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.

Matt Hovsepian - Vice President (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 Vice President. 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. 

Jacky Guerrero - Treasurer (Officer)

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.

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. He also serves on the board of Stonewall Democratic Club, currently as Chair of Financial Affairs.

Michael is a graduate of the USC Gould School of Law Class of 2017, where served as President for his school's American Constitution Society chapter. As a law student, he gained hands-on experience working in local government law, special education advocacy, plaintiff-side employment litigation, and labor law. He was selected as an Employee Justice Fellow by the California Employment Lawyers Association in 2016. He currently works as a legal fellow with in a San Fernando Valley-based nonprofit advocating for wage justice and consumer protections.

Noel Barajas, Jr - At-Large Member

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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, Communications Director, and Vice President.

Catherine Coddington - Events Director & DPSFV Represenative

 

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.

Melissa Garcia - At-Large Member

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Melissa Garcia has lived in the San Fernando Valley all of her life. She is the proud daughter of Peruvian immigrants. As a first generation American, she worked hard to take advantage of the opportunities afforded to her that her parents had gone without. She graduated cum laude from UC Irvine with a B.A. in political science, and is currently attending CSUN to earn her master's degree in social work. 

Well before she was eligible to vote in elections, Melissa has always identified as a Democrat. Her progressive values are what drove her to become active in politics, activism, and community work. Melissa is passionate and committed to advocating on behalf of marginalized communities, and has made it her profession. She has held various positions within nonprofit organizations, such as the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, Friends of the Family, and the North Valley Family YMCA. Working at these organizations has allowed her to give back to the community. Her ultimate goal is to become a social worker and help her clients at both clinical and policy levels.

Melissa is currently an elected assembly district delegate for assembly district 38, and enjoys organizing at the grassroots level. She believes all millennials should strive to become involved in the political process, and wants to see her generation pave the way for America's prosperous future. She is excited to serve as a board member for SFVYD, and hopes to foster greater political engagement among her peers.

Julia Gould - At-Large Member

 

Drexel Heard II - RFK Co-Chair

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 Drexel is a Los Angeles transplant having been born and raised as a military kid, moving all across the United States and the world. Studying political science at North Carolina University, Drexel has been heavily involved in the political process for over two decades.  Drexel currently represents the 39th District as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party, and is a board member of Stonewall Democrats and the Democratic Party of San Fernando Valley, and a member of Los Angeles County Young Democrats and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.  He is the producer and host for AfterBuzzTV’s The Political Beat, and manages events all across the Southwest. 

Andrew Lewis - Social Media Director

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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 - Legislative Director

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 - Membership Director

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.

Sean Rivas - RFK Co-Chair CYD Liaison

 

Marco Santana - Campus Outreach Director

 

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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