Staff and Board
Michael has 25 years' experience in Bay Area politics. He started managing political campaigns with the California League of Conservation Voters, before becoming the Executive Director of the San Francisco Democratic Party and most recently the Senior Chapter Director at the Sierra Club Bay Chapter. Throughout his career Michael has led or worked on several dozens of election campaigns, dispatched thousands of volunteers, and made too many phone calls to count.
Campaign Director and Spokesperson
Ben graduated from Boston University in 2006 and began his organizing career right away by working to unionize healthcare workers in Massachusetts. Since then he has fundraised for various non-profit organizations, directed canvass operations and done electoral field organizing. Prior to working with Evolve Ben ran a telephone outreach project for the San Francisco Democratic Party and Labor Council during the fall 2010 election cycle. Aside from being a political junkie Ben enjoys hiking and wildlife photography.
Ian graduated from San Francisco State University in 2012 where he played baseball and received his degree in Sociology. Having developed a passion for social & economic justice, Ian decided to join Evolve to fight for public education and tax fairness. Ian has always been interested in national politics and now spends most of his free time engaged in local politics. He is currently the Treasurer of the Latin@ Young Democrats of San Francisco. Outside of politics, Ian enjoys watching sports and good television series as well as playing adult league softball.
Vanessa graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2016, receiving a B.A. in Philosophy and Politics. While at UCSC she immersed herself in campus organizing, got involved with student government and became the Vice-President of membership of the UCSC College Democrats. Her work for education justice drives her efforts locally where she decided to join Evolve in summer 2015 as an intern building coalitions across the UC to increase funding for higher education. This past year she served as the National Queer Students of Color Caucus Chair (NQSoC), sitting on the Board of Directors for the United States Student Association (USSA). Aside from being a political and Aaron Sorkin TV series junkie; Vanessa enjoys reading books, eating basic food, and watching local San Francisco Giants baseball.
Daniel is a South African high school teacher and graduate of the University of San Francisco's MA program in Educational Organization and Leadership. Having learned first hand just how critical an investment in public education is, he is passionate about being an advocate for children both within the classroom and beyond it in public life. In his spare time Daniel enjoys soccer, running, good wine, and anything written by Kurt Vonnegut.
Sarah Barsky is a senior at the University of California-Berkeley. She is majoring in Political Science with an emphasis in International Relations and Comparative Politics. Sarah transferred to Berkeley from a community college in Southern California where she was heavily involved in the student government on campus. Having been so involved with campus and school district politics, she has gained a passion for improving the school system and the general welfare of the students the system is meant to serve. She also has an interest in eventually running for local office. Sarah thinks that a good first step in helping the community is by getting to know grassroots campaigns intimately and that is why she chose to intern with Evolve. In her free time Sarah enjoys traveling, reading, cooking for friends, and playing with her dogs.
Besides being a Bay Area native, Arman is an undergraduate student at San Francisco State University studying International Relations. Before going to college, he spent 8 years working in the Middle East and Central Asia selling medical diagnostics products. He is passionate about foreign policy in the context of furthering women’s political and economic freedoms, as well as using economic tools such as trade and microfinance to lift people out of poverty. Arman has recently become interested in domestic public policy and has decided to intern with Evolve California in order to gain experience in grassroots political organization. Outside of politics and social issues, Arman’s interests include architecture, film, and basketball.
Board of Directors
Anna is a graduate of the Greencorps Field School for Environmental Organizing. She has led environmental and public interest campaigns across the country. After settling in the Bay Area Anna managed the Sierra Club’s local environmental campaigns, winning campaigns to protect hillsides in Livermore and creating solar energy programs in San Francisco. Anna is currently a Senior Organizer with Greenpeace where she supports environmental campaigns across the globe.
Laura launched her career as a State Organizer for NARAL and has been active in public life ever since. Laura has led environmental campaigns as the Organizing Manger for the Bay Chapter Sierra Club, designed statewide electoral and media strategy with MSHC Partners, and worked on many San Francisco political campaigns. She is currently the Executive Director of the California Music and Culture Association and is active in San Francisco politics.
Sam started his career in fundraising at Evolve, organizing for better public education in California. Sam has interned with Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and the International Rescue Committee. He is a Senior Fellow at Humanity In Action, a cross-disciplinary program that links young social-justice advocates interested in minority issues. In 2014, Sam participated as a Witness at the First Stewards Symposium in Washington D.C., a conference that brings together Native groups from across the country to examine the effects of climate change on indigenous communities and coalesce thought on mitigating negative impacts.
Phil is a former organizer with the California League of Conservation Voters, with grassroots campaign experience in local, state, and national candidate races and initiatives. In 2014, he built a coalition that successfully lobbied the Alameda Board of Education to pass Evolve’s Prop. 13 reform resolution. He is also the parent of a grade-schooler in the Alameda School District.