the 2017 Hell’s Kitchen District Leader Race which was successful in defeating candidates backed by the 100 year old McManus club. Carl also works for Council Speaker Corey Johnson as the liaison to Community Board 4. As a lifelong Democrat, Carl is proud to help bring new and exciting grassroots change to the neighborhood!
Director of Programming and Events
I love a great party and enjoy planning, implementing and watching others enjoy my efforts. As a lifelong activist and having lived in Hell's Kitchen for 43 years, HK Dems was a welcome addition to my life. Hoping you will join me in future efforts on behalf of the Club!!
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.
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
Member at Large
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.
Member at Large
Member at Large
A native New Yorker happily living in Hell’s Kitchen Manhattan Plaza for over 40 years. Hells Kitchen is a unique and historic community that is vibrant, diverse and inclusive. I am committed to make sure that it continues to remain that way. I have worked in city government for over 20 years as the Deputy Director at the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene working throughout the city with other city agencies and local politicians to address health promotion disease prevention from HIV, Tobacco Control and Wellness. The co-founder of the Health Bucks program, a coupon to drive residents to their local farmers markets. I was given a Citation of Merit from the Bronx Borough President for that work. I volunteer for Gods Love We Deliver and look forward to helping to keep Hell's Kitchen healthy and happy.
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
I was a public HS English teacher and UFT Teacher Trainer, in NYC for over 25 years. After retiring and moving to HK from Brooklyn in 2012, I volunteered with the Red Cross for a year, and most recently as a peer Counselor at the GMHC Hotline. I have also volunteered at the Rubin Museum of Art, mainly with educational programs. I joined HK Dems in 2019, where I now serve on the Communications and Membership Committees. In 2020 and 2021, I was an active participant in Biden-Harris campaign phone banks, and the Ossoff-Warnock Georgia Senate runoff election phone banks. As a Gotham West resident, since 2013, I’ve been developing our Tenants Association and advocating for tenants. Perhaps most importantly, and closest to my heart, since 2002 I’ve been an active member of TNYA, the largest LGBTQ and Friends masters aquatics team in the world, and have entered national and international swim meets, including “Gay Games,” as part of the team, and even have a few “medals” to prove it (mainly relays in my age group :-))
I'm excited to be an At-Large Member of the Executive Committee, where I am already learning so much. My goals are to bring more of my fellow Gotham West Tenants to HK Dems, and to support the various worthy initiatives that define our Club.
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 he is known for his political activism, concert tours, talk show, and television appearances. He has used his drag as a force to engage people to become active in politics.
Additional Executive Committee Founding Members
Female District Leader, Assembly District 75 - Part B
Marisa Redanty holds the record as longest serving President of the Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association (awarded Emeritus). Manhattan Plaza houses 3500 residents. A major development corporation bought Manhattan Plaza several years ago. Marisa as co-lead negotiator with Mary Lou Westerfield, brokered the agreement which protects the affordability of the complex. Two decades later it is still in place and has been extended for 25 more years. As a community leader, Marisa fought excessive development, helped save small businesses and works to reduce street crime. She is proud to have played a key role in the creation of the Signature Theatre Complex on W. 42nd. Marisa’s advocacy for the neighborhood and affordable housing brought her several honors and proclamations from NY City Council, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, NY State Assembly and Senate as well as being a recipient of the New York State Women of Distinction Award. As a union activist was very involved in the successful SAG/AFTRA merger. She's appeared in many TV series including: Orange is the New Black, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Sex and the City, Blacklist, The Sopranos, Law & Order (every incarnation). Marisa grew up in East Rochester, NY, graduated from Ithaca College with a BFA in Acting/Directing and is a breast cancer survivor.
Male District Leader, Assembly District 75 - Part B
Paul is a lifelong Democrat and long-time activist who has been fighting for progressive causes for most of his adult life. He has worked in over 20 states on Democratic campaigns from Dukakis for President to Corey Johnson for City Council. Besides being District Leader, he serves on Manhattan’s Community Board 4, organizes with Gays Against Guns, fundraises for MS Society, and is one of the earliest members of Hell’s Kitchen Democrats. Paul believes that the Democratic Party can and should be more representative of our neighborhood so will work to ensure voices from Hell’s Kitchen are heard by our local elected officials and at the Party.