Meet our first class of 2017 endorsed candidates! These eight leaders will change the face of politics, and we are so excited for what they will do for our cities, states, and country.
These candidates represent the future we're trying to build. They're dedicated, hardworking, ambitious, and values-driven. They will bring real change to our communities now, and for years to come. The whole team at LaunchProgress is thrilled to work with them to help them run and win. Sign up to stay updated on their campaigns.
Now, without further ado, LaunchProgress's first class of endorsed candidates, 2017:
Top row, left to right:
Pierce Freelon is a professor, activist, and artist running for mayor of Durham, North Carolina. He will fight for police reform, youth programming, and responsible growth that includes the city's most vulnerable residents, as well as to reduce poverty and support the Movement for Black Lives. Pierce represents a new voice and new generation in North Carolina politics.
Vernetta Alston, candidate for Durham City Council Ward 3, is a death penalty attorney and community advocate who will fight for a Durham that is affordable and inclusive for all. She wil stand up for Durham's communities of color and black-owned businesses, and help the city live up to its progressive promise.
Dimple Ajmera, candidate for Charlotte City Council At-Large, was appointed to the Council in December and is running in her first competetive election. As an immigrant to this country, she knows the power of the American Dream and the necessity of making economic opportunity available to all. She will use her experience in community development to bring investment to areas of the city that the government has long neglected.
Nick Komives, a long-time organizer and activist, is running for Toledo City Council At-Large. Nick has has been at the forefront of the issues that matter to Ohioans, fighting for marriage equality, union protections, and voting rights in the state. He's invested in Toledo, and will continue to stand up for social justice as a City Council member.
Bottom row, left to right:
Uriah Ward is a middle school social studies teacher running for Ward 3 City Council. He has spent the last several years advocating for progressive change in the North Carolina city in his role as the Executive Director of New Greenville. Uriah will bring new leadership and fresh ideas to the seat, currently held by a hardline conservative.
Erin Byrnes is a lifelong resident of Dearborn currently running for City Council. She's focused on policies that will keep the city's neighborhoods vibrant and healthy -- from regulating industrial pollutants to investing in public transit to supporting strong unions for city employees. An educator for over ten years, she's invested in building a better future for the next generation of Dearborn residents.
Brian Jackson, a former public defender and victims services advocate, is running for Lansing City Council Ward 4 to help reform discriminatory policing tactics in the city. A proponent of restorative justice and community policing, he will work to build trust between law enforcement and communities of color. As a lifelong Lansing resident, he will help bring good jobs, safe communities, and responsive representation to his city.
Sam Melden is a former faith leader and current community activist also running for Toledo City Council At-Large. A lifelong Toledo resident, he's devoted to the health of his community, focusing on maintaining a safe and clean water supply and increasing engagement in local politics and civic involvement.
And that's not all -- we'll also be doing a second round of endorsements this year, supporting even more exciting young leaders. Applications are due at 11:59pm on May 31. You can apply here. And if you want to help us support these incredible candidates, you can make a contribution today.
Over the past hundred or so days, we've faced an incredible attack on our communities and our values. But with these candidates at the helm, we'll build back and create a better future for all of us.