Larry

Larry Stafford, Jr. (he/him)
Executive Director

Larry Stafford found his lifetime passion for organizing at the age of 17 as a student volunteer and eventually as a staff member for ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). There he fought against the closure of low-income apartment complexes in some of the most marginalized communities within Prince George’s County and registered hundreds of voters. He has since worked on numerous electoral and issue-based campaigns around the country including leading field efforts for races up and down the ballot from Gubernatorial contests to City Council races. He became Executive Director of Progressive Maryland in 2015 where he has helped grow the organizations budget by 700%, led the organizations electoral efforts which have reached over 500,000 Maryland voters, and elected scores of progressive candidates including 8 who defeated established incumbents. Larry also leads the organizations 501c3 arm the Progressive Maryland Education Fund which has shifted the policy landscape during his tenure resulting in victories for working people such as a $15 minimum wage, paid sick leave, police accountability, and publicly financed elections. Larry is committed to investing in the power and potential of Progressive Maryland's working class membership base and continuing to win progressive changes at the local, state, and national level. 

Email: [email protected]

Jennifer

Jennifer Mendes Dwyer (she/her)
Deputy Executive Director

A Rhode Island native, Jennifer moved to Prince George‚Äôs County in 2004 to pursue a degree in Latin and Ancient Greek at the University of Maryland, College Park. In 2013, while working on her Ph.D. at Bryn Mawr College, Jennifer discovered Walmart had plans to build a 24-Hour Supercenter 150 feet behind her home in a quiet neighborhood in Bowie, Maryland. She organized her neighbors to stop the project‚Äďand they won!

She has worn a few different hats since joining the Progressive Maryland team in spring of 2016-- Lead Organizer mobilizing residents in Prince George's County, Policy and Legislative Director working to change state and county laws to benefit everyday Marylanders, and now, as Deputy Executive Director, she partners PMD with foundations and allied organizations to build power for our movement.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Ann Keasling (she/her)
Montgomery County Housing Organizer 

Ann is originally from Northern Nevada where she found her passion for organizing and social justice by working in local politics. She attended Mills College, a historically women’s college in Oakland, California, where she studied Politics, Economics, Policy, and Law with a minor in Gender Studies. During her time at Mills, Ann was a deep canvasser for People’s Action, a Democracy Coach for Generation Citizen, and did census outreach in Hard-to-Count communities. Ann then moved to DC and worked as a political researcher and as a Sports Field Organizer for HeadCount’s new sports voter registration program. 

As a Type One Diabetic, Ann is passionate about healthcare justice and ensuring that quality care is accessible and affordable for everyone. Ann is also passionate about building sustainable food systems, gender justice, and affordable housing. Ann lives in DC and in her spare time, she can be found swimming, going to concerts, and cheering for the Washington Mystics.

Email:¬†[email protected]

 

Anne-Margaret Denlinger (she/her)
Operations Specialist

Anne-Margaret has 20 years of administrative and operations experience in the private sector and higher education, including nearly a decade (on and off) in her family’s own business.  After that business was sold, she wanted to transition her operations skills to an organization that supports causes she is truly passionate about, which brought her to Progressive Maryland.  She is a Maryland native with an undergraduate degree in German from Towson University and a master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Birmingham in the U.K.  Her time spent overseas, sparked a passion for politics and progressive movements like those throughout Europe that have led to more support and safety nets for all people.  Her own personal journey with chronic illness and disability broadened her scope of interest to include healthcare reform and accessibility. Her free time is spent with her husband, son, and their ever growing brood of four-legged friends.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Christianne Marguerite (she/her)
Director of Communications

Christianne is an experienced project manager with a proven track record in successfully engaging stakeholders, developing communication strategies, providing detailed policy analysis, delivering extensive research reports, and organizing large-scale events for multilateral governments and organizations. She is passionate about environmental justice, equitable and affordable access to natural resources, and building resilient communities. She is skilled in project planning, systems thinking, public speaking, government relations, behavior change communications, and social media management. She holds a B.A. in Global Environmental Change & Sustainability and Africana Studies; and an M.S. in Environmental Science & Policy, both from The Johns Hopkins University. In her free time, she enjoys working out, playing tennis, running, hiking, kayaking, and traveling the world. She lives in Baltimore City with her fiancée and their dog.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Clay Battin (he/him)
Development Director

Clay joins Progressive Maryland after having been a Fund-Raising and Management Consultant since 2015 and brings with him over 20 years of business management experience with the last 15 years focused on non-profit fundraising. Originally from North Carolina, with bachelors and masters degrees from East Carolina University, Clay moved to Austin, TX 9 years ago after spending a decade in the non-profit sector in Washington DC. He has led fundraising efforts in Cancer Care, STEM Education and Environmental Awareness on national scales as well as a stint as the Director of Corporate and Foundations Relations for the Moody College of Communications at The University of Texas at Austin. He and his fiancé look forward to returning to the East Coast shortly.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Screenshot_2022-09-19_101922.pngJanay Fenner (she/her)
Communications Coordinator

Janay Fenner is from Baltimore Maryland and went to Baltimore City College High School. In her time there, she helped organize two walk-outs and protests. The last protest she organized was for students to join in on a Freddy Gray protest, where they walked from their school to downtown Baltimore to protest against police brutality. She graduated from Mount St. Mary's University in 2021 with a BA in Communications, and again in August 2022 with a MA in Communications. She was on the track and field team, hosted her own radio show, and was a member of the Black Student Union. She has always known she wanted to do communications work. In her free time, she likes to watch sports, work out, and try new restaurants with her boyfriend.

Email: [email protected]

Josie

Josie Pines (they/them)
Development Specialist

Having grown up in North Carolina and spent the majority of their life participating in Boy Scouts of America programs, Josie was exposed at a very young age to leadership development and civic engagement. They received the rank of Eagle Scout in 2012. In 2016, they graduated from NC State University with a BA in Religious Studies & Philosophy, with the intention of going into nonprofit work. In the last few years, Josie has held a number of development positions with nonprofits and has learned a great deal about annual giving and grant-writing. Josie is an aspiring fiction and poetry writer, but they are incredibly proud to be able to write grants professionally for important progressive campaigns that make a real difference in peoples' lives.

Email: [email protected]

Kurt Stand (he/him)
Returning Citizens Task Force Organizer

Kurt Stand has worked numerous jobs, from bookseller to longshoreman, messenger to documentary film researcher, dishwasher to canvasser. Taking part in peace and social justice movements since his teenage years opposing the Vietnam War, Kurt's deepest commitment has been to organized labor where he has been active as a member, steward, staffer and elected officer. A returning citizen, he spent 15 years in federal prison, and is passionately opposed to the policies of mass incarceration which devastate individuals, families, and communities. After working with Progressive Maryland as a volunteer promoting dignity and opportunity for people after release from prison, he is grateful for the opportunity to work fulltime on these issues as Progressive Maryland's Reentry Campaign Lead.

Kurt lives in Cheverly in Prince George's County with his wife, Lisa and with Mussette, their cat with attitude. He has two grown children and two grandchildren with energy he wishes he had.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Lev Hirschhorn (he/him)
Director of Organizing

Lev comes to Progressive Maryland with fifteen years of experience as a community, labor and electoral organizer. From churches on the South Side of Chicago to chain restaurants in suburban South Jersey, Lev has dedicated his professional life to bringing people together to win on shared values. After working on the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign in 2016, Lev founded Reclaim Philadelphia and played a key role in many of the electoral successes of the progressive movement in Pennsylvania. He now brings that energy and experience to the organizing department at Progressive Maryland. Originally from Oakland, CA, Lev currently lives in Philadelphia.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Max

Max Socol (he/him)
Director of Campaigns

Max Socol has been campaigning for social justice since he first began organizing against the Iraq War as a high school student. Raised in politically active Jewish and Quaker communities in the civil rights landmark of Greensboro, North Carolina, Max found his way to Maryland when he enrolled at St. John's College in Annapolis. He worked as a Jewish educator for several years after graduation, while organizing in the movements for debt forgiveness, an end to home evictions, and Palestinian human rights. He became a state leader in Rev. William Barber's Moral Monday's movement and the struggle for voting rights and economic justice in North Carolina, before returning to the DC area as a National Organizer and Campaigns Manager for Bend the Arc: Jewish Action. Max lives in Silver Spring with his wife Dr. Allison Rose Socol and their two children.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Patty Snee (she/her)
Healthcare Organizer

Patty began doing grassroots organizing as a canvasser in Philadelphia in the 1980s. She got hooked on one on one political engagement and went on to help manage door-to-door and phone canvass operations around the country as a Director with the Progressive Action Network (PAN) for 20 years. PAN trained, educated and developed canvass staff who did fundraising, base building, and data managing for PAN’s member groups like Working America, DSA, Clean Water Action, and Citizen Action. After her years at PAN, Patty went on to become the national Field Director at USAction and then at AAUW where for each organization she developed capacity-building efforts and led field and digital campaigns centered on things like economic and gender justice, immigrant rights, and healthcare for all. For the past five years she has focused on local organizing with pro-democracy groups like DCVote, the Working Families Party, and Progressive Maryland. She’s proud of her role advising and working on numerous voter engagement and turnout operations for a range of ballot measures and progressive candidates. She lives in Takoma Park, MD with her wife, Ellen, and their dog Chipper.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Senay Emmanuel (he/him)
Climate Policy Analyst

Senay Emmanuel is a Climate Policy Analyst at Progressive Maryland, where he advocates for environmental policies rooted in equity and justice. As a researcher, policy practitioner, and government relations professional, he is concerned with the ways decisions made at the top impact day to day life for average people. His goal is to see policymakers implement policy interventions that effectively target root causes of environmental racism and injustice and orient Maryland towards a healthier and sustainable future for all.

He joins Progressive Maryland with years of experience as a policy specialist for grassroots nonprofits, international governmental organizations, and think tanks, and has a background in research and analysis of domestic human rights violations, municipal legal systems, and post-conflict peacebuilding.

He received a BA in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University and an MA in International Affairs from Marquette University. He is a Seattle native, and in his free time, he enjoys playing tennis and curling, exploring nature, learning, and listening to music.

Email:¬†[email protected]

Shannon Talbert (She/Her)
Black Workers Center Organizer

Shannon Talbert is a dedicated advocate with a passion for building campaigns that bridge divides, resonating with people in boardrooms and at dinner tables. As the lead organizing consultant to Progressive Maryland's Black Workers Center, she brings her extensive expertise to enhance workforce development, with a specific focus on returning citizens in Prince George's County.

As a Managing Partner at The Firm, a visionary creative agency with a mission to create campaigns that build power for Black women and families, Shannon is committed to empowering Black people in order to enhance our communities. 

In her previous role as the Senior Director of Movement Building at Color Of Change, Shannon was instrumental in launching a groundbreaking program to elect progressive prosecutors to reduce mass incarceration.  Her work led to electing 31 progressive prosectors. She led efforts that engaged more than 60,000 people, emphasizing the power of organizing and collective action. Shannon's innovative approach included the development of two organizing curriculums and the launch of a distributed organizing program that significantly enhanced leadership development within communities.

Shannon's journey in advocacy began with one of the most influential modern movements ‚ÄĒ Obama for America. She started as an organizer on Barack Obama's 2007 primary campaign in South Carolina, where her primary focus was on increasing Black voter participation.

Shannon also dedicated five years to championing women's and girls' education issues in the United Arab Emirates. She holds a degree in Government and Politics from the University of Maryland, College Park and hails from Atlanta, Georgia. She currently resides in Northeast Washington, D.C.

In her free time, Shannon enjoys gardening, cycling, and reading, reflecting her commitment to personal growth and community development.

Email:¬†[email protected]¬†

SirJames Weaver (he/him)
Environmental Justice Organizer

SirJames is a honor graduate of a historical black college, Virginia Union University(VUU), where he also earned a B.A degree in political science. While a student at VUU, he walked on to the football team and was a part of the Springball football season season; during the fall semester of 2015, he was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha, which is the National Political Science Honor Society, and during his graduating semester, in spring of 2016, he was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, an International English Honor Society.

After graduating from VUU, he first became ingratiated in the movement space after being hired by Virginia leading civic engagement group. In his first 3 months, he helped increase civic participation in the state of Virginia by registering 3,000 voters. The environment has always been in the locus of his heart, and as Progressive Maryland’s new Environmental Justice Organizer it is his avidity to help end environmental racism the world over.

Email:
¬†[email protected]

Woody

Woody Woodruff (he/him)
Blog Manager

A former opinion editor of the now-defunct daily Prince George's Journal and instructor in composition, media writing, and journalism at Prince George's Community College, he has a Ph.D in Mass Communication from the Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park. He lives in Lanham, MD.  

Email: [email protected]¬†

 

For all finance and administrative matters please contact Angela Lau.

Email: [email protected]