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CLUBS AND CAUCUSES

Dates and Times are subject to change without notice.  If you are attending a club or caucus for the first time, email or call to ensure you have updated info.  Many clubs and caucuses offer hybrid meetings.  Check Mobilize to find the latest meeting information available. MOBILIZE

 

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Use Mobilize to find and register for a variety of events in and around Hillsborough County. You can find club and caucus meetings along with events to help register voters, canvas, sign wave, participate in trainings, and more. There's a lot to choose from and it's continually updated so check it out!

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CLUBS & CAUSUSES PRESIDENTS

Robin Frank

NEW TAMPA DEMOCRATIC CLUB, ROBIN FRANK

Robin Frank is a lifelong democrat who was initially inspired by the political activism of her mother who
worked tirelessly to advance civil rights, public education, gender equity, and social justice in Georgia.
Robin believes that political engagement is the most effective and broad-reaching vehicle for actually
changing and improving lives at the grassroots level.
Robin earned her B.A. degree in English and American Literature at Northwestern University and
attended University of Virginia for graduate studies. Robin spent her career as a market research
professional. She traveled extensively moderating focus groups with physicians, patients, caregivers,
and payors. She believes that healthcare is a fundamental right that is too often denied to the
disenfranchised.
She has been active in Hillsborough County politics since 2016, specifically with the New Tampa
Democratic Club (NTDC). She assumed leadership of the NTDC in 2022 with the hope of expanding the
club by engaging more New Tampa voters in active democracy. Robin and her husband, Walt, also an
active Democrat, are involved in their local community and church. Their favorite pastimes include
spending time with their two children and their spouses, playing music, and hiking the National Parks in the U.S. and Canada.

Patty Cohn

 HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY DEMOCRATIC WOMEN'S CLUB

Patty Cohn (She,Her)

Getting Democrats elected and spreading the Democratic message is crucial at this time in our history. I've been working in Hillsborough County since 2014 to elect and keep Democrats in office. I've served in several capacities for the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, primarily working on public relations and social media.

I find the work of the Democratic Women's Club to be so important. We need the voices of women to be heard and counted. We've come a long way, but there are still a few mountains to be climbed.

My career as a Journalist put me on the front lines of so many of the issues we, as Democrats, are working to change.  We can't turn away from doing what we can to care for our communities. 

If you are passionate like I am in trying to create a better world for all of us, I welcome you to join the Hillsborough County Democratic Women's Club and work for the change we all want and know is needed.

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EAST HILLSBOROUGH DEMOCRATIC CLUB
D. MORGAN REID

Angela Birdsong

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY DEMOCRATIC BLACK CAUCUS
Angela Birdsong

Angela Birdsong is a former 2018 candidate for the Hillsborough County Board of
Commissioners. Angela has served as a Caribbean member of the Board of County
Commission Diversity Advisory Council, Good Government Awards, and as a Board
Member for the Hillsborough County League of Woman Voters. She is the former
chairman of the board for the West Coast AIDS Foundation and a former board member
for the Hands of Hope Sickle Cell Foundation. Currently, she sits on the board of the
Hillsborough County Health Care Plan and the Commission on the Status of Women.
Angela works as a health and life insurance agent, assisting senior citizens, retirees,
and the disabled in successfully transitioning onto Medicare. She is a graduate of Ithaca
College with a Bachelor of Science degree in TV and radio communications, and she
holds an Associate’s degree in Funeral Directing from The Commonwealth Institute.

KAREN CLAY, PRESIDENT, DEMOCRATIC DISABILITY CAUCUS OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

KAREN CLAY, (She/Her/Hers) DEMOCRATIC DISABILITY CAUCUS OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

As well as being President of this caucus, Karen is Co-Chair of the DNC Disability Council (SE region) and member of the Florida Democratic Seniors Council. She was the 2017 Recipient of the Hillsborough County Democratic Party Monroe Mack Community Service Award and she and her son Michael were recognized by the Tampa City Council for Outstanding Work in Healthcare Advocacy. She has shared the stage with Congressman Joe Kennedy and former Congressman Tony Coelho, author of the ADA.

She appeared with her son Michael on the MSNBC program, The Last Word. She has advocated for health care, the expansion of Medicaid, increased funding for the Home & Community Based Services Waiver and Medicare for ALL.

Karen served 16 years on the Board of the Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology, FL’s Tech Act Project, and many other committees. She resides in Tampa with her son Brian and is most honored to be called Mom and Grandma.

Kevin Kovac

NORTH TAMPA DEMOCRATS, Kevin Kovac

I joined the North Tampa Democrats to have a transformative impact on our Tampa community.

My name is Kevin Kovac and I’m honored to represent the North Tampa Democratic Club as President. Our mission is to educate and inspire neighbors, develop community relationships, and elect Democrats.

I was raised in Oldsmar, and ultimately graduated from the University of South Florida. My greatest strength is canvassing, in 2021 and 2022 I traveled to Columbus and Atlanta to walk, talk, and elect Democrats to take back the Senate. My goal above all else is to give back to the Tampa community that gave so much to me.

Our amazing team of volunteers aim to forge partnerships with residents and local businesses, creating a united front that tackles issues such as sustainable urban development, strong education, and accessible neighborhood resources.

By nurturing an environment of open dialogue, inclusive participation, and forward-thinking activities, every member of our city can contribute to its growth. Together we can transform challenges into opportunities and effect change that reflects the spirit of our vibrant community.

DEMOCRATIC PUBLIC EDUCATION CAUCUS OF HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Laura Tucker

Luis Salazar

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY LGBTQ+ DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS, Luis Salazar

Hello my name is Luis Salazar President of the Hillsborough LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus and proud Democrat. I have been involved in assisting democratic candidates running for office both at the national and local level. I am a graduate of Northern Arizona University and hold a Bachelor's Degree in Public Relations with a Minor in Spanish Literature. It is my personal goal to get Democrats elected to office. In my former position as Political Action Chair of the Hillsborough County Chapter of the Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus, we worked hard at getting out the vote in Hillsborough County. I believe that our chapter must have a strong presence in our community, which is why I have worked to help grow our caucus to make its presence known in Hillsborough County. I want to continue growing our chapter to inspire a new generation to continue on our mission of electing Democratic candidates that stand for equality and stand with the LGBTQ+ community.

ALEXANDRA KHALEL, PRESIDENT, THE DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS OF TAMPA BAY

ALEXANDRA KHALEL, THE DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS OF TAMPA BAY

Alexandra Khalel is committed to equity in education, justice and a mental health advocate.

As a member of the Progressive Caucus since 2019, she has served on the steering and social media committees, among others, and helped with the latest website redesign.

Last year, she volunteered on the campaigns of Jessica Vaugn, Sky U. White and Ione Townsend, as well as on the Environmental Caucus.

From planning and strategizing social media outreach, to ad campaigns and graphics, Alexandra has helped to increase traffic across platforms on behalf of various caucuses and candidates.

Alexandra graduated in 2009 from University of Missouri, St. Louis with a BA in Criminology, which led her to work in a group home for children with behavioral and mental disorders. She later became a local real estate agent, spearheading recruiting and marketing for a real estate brokerage.

Alexandra lives with her partner, Mohammed Khalel, and their 2 children. As a multicultural Arab and Black household, the Khalel family is dedicated to a future based on equity and inclusion.

138-208 Jordi Zapata

Jordi Zapata, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY YOUNG DEMOCRATS

Jordi Zapata is a committed public servant and proud graduate of the University of South
Florida. After earning a BS degree in Environmental Science and Policy, Jordi worked as the
Field Manager for Lindsay Cross’s campaign for FL State House District 60. Also, in 2022, Jordi
was the Program Fellow for Ruth’s List Florida, helping to elect Democratic pro-choice women
to state and local offices.
Jordi is currently working as an Environmental Scientist and is pursuing a graduate certificate in
Natural Resource Policy & Administration at the University of Florida. His primary interests
include environmental policy, community outreach, voter mobilization, and effective
messaging/communication. As President of the Hillsborough County Young Democrats, Jordi
plans to increase membership and participation by collaborating with local Democratic clubs and
organizations throughout Tampa Bay.

FRAN BODMAN, PRESIDENT, SOUTH SHORE DEMOCRATIC CLUB

FRAN BODMAN, SOUTH SHORE DEMOCRATIC CLUB

Fran Bodman graduated Hunter College in 1965 with a major in history and a minor in political science and secondary education.  Fran taught social studies at Mabel Dean Vocational high school and Long Island City high schools in New York City from 1965-1969.  As a member of the UFT she participated in the teachers’ strikes in 1966 and 1968 under the leadership of Albert Shanker.   After a move to Miami, Florida, she taught social studies at Miami Killian (1973-1979) and Miami Sunset (1979-2005) senior high schools. Fran was a member of UTD and participated in many UTD demonstrations;  in 1985 she was elected  the union steward at Miami Sunset for 15 years.  As a teacher at Miami Sunset she taught government (general, honors, and later AP government ), economics (Junior Achievement, honors and and later Ap macro economics), and Street Law which included assisting in the creation and participation in Mock Trials in the Miami-Dade School System.  Miami Sunset mock trial team won in 1985, 86 and 87 and represented Miami-Dade in the National Mock Trials in 1987.  One of her high points was a special project she ran in the government classes every election cycle by inviting local candidates to her classes. Students signed up to volunteer to participate in one or more of the campaigns, they had to log in 15 hours and write an analysis of the experience.  She wrote her Nova University master’s thesis based on the impact of active civic participation of her students.   After retiring in 2005, Fran was a co-President of the Solivita Democrats working on the 2007 Obama campaign; moved to Dawson, Georgia - joined the Dawson Democrats and participated in many demonstrations in Atlanta; moved to Valencia Lakes in Wimauma in 2015.  She became active in the South Shore Democrats and was elected President in 2018.

A teacher, a political activist, a wife, a mother, and a grandmother, Fran’s love and commitment to her family and country are ongoing.  A commitment to democracy is to stay vigilant and active.

 

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TRACEY CORN, DEMOCRATIC WOMEN'S CLUB OF SOUTHEAST HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY

Farah Stokes, President, SOUTH TAMPA DEMOCRATIC CLUB

Farah is a lifelong Democrat and active volunteer. She grew up in Maryland and has a degree in Family and Community Development from the University of Maryland.  She previously lived in Atlanta, Georgia and Ft. Worth, Texas before moving to Tampa in 1992. She has been a member of the South Tampa Democrats since its beginning in 2008 and is a supportive member of the Progressive Caucus and Disability Caucus. She worked in various areas including race relations, health education, hospitality, tourism, and as a travel agent before focusing on raising her children while her husband’s engineering career required him to travel abroad frequently. Farah and her husband Randy have two adult children and one grandchild who live in Blue western states, where they will be visiting more often now that Randy is retired.

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RUSS PATTERSON, (He/Him/His) TEMPLE TERRACE AREA DEMOCRATS

Russ Patterson was born in Texas to good Democrats who encouraged him to be involved in politics.

He is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy, and served 20 years with the USAF performing duty in Oklahoma, California, North Carolina, Great Britain, The Netherlands, Germany, and Norway.  After his service, he was hired by a British company to organize the logistics to send scientists all over the world.

After living in Europe for 18 years, he returned home and became very active in Democratic politics.  He worked on campaigns as an organizer or field director in Missouri, Maine, Rhode Island, Connecticut, North Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas.  He came to Florida in 2004 to lead a get out the vote campaign and decided to stay and became an organizer for Equality Florida.

In 2006, he married Candy Gale.  Because his Candy was a teacher, he became one too so their schedules coordinate.  In 2010, he ran for State House. While he did not win, he ran a strong campaign in an incredibly bad year for Democrats.

After the election, he became a Special Ed Teacher at King High School.  He is a life member of the East Hillsborough Democrats and a member of the Hillsborough and Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucuses, the Democratic Veterans Caucus and the Temple Terrace Area Democrats.  He is also a member of the Hillsborough County Classroom Teachers Association.

In 2016, he was elected State Committeeman for the Hillsborough County Democratic Party.  He is also the Regional Director for Hillsborough County Region 3.

138-208 C.L. Townsend

C.L. TOWNSEND, PLANT CITY AREA DEMOCRATS

CL is a 6th generation Floridian from Wakulla County; A Plant City resident since 2010; A Graduate of the Un.of Florida, College of Pharmacy, BS and MS and North Carolina-Chapel Hill-School of Public Health: Peace Corps Volunteer 1966-1968 in Malaysia/ M-15: Tuberculosis Control.

As a 50-year Registered Pharmacist in Florida. Retired from Medco/Express Scripts but also worked with Kash-n-Karry, Sweet Bay Supermarket and CVS.

Active in the Improvement League of Plant City, Plant City Kiwanis, Plant City Toastmasters and Plant City Area Democratic Club.  Member of First United Church of Tampa (UCC). Married to Ione Townsend. We blended our 5 sons, and now enjoy 3 Daughters in law and 5 Grandchildren

CL has been actively involved with political issues since moving back to Florida. His parents were both strong Democrats and each served as Chair of the Wakulla County DEC. In 2020 ran unsuccessfully for State House of Representatives, HD 58/now 68. Convinced now more than ever, the future of Florida will be bright if we can dislodge the Republican stranglehold on good policies for our citizens which have strong  grassroots election politics for Democrats.He was a founding member of the Plant City Area Democratic Club in 2014.

Jose Vazquez

JOSE VAZQUEZ, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY DEMOCRATIC CARRIBEAN CAUCUS

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KAREN MICHALSKI, HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY DEMOCRATIC ENVIRONMENTAL CAUCUS

 

 

Steve Shaiken

Stephen Shaiken was born in New York City and graduated Queens College and Brooklyn Law School. He and his wife Josie moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1981, where they lived for over thirty years and raised two daughters and where Stephen practiced criminal defense and deportation defense law. Stephen is a member of the bars of New York, California and Florida. He has served as a member and as Chair of the Marin County Jewish Community Relations Council. He has been a board member of two congregations, including the Thailand Progressive Jewish Congregation during the three years he and Josie lived in Bangkok. He's been a member of HCDEC since 2018. He served on the county executive committee and local Democratic Club when he lived in California.  He and Josie purchased their Seminole Heights home in 2017 and love living there. Since retiring from the law, Steve, who earned an MA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University, has been a fiction writer, publishing several novels and short stories. Stephen is conversant in Spanish, Thai and German, with lingering bits of Yiddish and Hebrew. When not politicking or writing, he enjoys yoga, gardening, biking and struggling with guitar.

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY LABOR CAUCUS