Club Officers

Officers of the 2019 Executive Committee

THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

NICK FRANKLIN

President  •  Founding Member

Nick has helped HK Dems find our voice - whether that's building our websites, knocking on doors, writing club emails, or organizing phone banks and postcard parties.  He brings experience working with volunteer groups in LGBT civil rights, volunteer counseling, and homeless outreach.  Nick's personal goal is to make HK Dems into an active, passionate, campaigning organization that can speak with voters in our neighborhood and beyond about Democratic values.  He feels a strong moral obligation to fight the Republican agenda, especially when it exploits the weakest and most vulnerable in our society for the benefit of the rich and powerful.

ALETA LaFARGUE

Vice 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.
 

CARL WILSON

Corresponding Secretary  •  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!

HEATHER TRUE LaVALLE

Recording Secretary

As a 30 year resident of Hell's Kitchen, Heather has been a member of the 50th Street Block Association and was a regular attending member of the McManus 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 girls. Heather also devoted time promoting transgender rights through education and conferences. Via her educator role, she significantly advocated issues for LGBTQ youth and adults.

MICHAEL SCARNA

Treasurer

Michael is an 18-year resident of Hell’s Kitchen and native of Staten Island. He is the full-time Senior Producer and Business Director at Overland Entertainment, a boutique event production company, where he produces national large-scale festival productions and award shows. He holds a BFA from New York University with a major in Film Production and a minor in Medieval & Renaissance Studies. He is also a classical pianist, avid motorcyclist and dirt biker, video gamer, and amateur curler.

PAUL DAVIS

Director of Membership and Outreach

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.
 

ELIZABETH KEEFE

Director of Political Affairs

Elizabeth Keefe was born in the Midwest but has lived in the Hell’s Kitchen community for 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 currently working for the hotel industry. She understands both the non-profit and corporate world as she has straddled both. Liz has been an activist in standing up for educating children in under-served communities, organizing for labor and climate justice, and is a strong advocate for supporting local businesses.  For the past 3 years she has transferred all of her energy and theater skills into being a political activist. She is extremely proud to call this neighborhood home and is very invested in seeing that it remains a vibrant, diverse and safe neighborhood.  Her main 2020 goal is to work towards electing a new administration in the WH. Simultaneously she will work her pants off to do whatever it takes to hold the Congress and flip the Senate. All roads and goals lead to November of 2020. Education: MFA from FSU, Asolo Conservatory. Her chief talents are problem solving and the ability to communicate and organize.  Contact Liz.
 

TIM OUSEY

Director of Programming and Events

Professional Chef, TV Producer, Business owner and a landscaper in NYC, Tim is a resident of Hell’s Kitchen for 30 years. He is a member of the Executive board at Manhattan Plaza Tenants Association and the President of the Astro Dog Run in Hell’s Kitchen. "This is my second time on the Executive Board of HKDems and I’m proud of the work we done. As the head of Special Events for the club we have had many fabulous events attended by many politicians who loved our party’s. Look forward to having many more fabulous events and serving our club."

CHRIS REZA

Director of Communications

One of NYC’s leading labor-activist musicians, Chris Reza served on Local 802’s last two Broadway Contract Negotiating Committees, securing for musicians the largest economic wins in nearly a quarter century. He also Vice-Chaired 802’s Broadway Theatre Committee and helped modernize 802’s contracts after founding 802’s Electronic Music Committee. Chris actively wields his 16 woodwinds (saxes, flutes, clarinets, oboes) within the pits of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Radio City, and others. As our HK Democrats’ new Director of Communications, Chris will create opportunities for club members to be part of the creation and implementation of our club’s fresh new communications vision focused on content, accessibility, and modernized functionality. Learn more and get involved by contacting Chris! [Photo Credit: Bryan Canonigo]
 

JOHN AMODEO

Member at Large

John is an adjunct professor of political science and US history and a retired high school assistant principal. A resident of Manhattan Plaza for 25 years, he has been active in his community. He is a volunteer at the Food Pantry at Holy Cross Church,  Movie Night at the Ellington Room, lector at Mass at Holy Cross and member of the Tenants’ Association of Manhattan Plaza. An author of seven books, he also holds a tour guide license and has appeared in commercials, independent movies, TV series of ’The Americans.’  He enjoys being active politically, having assisted with voter registration, served on County Committee, and ran as a delegate for 1988 Democratic Convention. His life’s journey is an appreciation of friends and family and the human spirit.

ADRIENNE FORD

Member at Large

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.

CHRISTINE GORMAN

Member at Large

Christine has lived in Hell’s Kitchen for more than 25 years and is passionate about health, education and community building. Currently a freelance medical writer, she has worked as a journalist and editor for TIME and Scientific American. She is also president of the West 55th Street Block Association, where—among other things—she created a college travel grant program for junior students at the nearby High School for Environmental Studies. 

JIM McNICKLE

Member at Large

40 year resident of New York City, 25 in Hell’s Kitchen. Performer in all media, Also teacher, tour guide and volunteer. Degree in Journalism. Past president of MPTA. Volunteered for variety of campaigns and helped gather signatures and postcarded.

PAULETTE OSBORNE

Member at Large

As an activist, whose priority is climate change, and a 28-year resident of Hell's Kitchen, Paulette is proud to be serving the HKDems.  With a background in management, she is currently semi-retired and working on events as a freelancer.  She campaigned for Obama in 2008 when she lived in LA and went to Las Vegas for the last push of the campaign and celebrated at Harrah's Hotel in the Presidential Suite with the Beverly Hill Democratic Club.  In 2012, she was living in NYC and volunteered on the campaign, traveling to PA and West Palm Beach for the final push and celebrated at a party for Chris Murphy who ousted Alan West!!  She was invited to the White House for a holiday party in 2013 and met the Obamas.  Since this she has been very active along with great friends that she made working with OFA.  She has two sons and two grandchildren.  This year Paulette is dedicated to getting the current administration out of DC.  Vote Blue No Matter Who! Contact Paulette.
 

DIANE ZUCHNIK

Member at Large

As an elected Member at Large for The Hell’s Kitchen Democratic Club, as well as my many years teaching at the College level, Diane will bring her energy, knowledge and vision, as well as her long history of activism to learn, listen, address and participate in actions and activities that promote ideas, programs, outreach and quality of life issues to improve the lives of all members of a vibrant and diverse community. “It is a great time to live in Hell’s Kitchen and I am thrilled to be an active and strong participant in its success, and to encourage its commercial, economic, educational and social growth.”

MARTI ALLEN-CUMMINGS

Founding President

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.

FOUNDING MEMBERS

Additional Executive Committee Founding Members

SEAN COUGHLIN

SARAH FOX

ANTHONY HAYES

JEFFREY LeFRANCOIS

WENDI PASTER

MARK ROBINSON

DISTRICT LEADERS

 
 

MARISA REDANTY 

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.

PAUL DEVLIN

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.

© 2020 Hell's Kitchen Democrats

LOGO FOR GENERAL INFO.jpg