2023-2024 Cycle Reorganization Candidates

A quick note about voting for PCOs: Make sure you have our credential code to vote at reorg.  Your code has been mailed to you via USPS. If you do not have your code, email credentials AT kcdems.org to get a new code. Make sure you’ve done this before the meeting, or you will not be able to vote.

Candidates 

Chair

Carrie Barnes // Campaign website

Carrie Barnes

I am running for Chair of the King County Democrats to build upon the incredible progress already made and to expand our impact by improving voter outreach, enhancing our volunteer recruitment programs, growing our organizing capacity with our PCO community, as well as recruiting and supporting the next wave of Democratic candidates across King County.

King County is one of the most Democratic-leaning counties in the country. With such strong support, our Party should work to ensure that we don’t allow a single race to go uncontested and be handed to Republicans by default. Recruiting and supporting Democratic candidates who uphold the values of our Party will be one of my top priorities. These values include promoting racial equity and centering inclusivity within all of our goals, while also supporting reproductive rights, social programs, labor unions and workers’ rights, disability rights, fair pay, environmental protection and criminal justice reform.

I believe we can and should make life easier for everyone in King County. This includes having honest conversations about large, systemic issues that exist at the epicenter of our Democratic values; issues such as affordability and access to housing, so that we support policies that solve problems, instead of simply placating to empty rhetoric.

My life experiences have allowed me to develop a unique perspective and set of skills that I have brought to every facet of my work with KC Dems. These include raising three vibrant kids, a multi-year battle with cancer, running a business, and working on a national, grassroots campaign. I am the current Chair of the 37th LD Democrats (one of the most diverse LDs in WA), the current KCDCC Chair of Communications, focusing on volunteer recruitment, organizing canvasses, and candidate recruitment via my work with the Contest Every Race program where I helped train 120 new Democratic candidates to run for office.

It would be my honor to earn your vote.

First Vice Chair

Jeremy Barksdale // Campaign website

Jeremy Barksdale

Our success as King County Democrats is influenced by how well we work together as an organization. I am running for Vice-Chair because I want to ensure we’re winning across all areas of the county. This means knowing where we need to adapt based on data, and supporting our organization’s ability to make the most of our collective efforts. As much progress as has already been made, there’s still much opportunity for growth and inclusion countywide.

I bring with me my experience as a current Bellevue City Councilmember who ran on a platform of affordability, community engagement, and modernization. While on City Council I have spearheaded initiatives around affordable housing, DEI work, and apprenticeship utilization. I have also co-hosted workshops designed to teach black community leaders how to better access and engage with city resources and other local government agencies.

For my day job I work as a User Experience Researcher for Unity, a game development platform company based in Bellevue. I was previously at Microsoft, worked for the U.S. Government, in IT consulting, and as an adjunct faculty member at NC A&T State University and the University of Washington.

I am a Co-Chair of the 41st LD Dems and a former Chair of the Bellevue Planning Commission. Thank you for considering me for a position that would allow me to help facilitate the kind of progressive change within the Party that I have helped to initiate across Bellevue.

State Committee Member

Note: King County Democrats sends two representatives to the State Democratic Committee. They must be of different genders. Genders have been provided by the candidates in their filings.

Chris Franco; Gender: Male // Campaign website

Chris Franco

Our democracy and our rights are under attack and many of the challenges we’re facing are being inadequately addressed. I am running to serve as one of your representatives to the State Committee to help fight for candidates who will better represent our communities, safeguard our democracy, and protect the rights of all Washingtonians. The next two years are going to be critical to the fight for democracy. I will bring my national security expertise to the committee to ensure that the Democratic Party does everything it can to elect people with the courage, compassion, and competence that we need in the fight for our future and for democracy itself.

I am a combat veteran, Teamster, and 2nd generation Mexican-American. I served in the U.S. Army for eight years as a ranger-qualified infantry officer and concluded this time in service as a Paratrooper Commander before joining the King County government to pursue my passion for public service. While at King County, I have served in a multitude of roles, most notably on the county’s COVID-19 response team, within the Office of Equity and Social Justice, and as a founding member of King County’s Affinity Groups.

My time in the Army and in Afghanistan ignited within me a passion for public service and for protecting and fulfilling the promises outlined in our Constitution. Since leaving the Army, I have become more politically involved and have turned my attention to fighting for democracy as the Vice Chair of Outreach for the King County Democrats, the 11th Legislative District’s male-identifying representative to the KCDCC, and as a member of both Indivisible and the Truman National Security Project.

I currently serve as the PNW Chapter Director of the Truman National Security Project, as a board member of Minority Veterans of America, and as the Policy Chair of King County’s Veterans and Military Affinity Group. I am also the proud father of four.

Carmen Rivera; Gender: Female // Campaign website

Carmen Rivera

Born and raised in King County’s 11th Legislative District, I was regularly attending LD meetings with my mom by age 12. At age 15 I served as a Page for late Washington State Senator Margarita Prentice. I graduated from Seattle U with departmental honors and a BA in Criminal Justice and then earned an MSc in Psychology of Investigation from the University of Liverpool in England. After living in Spain, I returned to my King County roots and started my career as a Counselor at a children’s center. Soon after, I became the youngest juvenile Rehabilitation Coordinator in Washington State and have dedicated years of my life to working with out-of-school youth and young adults throughout south King County, work that led me to run for my position on Renton City Council.

I am running to represent the King County Democrats at the Washington State Democratic Central Committee because I am passionate about uplifting the voices of all progressives in King County, including those who have been historically left out. As a life long Democrat, I understand how our Party continues to evolve and I know how important it is for us to continue to lean into growth. As the first openly queer person serving on Renton’s City Council (as well as their youngest currently serving councilmember and the youngest Latina ever elected within the city) I have been a strong advocate for pragmatic progress and will continue to lead with the values that the Party has instilled within me.

I am currently an Assistant Teaching Professor at Seattle University’s Department of Criminal Justice, Criminology, and Forensics, where I teach criminal justice through a racial equity lens. I am also a former Vice President of the Board for Seattle Pride and am a volunteer representative for the Washington Commission on Hispanic Affairs for the Social Equity in Cannabis Task Force. I would be honored to have your vote.

Vice Chair for Communications

Raven Tyler //  Campaign website

Raven Tyler

I am running for Vice-Chair for Communications because I’ve dedicated my life to doing advocacy for the voiceless and I see my work with the King County Dems as a way to expand that even further. I’ve spent the last several years working with social impact organizations, labor unions, and underrepresented groups, and have seen firsthand the important role that communication plays in creating positive and progressive change.

I am an Army veteran, serving 7 years in the United States Army as a chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear officer, and an all-source intelligence analyst. Prior to the Army, I was contracted as an intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency providing experience in mapping and predictive analysis. As an active member in my College’s Social Justice Leadership Institute, I worked closely with social impact organizations in multiple states. During my undergraduate studies I was an intern at Unite Here! labor union, where I worked with union organizers to unionize the Baltimore-Washington Airport workers.

I studied Advertising and Public Relations with a minor in Marketing at Marietta College, and later attended Bowie State University earning a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in public policy and management. I am currently the co-chair of the Board of Directors for Seattle LGBTQ Center and on the Advisory Board for the YMCA Social Impact Center. I work at NWP Consulting as a political consultant with a focus on campaigns, communications, and causes. I would be honored to have your vote.

Vice Chair for Outreach

Yvette Maganya //  Campaign website

Yvette Maganya

Born in Congo-Kinshasa, I spent time living as a refugee in Kampala, Uganda before migrating to the United States at age seven. My personal experience as an immigrant and refugee forged within me a desire to advocate for community, to break down systemic barriers to opportunity, and to devote my life to the causes of reproductive health, economic justice, and immigrant rights.

I have extensive experience working with community-based organizations and coalitions that aim to strengthen the voices of historically excluded communities. I got my start in politics at OneAmerica before working for Fuse Washington as an organizer for progressive candidates in South King County. I also served as Social Action Director for the KC Young Dems and was a board member at Opportunity PAC, where I worked to amplify the campaigns of Black womxn seeking elected office. I was also a part of the 2020 Fellowship class at the Institute for a Democratic Future.

As the Washington State Government Relations Manager at Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates I helped with the bill for the Affirm Washington Abortion Access Act. (Signed into law in 2022.) Over the past two years I have worked closely with reproductive health stakeholders, including Legal Voice and the ACLU of WA, to pass critical sexual and reproductive health legislation. I am also on the Board of Directors of Pro-Choice Washington.

I am running for Vice-Chair for Outreach to help build stronger coalitions and partnerships with likeminded organizations in a way that will strengthen our ability to recruit new candidates and volunteers as we continue to grow and motivate our base. Electoral work does not happen in a vacuum, but rather in a diverse ecosystem. Organizing and relationship building are at the core of our mission to become more inclusive and accessible. My experiences have prepared me well to serve in this role, and to bring new ideas to an already successful platform. Thank you for your consideration.

Vice Chair for Fundraising

Matthew Lang //  Campaign website

Matthew Lang

I am running for Vice-Chair for Fundraising because I care deeply about steering the King County Democrats in the direction of following a more Equitable Giving Model that centers the distribution of funds around BIPOC and LGBTQ+ candidates, as well as other underrepresented groups who historically haven’t had easy access to fundraising resources. Working with these communities, I’ve seen firsthand how detrimental a lack of access to funds can be, especially for those who are new to the world of local politics. The way that money is raised and spent by an organization as large as KC Dems impacts every candidate (and, therefore, every voter) in our county. If elected as Vice-Chair for Fundraising I will dedicate my time and expertise to ensuring that KC Dems is utilizing the power of fundraising in the most equitable way possible.

I am a political consultant who got my start as the Field Director for King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay’s 2019 campaign. That year, the team I led was named the Best Local Field Program in the nation by the Political Consulting Association of America. Since that time, the consulting firm that I own has grown to become a one-stop-shop for every facet of running a campaign, from Field Management, to Communications, Fundraising, and Strategy.

This year, among races at every level, local to statewide, I worked with candidates in Washington’s 37th and 47th Legislative Districts, as well as with a candidate running for Seattle’s Municipal Court who unseated the Presiding Judge while running on a restorative justice platform. I also served as the campaign manager for Jeanna Repass, the most recent Democrat to run for Secretary of State in Kansas, who was also the first Black woman in Kansas ever to be nominated to a statewide office.

I appreciate the opportunity to earn your vote.

Treasurer

Melissa Taylor //  Campaign website

Melissa Taylor

I am running for Treasurer of the King County Democrats to expand upon the financial governance and modernization we have been implementing since 2018. KCD has so much opportunity to deliver on Carrie and the team’s vision, all of which relies on having a solid financial foundation. In order to do this, we need a robust and well-integrated fundraising and financial infrastructure that fuels Democratic wins up and the down the ballot. It would be my honor to be able to continue in my role as KCD Treasurer, a position I have held since 2020. During my tenure, the KC Dems have significantly improved our financial stability and implemented new Standing Rules that require the maintenance of cash reserves, encourage spending with women- and minority-owned businesses and/or union businesses, and set up a tiered budgeting system that results in us remaining in line with actual fundraising. Prior to my current role, I served as Chair of the Finance Committee from 2018-2020.

My political journey began in 2015 with parent advocacy for education funding through organizations including the League of Women Voters and WA’s Paramount Duty. I quickly realized that our education funding crisis was a symptom of the larger issue of an upside-down tax system and I have been a passionate advocate for progressive tax reform ever since. I have financial management experience in both the political and private sectors. I helped fundraise and manage a budget of $165,000 for Michelle Rylands’ 2017 campaign for State Senate. In 2018 I worked with the KC Dems Finance Committee to stabilize finances and negotiate a settlement with the WA State Attorney General over PDC violations committed by a previous Treasurer. In 2022 I ran for State Legislature myself, raising and managing a budget of around $200,000. For my day job I am a financial officer who manages a $2 million+ budget. I am also the co-founder of Persist PAC, which has spent more than $150,000 on an Elect Black Women initiative.

Secretary

Kristiana De Leon // Campaign website

Kristiana De Leon

Sworn in on Black Diamond’s City Council at 30 years old, I am currently their youngest serving councilmember. Having grown up in Kent and after working as an educator in the Kent, Federal Way, and Tahoma school districts, I ran for my City Council position because I wanted to make my new home city a more inclusive place that prioritized diversity, belonging, protecting the environment, fully funding schools, and improving roads and transportation safety. I experienced the dramatic changes associated with unprecedented growth during my youth living in South King County and I know that with thoughtful planning and policies, growth can be experienced as a positive contributor to diversity and opportunities, rather than as a source of challenges such as congestion, loss of green spaces, and a decrease in affordability.

I have a Master’s of Education and a BA in Global Studies, Chinese Studies and Scandinavian Studies from Pacific Lutheran University. During my time in the public school system, I taught English, Secondary English and worked in a counseling office with refugee and non-English speaking families, and experienced firsthand the importance of maintaining good relationships between a city council and its equivalent school boards. I am also on the Executive Board of the 5th LD Democrats, as well as the Board for the Association of Secular Elected Officials.

I am running for Secretary of the King County Democrats to represent the more rural areas of King County. King County represents so much more than just Seattle. After winning my seat on the City Council of Black Diamond, I want Democrats in other smaller King County cities to know that progress is possible for them, as well. I have also spent years working within the public school system and would love to have that lived experience be represented in a position of leadership. I feel that combining my unique experiences with everyone else’s gives us a truly complete, well-rounded team.