Officers

Rachel-Lavine_1460 (1)Rachel Lavine, Chair, 66th AD

Rachel is a NYS Democratic Committeewoman for downtown Manhattan and co-founder and Chair of the NYS Democratic Committee’s Progressive Caucus. She has previously served as Co-Chair of the Board of NY’s Gay & Lesbian Community Center, on the Board of the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and as past President of one of NY’s leading progressive Democratic clubs, Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats. Rachel is an attorney and used to work as Director of Legislative Affairs and Policy at Safe Horizon, New York City’s largest victim services agency.  She has also worked in both city and state government, at the NYC Department of Health and for NYS Assemblymember Deborah Glick.

Officers_SumnerElisa Sumner, Vice Chair, 105th AD

Elisa is Chair of the Duchess County Democratic Committee and Vice Chair of the NYS Democratic Committee's Progressive Caucus.

  JoAnne-Simon-18-cropped-narrow-sm-web

Jo Anne Simon, Secretary, 52nd AD

Jo Anne grew up in working class Yonkers, NY, the oldest girl in a family of five. She learned early the value of family, commitment and respect for others. These are the values she brings to her profession and her community advocacy. Jo Anne moved to Brooklyn in 1981. Jo Anne has served as female Democratic District Leader and State Committeewoman for the 52nd Assembly District since 2004. Jo Anne stands up for her constituents and puts principle over politics. As a result, she was often challenged by the Brooklyn machine’s hand-picked candidate. She was a forceful leader in ending thenCounty Chair Vito Lopez’ corrupt politics in the Brooklyn Democratic Party. In 2012, she was in the forefront of the effort to force Lopez from office and adopt a series of long-overdue reforms to open up the Kings County Democratic Committee. She is a co-founder and Secretary of the New York State Democratic Committee’s Progressive Caucus. Jo Anne has worked throughout Brooklyn’s communities to change the way decisions that are made so as to increase environmental justice and bring fiscal responsibility to the public agenda, increase affordable housing, street safety and access to education. The first in her family to attend college, Jo Anne graduated Iona College with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication Sciences, Gallaudet University with a Master's Degree in Education of the Deaf, and Fordham University School of Law, where she earned her law degree at night while working full-time. After stints as a judicial law secretary and teaching in Hofstra University School of Law's clinical program, she now maintains a specialized disability civil rights law firm in Downtown Brooklyn and is an adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Fordham. Her barrier-breaking legal work was recently featured in the New York and National Law Journals. Jo Anne also serves as Board Chair of Everyone Reading, an organization that provides direct services to students with learning disabilities, training workshops for educators, as well as successfully advocating for structural changes to provide such students with an equal and accessible education.  

Officers_Dan CohenDaniel Cohen, Treasurer, 69th A.D.

Daniel Marks Cohen joined the nonprofit Housing Partnership Development Corporation (HPDC) in April 2014 as Vice President, Director of Real Estate Development. He oversees a pipeline of existing and prospective real estate business including negotiating with private developers, directing development activities, and leading affordable housing consulting efforts. Prior to joining HPDC Mr. Cohen founded Burlingham Capital Partners, an investment firm dedicated to principal investments in affordable and market rate housing as well as real estate consulting.  Previously Dan worked as a Mortgage Officer at the Community Preservation Corporation (CPC), which offers construction and permanent financing for both the preservation of existing affordable housing. Prior to CPC Dan worked at ING Clarion Partners in real estate private equity investing in real estate throughout North America after working for the New York City Economic Development Corporation advising on the allocation of $1 billion in Liberty Bond financing for the redevelopment of New York as part of the 9/11 recovery.  Dan began his real estate career at The Hudson Companies, a local housing developer. Dan received his Master of Business Administration in Finance and Management from the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business; and he is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. Dan participated in Leadership New York in 2004-2005 and he is a past Chairman of the Coro Alumni Association Board as well as a former board member of the Coro New York Board.  Born and raised on the Upper West Side where he lives with his wife and son today, Dan is a three-time New York Marathon finisher. Dan has been active in reform Democratic politics for more than 2 decades and was elected New York State Democratic Committeeman in 2010 and re-elected in 2012.