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Evolve is working to reform Proposition 13 so that commercial property pays its fair share, and funding is restored to schools and public services.

         

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Staff and Board

Evolve Staff

Michael Bornstein

Executive Director

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.

 
 
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Ben Grieff

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.

 
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Rachita Rawal

Campaign Organizer and Volunteer Coordinator

Rachita graduated from UC Berkeley in May 2017 with a Political Science degree. It was here that she developed a passion for social justice and equality. While tutoring elementary students in Oakland, she saw first-hand that many students do not have access to necessary resources because of systemic inequalities. In pursuit of understanding these inequities at a deeper level, Rachita interned at Evolve during the summer of 2016. After graduation, her motivation to get Prop. 13 reform on the ballot as soon as possible is what brought her back to Evolve. In her free time, she enjoys listening to music of contrasting genres, eating yummy vegetarian food (including ice cream), and visiting hipster coffee shops.   

 
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Emily Cagape

Campaign Coordinator

Emily recently graduated from the University of San Francisco where she completed her bachelor's degree in Sociology and minors in Legal Studies and Public Service & Community Engagement. During Emily's first two years of college, she worked as an elementary school tutor in the San Francisco Unified School District where she developed a passion for education and social justice. While studying sociology and working with elementary school students, Emily learned about the systemic inequalities that are drastically affecting our public schools--especially those in low-income communities. She joined the Evolve team to fight to increase funding for our California public schools. In her free time, Emily enjoys listening to podcasts, watching new shows, finding new places to eat, and going out with her friends for milk tea. 

 
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Katherine McLaughlin

Campaign Intern

Kat is currently a senior studying Political Science and Human Rights at UC Berkeley. She was born and raised in southern Arizona, where her interest in reforming the public education system began in response to the apparent lack of school funding and continuous turnover of underpaid educators she saw. As a student at Berkeley, Kat has worked within several human rights and anti-violence based organizations and hopes to bring those experiences to the Evolve campaign. She is excited to connect with and give back to the Bay Area community that has educated and empowered her the past three years. When she can catch a free moment, Kat enjoys sitting on her house porch with friends, watching documentaries, and dancing to whatever music she can find.

 
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Miyah Saeyang

Campaign Intern

Miyah is a Bay Area native and current sophomore studying Anthropology and Sustainable Environmental Design at UC Berkeley. While studying cultural anthropology in her first year, she came across the subject of education inequality and how those inequalities are shaped by financial, social, and cultural factors. This is where she developed an interest in education systems and public policy. She hopes to find a career in government or non-profit work where she can create a system that is more equitable and actively supports students of all backgrounds. By working with Evolve, she hopes to make a positive change in the community that she loves. In her spare time, Miyah loves to go to the beach, visit museums, and find new restaurants to eat yummy food!

 
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Jessi Thixton

Campaign Intern

Jessi is a fourth year student at UC Berkeley studying Social Welfare. She was born and raised in Los Angeles and has been in California’s public schools her whole life. She is distinctly passionate about tackling corporate greed and putting California taxes towards building up our drastically underfunded education system. At UC Berkeley, Jessi has enjoyed taking classes from a variety of departments to learn different perspectives on inequality in the United States. In the future, she hopes to get her PhD and work in criminal justice reform. In her down time, Jessi loves to exercise, collage and make house music with her friends.

 
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Board of Directors

Anna Wagner

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 Hahn

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.


Emil Margolis

Emil began his involvement in social activism as an undergraduate student at the University of California at Santa Barbara and went on to volunteer on numerous anti-war and fair-pay/workers’ rights campaigns.  As lead organizer for Evolve's school board and city council resolution campaign, he was instrumental in crafting effective messaging and working with local elected officials to pass over 110 resolutions statewide in support of Prop.13 reform.  He currently works on providing free job skills-training opportunities at Jewish Vocational Service based in San Francisco.  He is also a composer.  More about him and his music may be found at emilmargolis.com.


Sam Kippen

Samuel Kippen is an organizer with eight years of experience in nonprofit advocacy and campaigns. As one of Evolve's first staff and now a longtime member of its Board, Sam is committed to reforming Proposition 13 to save California's struggling schools. Sam has worked for the Natural Resources Defense Council, 50+1 Strategies, and an array of progressive candidates and ballot initiatives. He currently serves as Community and Government Relations Specialist at Kamehameha, an $11 billion charitable trust with a mission to uplift Native Hawaiians through education. In his free time, Sam enjoys reading history books and making his son Santiago laugh.


Phil Layzer

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. In 2019 he helped build a coalition that successfully lobbied the Alameda Board of Education to restore funding to district music programs. He is also the parent of a middle schooler in the Alameda School District.