Staff + Board

Staff
Civic Engagement Program Manager Aly smiles in front of roses and a brick building

Aly Belknap

Civic Engagement Program Manager
alainna@neweracolorado.org

Aly manages our high school voter registration work. The program has been to over 100 schools in 14 Colorado counties since 2015, registering and preregistering over 27,000 young Coloradans to vote! Aly is enthusiastically growing our network of partner schools, reaching out to schools as close as the Denver metro area, and as far as the Western Slope, in order to reach neighborhoods and communities we haven’t yet worked with. Amid all this growth, Aly is working to deepen our relationships with our long-term partners by innovating our drives to more deeply involve students, educators, and school staff. Aly is excited to begin incorporating student volunteers into some of our drives, because building students into the process encourages hesitant students to register to vote, while gaining the student volunteers practical skills and experience. She is truly energized by our civic engagement work and is always ready to talk about how early registration creates lifelong voters!

Arianna Morales

Regional Advocacy Manager
arianna@neweracolorado.org

As a devout believer in astrology, Arianna attributes all of her success to being born at 4:23 PM, in Ventura County on a beautiful January day. But in truth, her success was a combination of her passion to give back to her community and a deep commitment to make her Mama proud. Arianna graduated magna cum laude as a first generation student from Metropolitan State University with a degree in Chicano Studies. During her undergraduate experience, she joined the 2018 Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization (CLLARO) fellowship, where she researched policies affecting the health and education of Latinx lives in Colorado. Her experience as a fellow led her to work as an aide for the Colorado legislature, helping push through bills to create a more equitable criminal justice system. Now, as one of New Era’s Advocacy Organizers, Arianna manages the The Brazen Project at Fort Collins to help destigmatize abortion on college campuses. In her short time with New Era, she’s worked with her students to create and facilitate a workshop at the Feminist Thought and Activism Conference, as well as helped execute the first ever Youth Activist for Abortion Access Summit (YAAAS!). Outside of work, she spends her time brainstorming new playlist names and giving her cat the silent treatment.

Britta Schwochau

Economic Justice Organizing Fellow
brittaschwochau@neweracolorado.org

Britta is from Minnesota and recently moved to Colorado after graduating from university in Washington. There she studied Politics and fell in love with the outdoors and traveling anywhere. Britta started with New Era in the fall of 2019 and is excited to continue working to engage voters through her new role as an Economic Justice Organizing Fellow. When not at work, Britta enjoys exploring Colorado, watching too many crime shows, and trying to convince people that it’s actually called Duck Duck Grey Duck.

Dryden Mills

Economic Justice Organizing Fellow
drydenmills@neweracolorado.org

Dryden was born and raised in North Florida and currently calls Tallahassee her home. After high school she wanted to explore somewhere new, so she went to the University of Colorado Boulder. Dryden is studying Political Science and Anthropology and is expected to graduate in the Spring of 2020. After that she is planning on settling back in Florida with hopes to attend law school. Dryden has been involved with New Era since her first semester of college. She worked as an intern in Fall 2016 and Spring 2017, and went on to be a Climate Organizing Fellow in the Fall of 2017, working on Boulder’s municipalization efforts. Since then she has volunteered now and then to continue to help New Era engage and inspire young voters about the issues they care about most. When not at work or school, Dryden enjoys spending time outside, reading a good novel, or watching silly TV shows with friends.

Eli Grimm

Operations Coordinator
eligrimm@neweracolorado.org

After growing up on the tundras of Buffalo, New York, the perpetual Vitamin D deficiency drove Eli to embrace the Colorado sunshine. While new to the Operations department, Eli and New Era go way back.

As an intern, Eli’s 2018 GOTV work contributed to Colorado’s record-breaking midterm turnout, and their progressive lobbying efforts at the State Capitol won them the ACLU’s 2019 Civil Rights in Action Award. As a field organizer with the Colorado Democracy Challenge, Eli and their team registered over 9,000 new voters in 2019 alone, and hopefully inspired a generation of empowered, active voters along the way. Now, as they step into the Operations Coordinator role, Eli intends to optimize every aspect of New Era they can get their hands on to enable the most smooth, impactful election cycle yet. Efficiency, thy name is Eli.

When they’re not cheesing about the youth revolution, you can find Eli at the rink working on their triple axel, singing the blues with a smile, or using big, pretentious words to describe $8 bottles of wine.

Ellie Bach

Youth Vote Organizing Fellow
elliebach@neweracolorado.org

Ellie is from San Diego, CA and after moving around a bit, has landed in Boulder for the last eight-ish years. She is almost done (just a few more weeks!) with her undergraduate degrees in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, and certificate in Global Environmental Affairs, at the University of Colorado – Boulder. She has been involved in activist work since high school, primarily focusing on climate issues, but became especially involved in activism and change-making in college. She joined Vegan Justice League and started working for CU’s Environmental Center (where she still has a position on the Energy & Climate team) on the very first day of school, became certified in Eco-Social Justice Leadership last spring, volunteers often through the Honors program, and has since interned with Growing Gardens (as an environmental educator) and the Zero Emissions Network of the American Solar Energy Society (where she is currently a Food/Agriculture researcher). Ellie feels more strongly about the importance of working at the intersection of social justice and environmental well-being as she learns more each day, and she is so excited to join New Era’s Abortion Education team. She used to get in quite a bit of trouble for being so outspoken about abortion within her (very big) family (oops!), so she’s really grateful to now have the tools and platform to make pro-abortion progress.

Her goals after college include continuing her work in advocacy, becoming increasingly involved in and educated about policy, getting better at cooking and hopefully someday moving to NYC with Tobin, her bunny.

Emma Marion

Organizing Director
emma@neweracolorado.org

Emma grew up in Boulder, CO playing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains and hugging the occasional tree. She majored in International Studies and Spanish at CSU, where her itching travel bug led her to Spain for a year. She’s got a passion for grassroots organizing and fell in love with New Era as a Northern Organizer in 2014. Since then, she’s become even more of an expert by wearing as many hats as possible—high school organizer, Boulder Lead Organizer, Boulder Program Manager, Deputy Organizing Director, and, finally her current position as Organizing Director. She opened our first ever office on the Western Slope and led us to register over 40,000 voters in the 2018 election cycle. Somehow, she still finds the time to serve her community in other leadership roles, including on the City of Boulder’s Communications and Engagement Working Group for Municipalization and on the Sierra Club’s Political Committee. It’s unclear when/if she ever sleeps.

Gabrielle Healy

Youth Vote Organizer
gabriellehealy@neweracolorado.org

Gabrielle grew up in rural Illinois before moving to Denver to attend the University of Denver. Since graduation, she has alternated between hiding in museums and yelling on the streets for progressive causes. Most recently, Gabrielle helped to move 1.2 million fossils for the Smithsonian Natural History Museum, but has been involved with New Era since 2018.

Gabrielle’s other political junkie work includes managing successful petition drives to raise the minimum wage in Missouri, and lowering interest rates on payday loans in Colorado. Gabrielle has also worked to register voters in many communities, including Spanish speaking, people experiencing homelessness, and those involved in the criminal justice system. She is driven to work for equity and improvements in Colorado. Besides arguing with relatives about politics, she enjoys making art, playing with her cats, creating a more eco-conscious lifestyle and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Glenn Jacoby

Youth Vote Organizer
glennjacoby@neweracolorado.org

Glenn grew up in rural Georgia with a big extended family who all live within a few miles of one another. Raised an Auburn fan, she became a traitor to her father and studied history at the University of Georgia. There she became involved in the Phi Kappa Literary Society, a student group that meets weekly to debate philosophical and policy issues. She credits Phi Kappa with teaching her how policy dramatically shapes people’s lives.

Curious about what life is like outside of the South, she moved to Denver and fell in love with the dry heat, only to learn that it snows eight months out of the year. After working a variety of jobs since her move, Glenn has become passionate about grassroots organizing and is excited to learn more about it at New Era. When Glenn is not at work, she’s probably reading nonfiction, trying to learn to cook vegan food, or arguing to her friends and family that The Bachelor franchise is essential viewing.

Hannah Robinson-Armour, MBA

Operations Director
hannah@neweracolorado.org

Hannah considers herself a Coloradan having moved to Boulder when she was six. She received her undergraduate degree from CU Boulder in history and chemistry (in 3 years because she’s just that organized) then went out to explore the world. After living in China for a year, she was drawn back to Colorado and discovered a love of operations and completed her MBA at CU Denver. At the office, she manages New Era’s finances so we can optimize transforming our resources into real on the ground work, answers all the compliance questions the staff can throw at her so we’re always on point, and makes sure we support and value the truly amazing people who work at this organization. She loves working at New Era so she can combine her love of progressive politics, spreadsheets, and overall operations. When not working, she’s reading, cooking, and eating.

Káren Orona

2020 Youth Organizing Fellow
karenorona@neweracolorado.org

Karen is currently a student at the University of Colorado at Boulder where she studies International Affairs. Her family is originally from Durango and Chihuahua, Mexico, two regions devastated by crime and poverty. This led her family to find a safer life with more opportunity in the United States. After watching her family struggle in America’s immigration system, Karen began to organize for immigrant and civil rights.

During her sophomore year of college, Karen organized at the capitol with the Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition where she worked as a Policy Fellow. Now as a college junior, she is excited to work as a 2020 Youth Organizing Fellow where she hopes to help New Era continue to engage young people in the state. When Karen isn’t at work or school, she’s probably rewatching The Office, annoying her siblings, or searching the Realtor app and dreaming of the day she moves out of her mom’s basement (sorry mom).

Kate McElwain

2020 Youth Vote Organizing Fellow
katemcelwain@neweracolorado.org

Kate is originally from Denver, but grew up mostly in Durango, Colorado. While she loved the experience of growing up in a small town, she is a city person at heart and is glad to have called Denver home once again for the last 4 years. She received a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from CU Boulder and was involved with several advocacy organizations and student groups during her time there. She has spent the last 8 years working with survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in various capacities. Through this work and other experiences, she has seen firsthand the ways in which public policy can affect people in their day to day lives. Now, she is in graduate school at MSU Denver working towards a Master’s in Social Work with a focus on social policy. Her passion lies in social justice causes and, specifically, bridging the gap between the public and the policies that are enacted on their behalf. She is a true believer in bringing the power to the people through grassroots community organizing. To that end, she is thrilled to be working with the incredible organizing team at New Era Colorado. Outside of studying and working Kate spends her time dancing to live music, hiking, biking, practicing yoga, hugging her friends, writing, and reading 7 books at a time.

Kate Travis

Data Manager
kate@neweracolorado.org

Kate moved back to her home state of Colorado to work on the 2018 midterm election as an organizer with New Era. Before that, she taught math in New York City for three years (shout out to 5th graders!) where she learned how to fearlessly jaywalk. There, Kate learned the importance of truly intersectional and badass organizing and activism and works to center that in all of her work at New Era (and her life!). From 2011-2015 she attended the University of Virginia where she studied Environmental Science and Economics, learned critical analyses of society, history, and identity, and ran Let’s Get Brunch Together in Q-mmunity as well as dialogues around identity and privilege. As Data Manager, she runs New Era’s sprawling google sheets republic, supports our field and advocacy programs, and drives metrics and strategy for all of our data. She’s working to constantly grow her data practice, especially as it intersects with racial and economic justice. When she’s not running the numbers, she’s probably out dancing, explaining an extended and overly specific joke, or hypothesizing inner monologues for dogs at breweries.

Lauren Smith

Abortion Education Program Manager
lauren@neweracolorado.org

Looking at Lauren, you would never have guessed that she started out as a physics major at the University of Colorado Boulder. In just a few short years, she transformed from a science nerd to advocacy organizing queen, all thanks to the New Era internship that she took on a whim in 2017. During the 2018 election, she registered hundreds of voters on the CU campus and proved her organizing and strategic prowess, which is why she was asked to stay on permanently, and was given the title of “Advocacy Organizer, Sorcerer against Shame and Stigma, Fearless Fashionista, Warden of Aurarians, and Bringer of Smiles”. Since then, Lauren has testified at the capitol multiple times, hired a cohort of students to to lead the charge on de-stigmatizing abortion in Denver, and helped put on the Youth Activists for Abortion Access Summit (YAAAS!). When Lauren isn’t working on a robust campaign to eliminate the insidious presence of fake clinics on the Auraria campus she’s likely getting her nails done, playing ukulele, or begrudgingly watching reality TV so she can participate in her coworkers’ conversations.

Mable Sanders

Abortion Education Fellow
mablesanders@neweracolorado.org

Mable is a student at the University of Colorado-Boulder completing her undergraduate environmental studies major. She went from a background as a performer to stepping into the role of an activist in college where she has worked with INVST community studies, CU’s Environmental Center, and The Brazen Project along with coalition work with many other groups on campus. She is currently working on a website to showcase the art, prose, poetry, and other creations by womxn and femmes of color on campus, along with providing resources to promote wellness and health for this group.

Her goal is to work with policymakers and community leaders to create long-lasting change to address the urgent climate crisis. However, she also hopes to have a life filled with friends, laughter, travel, and making art.

Max Mapes

Advocacy Lead Organizer
maxmapes@neweracolorado.org

Max is from the District of Columbia, birthplace of National Treasure Ginuwine. Growing up in the political capital of the US, they began their career in politics at the ripe age of seventeen. During their senior year of high school, Max interned for Marylanders for Marriage Equality, a coalition campaign for Maryland’s same-sex marriage ballot initiative. After winning the campaign, they realized that it would be a crime against humanity to deprive the American people of their organizing skills. Max attended Elon University in NC before transferring to Skidmore College in upstate NY, where they majored in Political Science and minored in Gender Studies.

After graduating, Max returned to DC, but quickly grew tired of living in a literal swamp. In 2018, they packed up their car and moved to the wonderfully arid Denver. A year and a half into canvassing for civil, human, and environmental rights, Max discovered their passion for working indoors. They are now the Advocacy Lead Organizer at New Era, where they support a cohort of College Fellows working to destigmatize abortion in campus culture and educate students on Anti-Abortion Counseling Centers.

In their free time, Max volunteers with community organizations to expand legal protections for trans, black, and undocumented folx. Outside of activism, Max enjoys listening to jazz rap, petting cats, and eating baked goods.

Megan Saks

Youth Vote Organizer
megansaks@neweracolorado.org

Meg grew up on the Big Island of Hawai’i, spending most of her free time at the beach or in the lush rainforests. She then made the move to Massachusetts to attend Hampshire College, a very dramatic shift in climate, but she survived. Meg came to Colorado and finished her degree in Women and Gender Studies at CU Boulder where she spent one year working as a fellow with the Brazen Project, advocating for a Colorado where people can access a safe, timely, and affordable abortion with dignity and respect. Through her studies in WGST and introduction to advocacy with the Brazen Project, Meg has found a passion for justice-oriented work and organizing. When she’s not engaging voters and volunteers, you can find Meg watching trash reality TV (Love Island anyone?), or eating french fries with friends, but most likely sitting in a park or driving through the mountains to “hike” (sit and sketch in nature).

Meghan Enright

Youth Vote Organizing Fellow
meghanenright@neweracolorado.org

Meghan is from Denver, Colorado and attributes her love of nature and snow to that. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with Theatre and Dance, Government, and African Diaspora degrees. Ever since moving back to Denver, Meghan has been excited to work towards systemic change and knew New Era Colorado would be the perfect place to do that. Meghan’s favorite hobbies include reading, cooking, and hanging out with her two cats, Dee and Dennis.

Michael Carter

Communications Manager
michael@neweracolorado.org

Michael is a proud Virginian (at-large) who grew up wandering the Blue Ridge Mountains. He studied English and Environmental Policy at UVA before Colorado pulled him away to begin advocating for stronger national environmental protections. This work plugged him into the wonderful world of progressive politics, leading him down a rabbit hole that landed him at New Era. He’s leading a strategic effort at New Era to uplift young people’s voices and to make sure our work gets recognition, allowing us to continue to reach more people, grow to new heights, and better carry out our mission.

Morgan Royal

Campaigns Director
morgan@neweracolorado.org

Morgan was born and raised in Colorado, comes from a big family, and believes that organizing will lead to liberation. She went to Colorado State University and studied Political Science and Women’s Studies and went on to write a Black Feminist Manifesto with her peers to call out the lack of institutionally supported spaces on college campuses for Women of Color and Black Women. Her first interaction with New Era was back in 2014 as a volunteer and she instantly fell in love with the bold approach to politics and the classic Vote F*cker buttons. She was Emma Marion’s first ever volunteer and the rest is history. At New Era, she’s in charge of tying together advocacy and civic engagement, turning our plans for social change into reality, and setting up our lead organizers for success. Since 2017, she has trained dozens of young leaders, coordinated and overseen massive voter registration efforts and has brought our economic justice work to new heights by launching powerful new initiatives. When Morgan’s not at work she enjoys watching reality tv, eating anything with cheese on it, and playing with her cat.

Natalie Drevets

Development Director
natalie@neweracolorado.org

Natalie grew up in Wichita and Taipei, and spent the six years before moving to Denver in Chicagoland. After earning a degree in sociology and urban studies from Wheaton College, she stuck around to manage their development and student philanthropy programs. As Development Director, Natalie has taken New Era’s fundraising to new heights, building lasting connections throughout Colorado and advocating for the power of youth-driven democracy. She’s passionate about helping her community and volunteers with both Homeless Out Loud and the Interfaith Alliance. When she’s not asking people to give money to New Era, you can find Natalie meeting future friends (no one is a stranger), exploring new cities, or texting her friends about their local elections.

Nicole Hensel

Executive Director
nicole@neweracolorado.org

For as long as she can remember, Nicole has been driven to create a more just and fair world. Before New Era, she spent over eight years working in the field of youth empowerment and education policy. Nicole first moved to Colorado in 2012 as a bilingual kindergarten teacher in Montbello, right when the “Frozen” craze swept kindergarten classrooms across the nation (yes – she knows all the words to “Let it Go”). After teaching, Nicole received her Master’s in Public Policy and Master’s in Education Leadership at Stanford where she geeked out over social psychology, social contract theory, and systems-change. At Stanford, she co-founded an organization called REENVISIONED, a national movement to redefine the purpose of school, where she learned how to unite and mobilize students, teachers, parents, and community members around a shared vision for change.

After moving back to Denver, Nicole continued to work in education – both at Denver Public Schools and a national nonprofit, The Future Project. However, she found that many of the problems she was seeking to solve in education were symptoms of larger societal issues that could only be solved by democracy. Nicole decided to bring her expertise in youth empowerment and deep commitment to social justice to New Era in 2019 as our Executive Director.

Nicole strongly identifies as a Gryffindor, has a dog named Tonks, and owns a staple Hermione costume for whenever the moment is right. She is happiest when she is making Lebanese food (ask for her family hummus recipe) and adventuring outdoors.

Olivia Ainsworth

2020 Youth Vote Organizer
oliviaainsworth@neweracolorado.org

Olivia grew up in Paris and Dallas but moved to the really-beautiful-in-the-summer-when-she’s-not-in-school state of Maine to study Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Colby College. While in college she worked as a Sexual Violence Prevention Peer Educator, advocated for healthcare as a human right, and was a below-average player on Colby’s Ultimate Frisbee team. After graduation, she moved to Denver in 2017 to get her Master’s in Public Health where she focused on Maternal and Child Health and Global Health. Olivia worked at Girls Inc. as a STEM Educator and at the Centers for American Indian and Alaska Native Health as a researcher during grad school where she discovered her passion for youth engagement and education. She’s excited to continue working with and for youth as a 2020 Youth Voter Organizer. When Olivia’s not working, she’s probably planning her next trip, trying to get her friends to go out dancing, being a below-average player on her Denver Ultimate Frisbee team, or tearing up over ugly dog pictures.

Raegan Cotton

Development Manager
raegan@neweracolorado.org

Raegan was born and raised in Redondo Beach, CA, but after high school she felt a calling to buy her first winter jacket and move to Colorado to attend The University of Denver. Even after 6 years in Denver, her family in LA still calls to check in every time it snows to be sure she is “okay” (spoiler- she usually isn’t). While trying to keep herself warm, she found a passion for policy and decided to pursue majors in both Criminology and Political Science, with a minor in Psychology. She first crossed paths with New Era Colorado as an intern during the summer of 2017 and fell in love with their approach to creating systemic change. While wrapping up her senior year at DU, she worked as a Legislative Aide in the CO State Capitol and learned firsthand about how a bill becomes a law. Surprise, surprise…it’s a lot more complicated than the Schoolhouse Rock song leads you to believe. After graduating, she spent time working with a New Era partner org before winding up back in the New Era office to step in as the Development Manager. When not at work you can probably find her walking her dog, watching The Office for the 75+ time or cooking dinner for her friends and neighbors.

Victoria Dadet

Senior Advocacy Manager
victoria@neweracolorado.org

Victoria is “from” a lot of places, but considers the Chicago suburbs her home and never hesitates to profess her love for Lou Malnati’s. After completing an internship with New Era during the summer of 2016, she stayed on as an Organizing Fellow during the election. After a year badass achievements like being elected Co-President of BSA, working as an editor for the CU Honors Journal, graduating from CU Boulder with degrees in Psychology and Ethnic Studies, and graduating as the valedictorian for the Ethnic Studies department, she came back to New Era in 2018. As the Advocacy Manager, she runs The Brazen Project where she leads our reproductive rights work to make sure everyone in Colorado who needs an abortion can get one with dignity and respect, and without shame and stigma. In her first year in this role she expanded Brazen to a third campus, graduated nine cohort members, and put on the very first Youth Activist for Abortion Access Summit (aka YAAAS!). If she’s not reading articles on reproductive justice and ranting about fake clinics, she’s probably braiding her hair, watching Beyonce’s Homecoming for the millionth time, doing Black Girl Magic yoga, or trying to get through her massive TV watchlist.

Zoe Marmer

Communications Fellow
zoemarmer@neweracolorado.org

Zoe’s life path has been more of a zigzag than a straight line. The thread that binds everything together is her advocacy work, specifically in the realm of racial and social justice. Born and bred in San Francisco, Zoe moved 3,000 miles across the country to attend Tufts University, where she did a deep dive into American Studies with a focus in Comparative Race & Ethnicity. She eventually inched her way back westward, landing in Denver to study film. Suffice it to say, her concept of home is a little out of whack. She’s a firm believer in using the art of storytelling to drive fundamental and cultural norm change. Over the last decade, Zoe has applied this to her work teaching in Boston Public Schools, directing plays and short films, founding a film production company to uplift and empower diverse voices, and in electoral politics, where she’s used her skills in strategic messaging and community building to help elect bold leaders, like Lorena Garcia and Elizabeth Warren, who fearlessly fight for intersectional justice.

Board

Amanda Gonzalez

Executive Director, Colorado Common Cause

Daniel Ramos, Vice Chair

Executive Director, One Colorado

Feven Netsanet, Treasurer

Joanne Schwartz

Principal, Civitas Public Affairs

Karla Gonzales-Garcia

Policy Director, COLOR

Leah Pryor-Lease

Program Director of the Proteus Fund

PJ Hoberman

Chief Technology Officer, TripHero

Rob DuRay, Chair

Vice President of Javelina's Colorado office