Kadida Kenner is the founding Chief Executive Officer of the New Pennsylvania Project, Kadida is a tireless advocate for social and economic justice issues and is motivated to empower and excite the electorate to enthusiastically vote in every election — all the way down the entire ballot. Kadida has led efforts to stop the passage of a judicial gerrymandering constitutional amendment, raise the minimum wage, fairly fund public education, protect federal courts from problematic judicial nominees, and protect the state courts from extremist attempts to undermine their independence.
Kadida also serves as co-chair of Why Courts Matter – Pennsylvania, an advocacy campaign seeking to protect the independence of our state and federal courts and educate the electorate about their importance.
Prior to working in issue advocacy, Kadida was a director, producer, and writer for HBCU sports television programming – both live and scripted television in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Georgia. The Temple University graduate resides in the Philly suburbs and counts civil rights organizing icon, and West Chester, Pennsylvania native Bayard Rustin as one of her civil rights heroes.
James Latta is the Chief Financial Officer for the New Pennsylvania Project. A lifelong resident of the city of Philadelphia, James knows the importance of registering, encouraging, and activating those who feel that they have no reason to participate in politics and government. James is passionate about building effective, impactful, and sustainable organizations that can do this important work, year after year. He has served in various positions in non-profits, politics, and government, most recently as Operations Director for the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. James is a graduate of the MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and resides in Philadelphia with his wife.
Khalif Ali is the Director of the New Pennsylvania Project. A Pittsburgh resident with a background in community organizing/engagement and public policy, Khalif has been working closely with community-based organizations, local government, foundations, and individual activists to craft and advance a progressive policy and advocacy agenda. Vulnerable populations are at the center of his work.
Khalif has a Bachelor of Science in Communications. He has also earned his Master of Social Work with a concentration in community organizing/social administration from the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work. Khalif also received a certification in Applied Behavioral Insight from the Harvard Kennedy School.
Stephanie Frank is the Chief Operating Officer for the New Pennsylvania Project. Stephanie is pleased to bring over 20 years of administrative experience to the NPP team, most recently serving as office manager for the Keystone Research Center and Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Her dedication to democracy in the commonwealth comes from a combination of deep generational PA roots and over a decade of fighting for systemic policy change at the state government level with KRC: forming the belief that positive change comes from the ground up when all communities, especially those historically disenfranchised, have a voice in their government. Stephanie received an MFA in illustration from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and a BA in studio art with a concentration in biology from Washington and Lee University in Virginia. She resides in Harrisburg with her husband and two dogs.
Katy Personette is the Director of Development & Policy with the New Pennsylvania Project. Katy is passionate about advocating for social justice issues and bringing that spark of activism and engagement on policies to folks in Pennsylvania and beyond. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of Campaigns with the PA Budget and Policy Center, focusing on the We The People-PA campaign where she advocated for progressive policies including a fair share tax, adequate and equitable funding for K-12 education, fair housing, and a fair return for work among others by calling for bold action from state lawmakers. Katy worked with partners and community leaders to organize and build power across the state to win economic justice and build a stronger, healthier, and more just future for all Pennsylvanians. Katy graduated from Kutztown University where she studied Anthropology and Sociology. After realizing her passion for political activism, she transitioned out of the corporate world and started as a statewide community health organizer for PA Health Access Network. Katy loves baseball, her favorite team being the New York Yankees, Coldplay, and cuddling with her dog Nova.
Eric Leisure is the Director of Strategic Communications for The New Pennsylvania Project. Eric brings a “Frankenstein’s Monster” of a resume to NPP that includes over a decade of work at some of the Keystone State’s premier family-
A nearly lifelong Pennsylvanian, Eric’s roots run deep in the Commonwealth. After growing up in Bucks County, his career has taken him to Hershey, Lancaster, and Pittsburgh. He also graduated from Penn State-University Park and remains an incredibly passionate supporter of Nittany Lion football, basketball, and ice hockey
D’Angelo Virgo is the Director of Programs. A Philadelphia resident, he is an educator, campaign strategist and community organizer. He brings over a decade of grassroots and community organizing, civic education and a wealth of political knowledge.
D’Angelo has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science from Millersville University and a Masters of Arts in International Relations from London Metropolitan University. A lover of music, he is also a classically trained violinist.
Dyneco Gibson is the Director of Campaigns & Engagement. Her passion for community activism began in Rochester, NY where she mentored youth and volunteered as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for children in foster care, she worked in the disaster services department for the American Red Cross, and the Mobile Crisis Team where she assisted people who were having a mental health crisis.
Now a resident of Coatesville, Dyneco believes this work is important to her because she wants her teenage daughter to know that as a minority woman, her voice is important. And, for her to remember that African Americans and women did not always have the right to vote.
Dyneco is a lifetime member of the NAACP. She received her Associate’s degree from Monroe Community College in Human Services.
Quentin Mansfield is the Democracy Project Coordinator for the New Pennsylvania Project. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Quentin’s journey has been shaped by his commitment to amplifying the voices of marginalized communities. Prior to entering law school, Quentin acquired invaluable experience as the Director of Advocacy for the Chicago Urban League. In this role, he actively championed social justice causes that deeply impacted the Black community.
His educational journey began at Howard University, where he studied Strategic Communications and Economics. Quentin is also an alumnus of the University of Chicago, where he earned a Master of Public Policy degree. Currently enrolled as a law student at the University of Pennsylvania, Quentin continues to harness his passion for social justice and his comprehensive knowledge of strategic communications, economics, and public policy in his role as the Democracy Project Coordinator. Armed with an understanding of our legal system and an unwavering commitment to advancing democracy and equality, Quentin Mansfield stands as an advocate for positive change.
Nancy Lopez Sosa
Nancy Lopez Sosa is the Deputy Director of Organizing. Nancy is passionate about mobilizing communities of color and advocating for social justice issues. Previously, she worked as a community organizer for the Farmworker Support Committee. She provided labor education to immigrant, Latino farmworkers in Southern Chester County, and mobilized them to advocate for immigrant justice and fair wages.
Nancy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Anthropology and Latin American Studies from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She was born and raised in Central Mexico and currently resides in Oxford, Pennsylvania.
Connie Santos is the Regional Organizing Director for Northampton/Monroe/Lehigh counties.
In 2017 she “retired” after 26 years of service as a caseworker with the PA Department of Welfare. Since then, she has worked on campaigns throughout Lehigh County, ballot initiatives, and serves as a precinct captain in her community. In addition, she also successfully led the Group Quarters effort for the 2020 Census during the Pandemic.
Since March 18, 2022 she has logged hundreds of miles walking and knocking doors — fueled by her passion for voting rights and empowering people. She has two children and four grandchildren and resides in Allentown with her cat, Cupcake.
Rick Hicks is the Regional Organizing Director for the Capital Region.
Born and raised in Harrisburg, Rick is the proud father of five sons and has volunteered or worked as a program director in the Harrisburg community for more than three decades. Rick has worked on numerous successful campaigns in the city of Harrisburg, as well as running for Magisterial District Judge in 2011.
Rick is also a proud Marine Corps veteran who takes pride in serving his country, as well as his community.
Aidan O’Callaghan is the Regional Organizing Director for Philadelphia.
He hails from the Hudson Valley and graduated from SUNY New Paltz. Over the past five years, he has been actively involved in various roles within voter registration non-profits, doing everything from knocking doors to climbing on statues in Washington Square to shout about registration.
Aidan is dedicated to expanding the electorate and promoting civic engagement in the city. He strongly believes in the importance of voting as a fundamental right for all Americans, striving to create opportunities for communities to have their voices heard and be involved in the democratic process.
Andrew Payne is the Regional Organizing Director for the Bucks/Montgomery region.
Andrew’s passion for advocating for those less fortunate comes from growing up in the rural south. This led Andrew to get into community organizing as a way to give back to communities that have given so much to him. He brings 8 years of community organizing ranging from voter registration work, campaign fundraising, and get out the vote efforts for various campaigns and organizations ranging from small city council races to the Biden campaign.
Most recently, he was the campaign manager for Brian Munroe, Where his strategy of emphasizing engagement with transient communities within the district gave the campaign the margin it needed to make Brian the first Democrat to ever hold his seat in the state legislature.
Tauhida Smith is the Regional Organizing Director for the Lancaster/Berks Region.
Coupled with her background in organizational leadership and development, Tauhida has over 15 years of cumulative experience in campaign management, program development, and strategic team building. As an alumna from Millersville University and resident of Reading, Pa., Tauhida encompasses a deep passion for civic engagement and voter outreach within her region. She is a relationship-oriented leader enthralled with building a conducive and unique work environment geared towards maximizing opportunities for community engagement, development, and growth.
James-Brian Byers is the Regional Organizing Director for Allegheny County.
A longtime resident of the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, James-Brian is passionate about the importance of registering, encouraging, and activating those who feel that they have been left out of the American political system. James-Brian is passionate about building effective and impactful actions and campaigns that can do the work of the People. He has served in various positions in non-profits, politics, and government.
James-Brian is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. He is an avid amateur athlete having completed several marathons, duathlons, and plays soccer, skis, and scuba dives whenever and wherever possible! James-Brian is a graduate of the MSW program at Temple University and resides in Allegheny County with his family.