Matthew Edge founded The People’s Empowerment Project as an undergraduate at SUNY New Paltz and has over a decade of experience building the voting bloc to hold politicians accountable for their positions on campaign finance reform. Edge worked as Democracy Matter’s North Eastern US Regional Coordinator and has directed field operations for local and state political campaigns. Edge co-directed and produced the short film Guerrilla Media – Signs of an American Spring. Edge holds a BA in Political Science from SUNY New Paltz and a JD from CUNY School of Law.
Dr. Joan Mandle is a founder and Executive Director of Democracy Matters, a non-profit business that since 2001 has worked with college students throughout the country. She is also Associate Professor of Sociology and Anthropology, Emerita, at Colgate University in Hamilton New York. From 1990 to 2000, Dr. Mandle directed the college’s Women’s Studies Program and founded Colgate’s Center for Women’s Studies, as well as teaching Sociology. Her teaching and her extensive published work explore social change and social movements. She has been a Distinguished Visitor at both the Institute for Social Change at the University of California at Berkeley and the Women’s Leadership Institute at Mills College in California. Earlier in her career, she was a faculty member at Penn State, and Haverford and Bryn Mawr Colleges.
Professor Mandle served as Campaign Manager for incumbent Congressman Robert W. Edgar of Pennsylvania’s successful races for the House of Representatives. And she has been actively involved with many efforts to reform the political system. She spearheaded grassroots organizing drives in both Oakland, California and San Francisco that resulted in the passage of significant campaign finance reform.
Kyle Carraro is an attorney based in New York City who currently works at a general civil litigation firm that has a focus on labor disputes (employee side), commercial transactions/contract disputes, and small business advising and representation. Carraro has also in the past represented tenants in housing court and a prisoner being held without trial at Bagram Airbase, Afghanistan.
Carraro has worked with Matthew Edge to design and create a model public-financing bill in response to Arizona v. Bennet Supreme Court decision and possesses an expertise in the area of election law. Carraro holds a BA from Columbia University and a JD from CUNY School of Law.
Bianca Cappellini graduate of CUNY School of Law and is an attorney in New York. Most recently, Bianca has been educating community members about the Affordable Care Act as a healthcare Navigator with St. Nicks Alliance in Brooklyn, NY.
Jessica Wisneski has been working on campaign finance reform for over a decade. Jessica is currently the Legislative & Campaigns Director at Citizen Action of NY.
Emilie Hirsch is a student at Warren Wilson College, where she is majoring in Environmental Studies/Education and minoring in Mathematics. In high school, Hirsch ran the New York 2 New Orleans coalition, a youth-led and initiated organization that focuses on food justice issues both in New York and New Orleans. Additionally, she was a New York team leader for 99Rise, a nationwide network of activists fighting to get corporate money out of politics through strategic nonviolent action. Currently, Hirsch works on organizing weekly social justice events at her college and is a leader in her school’s fossil fuel divestment campaign.
J A Sheppard works as the Director of Operations at Drexel University’s College of Medicine. Sheppard currently holds a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Finance. He also holds a Masters in Public Health from Drexel University. Sheppard has a long history of being involved with activist groups involved in political, community and social change. Sheppard has worked with Fight with Tools, MoveOn, the Coffee Party and Occupy Philadelphia. Sheppard created the Money Out of Politics Working Group (MOPWG) at Occupy Philly and has been a lead organizer with Philly Rootstrikers.