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Officers

CLUB FOUNDERS

SARAH CARRANZA (FOX)
SEAN COUGHLIN

MARTI GOULD CUMMINGS

NICK FRANKLIN
ALETA LaFARGUE
JEFFREY LeFRANCOIS
SETH LEVY

WENDI PASTER
MARK ROBINSON
CARL WILSON

2023 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

ELECTED JANUARY 5TH, 2023

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CHRISTINE GORMAN

President

Christine Gorman was first elected president of Hell’s Kitchen Democrats at the beginning of 2022. She is proud of everything the club has achieved in the past year, thanks to a committed board and active membership. Among the highlights: we reached out to thousands of voters in not one but two primaries, through organized bus trips to parts of New York and Pennsylvania and via phone banks across the U.S. We also seated seven judicial delegates from our New York State Assembly District, leading to the selection of three New York State Supreme Court Justices (all women). Working with other community leaders and organizations, the Club also spearheaded the mostly successful effort to “keep Hell’s Kitchen whole” during the City Council redistricting process in 2022. We also managed to have a lot of fun—both during our political events and on special occasions such as our summer picnic and December gala. Goals for 2023 include increasing club diversity and volunteer opportunities as well as increasing public awareness of the club throughout the community. A resident of Hell’s Kitchen for more than 30 years, Christine lives with her spouse Lisa and their dog Chester.

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LESLIE BOGHOSIAN MURPHY

Vice President

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.

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KRISTIN POLITI

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 three 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 and messaging strategy. On weekends you might fi nd her at an indie rock show in Brooklyn, or walking her dog, Kiki, around Hell’s Kitchen.

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HEATHER TRUE LaVALLE

Director of Membership and Outreach

As a 35 year resident of Hell's Kitchen, Heather loves the diversity and color of our amazing neighborhood. Continuing in her second year as Director of the Membership and Outreach committee, she is committed to bring this into our club and see to fruition a comprehensive membership and outreach plan. Our hard-working committee has doubled our club membership in the last year. Now, our challenge is to activate our members and be a robust representative voice in Hell’s Kitchen for our neighborhood needs. Heather’s background encompasses 25 years advocating for LGBTQIA+ and immigrant youth needs in the education world, participating in every presidential election since 1972 and in 2022, winning her election as a judicial alternate. She is also a member of Events and Programming committee and has canvassed with club members for our local, state and national campaigns. Heather shares her home with a proudly Democratic rescue cat, Pancake Meow Meow.

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DAN KRESSMAN

Director of Political Affairs

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 fi ght 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 Party. Dan and his rescue dog “Muppet” are proud HK residents.

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CARL WILSON

Director of Programming and Events

Carl is a longtime resident of HK and proud to have been a founding member of 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 worked 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!

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PAUL DAVIS

Treasurer

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 fi rst 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-profi t, 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.

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CAT LAFFERTY

Corresponding Secretary

Catherine “Cat” Lafferty is a community leader who has lived in Hell’s Kitchen for over 23 years. In June of 2022, Cat was elected as an Alternate Delegate to the Manhattan Democratic Judicial Convention and helped to see three women, including an HK native, get elected to the NY State Supreme Court for Manhattan. . Cat is an avid community organizer and gardener, and has served on the Steering Committee of the Clinton Community Garden for the past fi ve years. Cat is a member of the W. 47th/W. 48th Streets Block Association and a volunteer gardener in HK Park. She has served as a Participatory Budget delegate since 2019, helping to raise awareness of areas in NYC Parks that would benefi t from City Council discretionary funding. In 2020, Cat pioneered the median-planting initiatives along 9th Avenue and in neglected tree beds on side streets in Hell’s Kitchen and in the West Village as part of Erik Bottcher’s Community Cleanups. Ca t studied international relations and French as an undergraduate at American University in Washington, D.C. As a graduate student in applied cultural anthropology, Cat helped found the Lavender Languages and Linguistics conference, and was the faculty advisor for the Polyester Liberation Organization, an LGBTQ+ fashion performance group. Cat later did graduate work in the History of Decorative Arts and Design at Parsons. Cat worked in Business Development and Global Consumer Products Operations at Nickelodeon/MTV Networks for several years.

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DANNY ROSEMARIN

Recording Secretary

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 continue to 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 was excited to be an At-Large Member of the Executive Committee and last year as Recording Secretary. My goals is to continue in bringing more of my fellow Gotham West Tenants to HK Dems, and to support the various worthy initiatives that define our Club.

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STEPHANIE JONES

Member at Large

Stephanie has been an active member of the Hell’s Kitchen Democrats since 2017 and has enjoyed working on the various HK Dems committees. Most recently she served as the Director of Events & Programming and is looking forward to continuing her work while serving as an At-Large member on the Executive Committee. . Stephanie is an architect and lives on 49th street with her husband Sean and two cats.

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ELIZABETH KEEFE

Member at Large

Elizabeth Keefe was born in the Midwest but has lived in the Hell’s Kitchen community for over 30 years. She was previously political director of the Club in 2020 and 2022. In another life chapter before becoming involved with HK DEMS, she appeared in national television commercials, and in numerous theatre productions around the country and in NYC. For 25 years she was Executive Director of American Globe Theatre where she developed and honed her organizing chops and interpersonal skills. She is committed to progressive issues both locally and federally. Although there are many, her primary passions are advocating for women’s reproductive rights, the environment and strengthening the election process. She is extremely proud to call this neighborhood home and is very invested in seeing that it remains a vibrant, diverse and safe neighborhood. She considers her positive, problem-solving attitude a chief requisite for the Member At Large position. Education: MFA from FSU, Asolo Conservatory.

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CHRIS LeBRON

Member at Large

A long term member of HK Dems, Chris LeBron can be seen volunteering at various events throughout the community from street cleanups to block association parties. Chris spearheaded the City’s first fundraiser for the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico after Hurricane Ian struck this year raising over $40,000 for essential goods to be provided for storm victims. When Chris is not volunteering in Hell’s Kitchen; organizing on matters such as redistricting, he works full-time as a Director of Public Affairs for a top 50 progressive consulting group. Chris previously worked full-time in the New York City Council as the Director of Policy and Communications for the former-chair of Public Housing and worked with New York’s US Senators on gun control legislation. A public school alumni Chris attended CUNY Hunter College and Saint Louis University with a focus in Literature and Economics. He is looking forward to helping the club anyway possible to ensure HK Dem candidates are elected in 2023 and preparing volunteers for actions in the 2024 Presidential Election.

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RICHARD MARANS

Member at Large

I am a long time Hell’s Kitchen resident who, along with my wife, Karen Ross, raised two daughters on West 48th Street. I was a founding member of the West 47th/48th Streets Block Association and remain active in that organization. After working in the community housing field (including five years at Housing Conservation Coordinators), I became an attorney and founded a law firm that continues to operate, specializing in condominium law and commercial transactional work. If elected, I look forward to working with HK Dems leadership to increase both our membership and the number of HK residents voting. This will provide our neighborhood with greater political strength which will allow us to create a safer, more secure and livable Hell’s Kitchen.

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RUBY RIMS

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.

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LIZ YOUNG

Member at Large

Elizabeth (Liz) Young has high hopes for Hell’s Kitchen and will use her canvassing and advocacy skills to assist HK Dems’ candidates/initiatives and to further advance our position in the district. She began giving food and history tours of the neighborhood as a licensed sightseeing guide in 2006, moved here in 2015, and has been a dedicated HK Dems member. Liz considers area beautification to be a catalyst for tourism and worked on cleaning efforts and corner plantings with street sweepers and volunteers. She recruited new tree stewards, surveyed 400+ area trees for philanthropy efforts, and requested replacements for 150+ empty tree beds after evaluating 42nd-55th Streets. She hosted mulch and compost events and facilitated the planting of 1,400 daffodil bulbs over the last 2 seasons while volunteering in Hell’s Kitchen with NYC Parks as a Care Captain and licensed Citizen Pruner. Liz also identified new tree guard locations for participatory budgeting along with rainwater diversion possibilities. Liz volunteered over 4 seasons as a HK Farm Project gardener and devised another long-term Hell’s Kitchen goal — a wholesale food distribution hub (‘The New Paddy’s Market’) to elevate food security and economic activity for our part of the district and beyond.

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MARTI GOULD 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 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

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CLUB-ENDORSED DEMOCRATIC PARTY OFFICIALS

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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.

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LOUIS CHOLDEN-BROWN

Male State Committee Member, Assembly District 75

Louis is a lifelong Manhattanite and progressive activist. Over the past decade, he has shepherded legislation and campaigns around environmental justice, health inequities, worker rights, and tenant protections. In addition to his service as an elected Democratic party leader, he serves as the Political Director for the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club and on the interim chapter leadership for the Manhattan Chapter of the Working Families Party.

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FRANCINE HASELKORN

Female State Committee Member, Assembly District 75

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