Meet The E-Board

Jessica Yas Barker - President (Officer)

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Jessica was born and raised in LA and went to UC Berkeley and CSUN to study Political Science/Spanish and Public Administration respectively. These disciplines have led to work in various capacities as a union organizer, Congressional Field Rep, aide to the Mayor of LA, and chief of engagement for philanthropic organizations in the homelessness and arts sectors. Jessica first became politically active when she learned about Proposition 22 (the 2000 ballot measure that institutionalized discrimination against same-sex marriage in the California constitution) from a neighbor and enlisted a few rambunctious friends to run around her conservative hometown tearing down the lawn signs. Since then, she has found more constructive ways to channel her social justice energy through work in the public, non-profit and private sectors. Jessica currently works with Ovation TV, America’s only arts network, overseeing corporate giving and philanthropic outreach to nonprofits and cultural institutions.

Noel Barajas, Jr - Vice President (Officer)

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Noel was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley. He has been very involved with the Democrat party since high school where he started by doing volunteer work in various local campaigns. Currently in addition to being the California State Democratic Party Executive Board Representative for the 39th Assembly District he also serves on the Executive Board of the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, and is President of Pro-Active Democrats.

Noel is very familiar with the different levels of government, having working in the Los Angeles City Council before moving on to work in the California State Senate. This experience has allow him to be very knowledgeable in helping the residents of the San Fernando Valley find and receive various resources and services from all levels of government.Noel has served on SFVYD's board for over 8 years, during that time he has been Website Liaison, New Media Director, Outreach Director and Legislative Director, Political Director and is currently serving as Communication Director.

Matt Hovsepian - Treasurer (Officer)

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Matt Hovsepian was born and raised in Glendale. He is a product of California public schools and graduated from the University of California, Irvine. During his undergraduate education, Matt became more involved in politics by obtaining internships in local, state, and federal legislative offices. After graduation, Matt became involved with the California Democratic Party’s “Battleground California” campaign in the West Los Angeles region. Matt worked towards passing Proposition 30 and defeating Proposition 32 in 2012.
As a Democratic Party activist, Matt has become involved with many local campaigns and Democratic clubs. Matt has been a part of the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats for over four years and currently serves as Treasurer. Matt previously served as a Field Representative for Congresswoman Judy Chu for over two years. He currently attends Loyola Law School, and serves as President of the American Constitution Society. In addition, he serves as an alternate delegate for the Los Angeles County Democratic Party. Matt remains committed to the principles of community empowerment and voter education as important tools for creating progressive public policies. 

Michael Barth - Communications Director (Officer)

Michael Barth

Raised in the San Fernando Valley, Michael Barth has been involved in community service since high school, raising donations for local domestic violence shelters and tutoring underprivileged children. Michael earned a B.A. in Political Science from UC San Diego before delving head-first into Los Angeles politics by working for the LA County Democratic Party and volunteering for various local campaigns. He served as Deputy Campaign Manager for Assessor Jeff Prang's successful primary campaign, coordinating operations and outreach throughout all of LA County.

Michael currently attends USC Gould School of Law and will graduate in May 2017. As a law student, he has gained hands-on experience working in local government law, special education advocacy, and plaintiff-side employment law. He was selected as an Employee Justice Fellow by the California Employment Lawyers Association in 2016. He plans to apply his law degree toward advocating on behalf of workers and other marginalized groups including people with disabilities and people living in poverty.

He also serves as Chair of Membership Outreach for Stonewall Democratic Club and as President Emeritus of the American Constitution Society for his student chapter.

Michelle Elmer - Political Director

Michelle Elmer

Michelle Elmer was born, raised and has lived in the San Fernando Valley most of her life. She has received most of her schooling from public schools in the valley, graduating from CSUN with a B.A. in Sociology and minor in writing and rhetoric.

While Michelle has been a Democrat her entire life, it was when she transferred to CSUN that she decided to take that next step and become more actively involved in the Democratic Party. Starting with her college chapter CSUN Young Democrats (serving on the board for 1 1/2 years as senior student adviser and treasurer), she went on to a variety of other roles, including serving as SFVYD's Grants Director for almost 2 years, on the executive board of the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley, and with Young Democrats of America. In addition, she serves as a state-level delegate to CDP from the 38th assembly district, and went to 2012 DNC as a presidential delegate tool. In addition, she has been a part of several electoral campaigns and has been active with non-profits such as Planned Parenthood.  In her spare time, she reads, crafts, netflixes, and scouts for early to mid-20th century collectibles.

Nicole Fossier - Membership Director

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 Nicole Fossier, a native Glendalian and graduate of UCLA, believes in using data to mobilize communities more effectively. She discovered her passion for organizing and advocacy while serving on the University of California Student Association board of directors. After college, she worked as a Community Strategist at NationBuilder to help local candidates and advocacy groups engage new supporters and find leaders among their current ones. Nicole has done voter targeting for campaigns at all levels, from neighborhood council up to Bernie Sanders for President, and she currently serves in Assemblyman Mike Gatto's district office.

Jacky Guerrero - Legislative Director

Jacky serves as a Budget Analyst for Advancement Project where she works in partnership with community-based organizations to support advocacy campaigns by monitoring various school district and city budgets with a particular focus in the Central Valley. As a former Bohnett Fellow working in the Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, she was part of the launch team in the Office of Economic Development to establish President Obama’s Promise Zone efforts in Los Angeles. She also published an extensive report examining the effectiveness of the turf removal rebate policy in Los Angeles City Council District 3 for the Office of Councilmember Bob Blumenfield. In addition, as Program Associate with the Liberty Hill Foundation, she managed the Foundation’s LGBTQ portfolio that directed more funds to organizations using intersectional frameworks, and strengthened the foundation’s signature capacity building program. She graduated with a Masters in Public Policy from the Luskin School of Public Affairs at the University of California Los Angeles and holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the California State University Northridge.

Saaliha Khan - Community Engagement Director

Saaliha is an Angeleno of Pakistani descent who grew up in the San Fernando Valley and enjoys bringing people of different backgrounds together. She served as the first Muslim American student body president of Birmingham High School in Van Nuys, and currently serves as a Canoga Park Neighborhood Council Board Member. As the Community Engagement Director with the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats, she aspires to conduct transformative outreach to inspire people of diverse backgrounds to become more civically engaged.

Saaliha graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, with a B.A. in Government, and worked at Georgetown University in Qatar, where she spearheaded the first-ever Diversity Initiative. She currently works as a communications and project manager with NewGround: A Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change housed with the LA City Human Relations Commission in LA City Hall. Saaliha believes in the power of empathy, compassion and love and leads a life of service to help bring about justice and peace in our communities.

Andrew Lewis - Social Media Chair

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Born and raised in Los Angeles, Andrew is a longtime Democrat who has worked in a variety of progressive Democratic offices and campaigns, including as a Field Organizer for President Obama's re-election campaign, in the Office of Energy and Sustainability of former Los Angeles Mayor Villaraigosa, and with US Senator Dianne Feinstein. Andrew has also worked on several Democratic political campaigns at the local, state, and national level.

Andrew is a graduate of UCLA where he earned his degree in Political Science with an emphasis in American Politics, and currently sits on several UCLA Alumni Relations Boards.

Andrés Molina - RFK Co-Chair

Andres Molina

Andrés Molina is a proud graduate of California State University, Los Angeles, with a Bachelors in Public Administration. He is the son of a Carpenter and a Bilingual teacher and the youngest of two children. Currently, Andrés is the Government Relations Representative for a private firm that focuses on improving transportation/infrastructure issues at home and around the world.

Andrés is excited to bring his experiences in the private sector as well as his passions for the community, education, and transportation to the club’s leadership. He is also an active member of Los Angeles County Young Democrats. Finally, Andrés hopes to go back to school soon to get his Masters in Public Administration.

Becca Patton - RFK Co-Chair

Becca Patton

Becca Patton has been involved in early care and education for the past eight years, most recently as a Public Affairs Specialist for LAUP (Los Angeles Universal Preschool). In this role, Becca supported campaigns that led to an additional $100 million invested in early learning at the local, state, and federal level. Prior to LAUP, Becca was with Jumpstart, an Americorps program, where she supported college students working with preschool children throughout Los Angeles. Becca is now with Reading Partners helping to ensure all students have the support necessary to be life-long readers.

Max Reyes - External Affairs Director (Immediate Past President)

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Max Reyes was raised in the San Fernando Valley and remains a proud resident.  Prior to being elected President of the San Fernando Valley Young Democrats, he served as the club's Vice President, Treasurer, Communications Director, and Editorial Director.  Professionally, Max is the Assistant Director of Government & Community Relations at California State University, Northridge.  He previously worked for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti as his point staffer in the West Valley.

Max has dedicated his career to public service, having served as the Deputy Campaign Manager to Senator Fran Pavley's successful 2012 re-election campaign and as her Senior Field Representative.  He has worked for various state legislators in both their Capitol and district offices, giving him a broad understanding on the functions of government from both policy and community perspectives.

Max graduated with Distinction from the University of California, Berkeley, obtaining a B.A. in Political Science.  He got his start in politics as a student government representative working on higher education issues.  In college, he served as the UC Berkeley Lobby Corps Director and in Moorpark College as the Director of External Affairs.  During his last semester, he was named the Advocate of the Year by the University of California Student Association.

Sean Rivas - CYD Liaison

 

Mike Young - Parliamentarian

Mike Young

Mike Young has been a San Fernando Valley resident for over two decades. He is an alumnus of Pepperdine University. There, Mike became an officer with the Pepperdine Young Democrats and helped build a coalition of progressive students in an overwhelmingly Republican private school. By the end of his senior year, he had actively campaigned on a variety of progressive causes from gay and lesbian civil liberties, to human rights, to the environment, which has since become his main cause.

Mike has served on SFVYD's board for over half a decade under various roles, including Membership Director, Communications Director, and Political Director. He was honored to be elected as the organization's first Asian American president and served from 2011 to 2012.

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