Leadership & Staff
Melissa Grant - President
Melissa has co-run three Democratic headquarters in Los Angeles since 2012. As Chair and Co-manager of the Westside Democratic HQ, she was instrumental in flipping 7 California Congressional districts in 2018. In 2019, she co-founded the Grassroots Democrats HQ and began serving as its President. Melissa has served 5 terms as a Delegate to the California Democratic Party. She served as President of the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club for 7 years and is currently its Vice President for Issues and Endorsements. To earn her living, Melissa is a partner of Capstone Law APC and a class action plaintiff’s attorney, fighting for the rights of workers and consumers.
Tamara Melzer Levenson - Executive Director
After the 2016 Presidential election, Tamara served for 3 years as Code Blue’s National Phone Bank Coordinator, where she created a remote phone bank system that trained and empowered thousands of volunteers. After working on over 50 elections nationally, she was instrumental in flipping 7 Congressional seats in California when she served as the 2018 Co-Manager and Field Director for the Westside Democratic Headquarters. In 2019 Tamara co-founded the Grassroots Democrats HQ and began serving as our Executive Director. Tamara is an elected Delegate to the California Democratic Party (CDP), Co-Chair of the CDP Organizing Committee and E-Board Member. Her formal training before her political career is in social work and nonprofit management.
Brian Colker - Chief Financial Officer
Brian Colker is the California Director for Code Blue and was responsible for organizing and overseeing an 11-district field program in the 2018 midterms. He has organized fundraisers for over a dozen Democratic House Candidates and Senators. He was one of the founders of the Westside Democratic HQ.
Davis Han - Senior Strategist
Davis is a co-founder of Grassroots Democrats HQ and served as our Field Director for the 2019-2020 election cycle. He has worked on over 40 local, state, and federal campaigns nationwide. In 2022, he managed campaigns for LA County Supervisor and California State Senate, and also worked as a consultant for various successful city council campaigns, advising on field, communications, direct mail, and fundraising. Davis is also a California State Senate staffer, California Democratic Party delegate, and Vice President of Westside Young Dems. He has a B.A. in political science and public policy from the University of Southern California.
Mana Shooshtari - Executive Strategist
Mana joined the HQ as a fellow in 2020 and worked her way up the ladder, eventually becoming the Field and Communications Director for the 2021-22 Election Cycle, where the HQ contacted over 11 million voters across the country. She started organizing as a high school student in Stockton, CA on issues surrounding gun violence prevention and intersectional feminism. She now serves as a Congressional staffer, an elected California Democratic Party Delegate, Vice President for the Young Democrats of San Joaquin, and Central Valley Regional Chair of the Iranian American Democrats of California. She graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from San José State University in 2022.
Eve Levenson - National Youth Advisor
Originally from Los Angeles CA, Eve got her start in politics through her Jewish community working on issues of equity within her school, homelessness in the city, and the global issue of genocide and mass-atrocities prevention. She has spent the last two years leading MFOL’s policy and advocacy work as their Federal Affairs and then Policy & Government Affairs Manager. Currently she is a dual degree student at George Washington University pursuing a B.A. in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration (M.P.A.).
Ingrid Van Eckert - Vice President
Ingrid is a long time Democratic activist and volunteer with experience working on dozens of campaigns. She currently serves as the Vice President of the West LA Democratic Club.
Barry Rosenbaum - Senior Editor/Affiliate Outreach
Barry has been involved in Democratic politics since his youth in Texas – a long, long time ago. After retiring from the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office in 2016, he began volunteering with the Westside Democratic HQ. He was a frequent phone bank trainer during the 2018 midterms and has been involved with the Grassroots Democrats HQ since its inception, serving as the Volunteer Coordinator and a texting leader for the 2020 election cycle.
Andy Linden - Recruitment Coordinator
After canvassing in the Midwest for the 2016 election, Andy was a volunteer trainer during the 2018 midterms at the Westside Democratic HQ. In 2020, Andy joined the Grassroots Democrats HQ as the Recruitment Coordinator, shepherding the HQ’s ability to recruit and retain volunteers. Andy is also an expert phone banking and text banking trainer. He is currently faculty at the California State University, Northridge, where he teaches the history/philosophy of physical culture and researches the intersections of sport and politics.
Robert Jimenez - Operations Manager
Robert started getting involved in politics during high school in Riverside, CA. Robert started off his grassroots efforts by working to implement voter registration education into his high school district. He then planned and executed rallies in support of immigrant rights, gun violence prevention and climate change reform. Since moving to LA, in order to pursue a B.A. in Political Science and International Development Studies at UCLA, Robert has worked on local campaigns as well as congressional campaigns so that underrepresented communities are advocated for and represented adequately in U.S. elections.
Zennon Ulyate-Crow - Field Organizer
Zennon began as a housing activist in Los Angeles where he ran for ADEMS in AD 50 as the youngest ever candidate to seek that role. After, he came on board with GDHQ as a Fellow in March of 2021, ultimately progressing to becoming a full-time field organizer coordinating our canvassing and postcard writing efforts against the 2021 Recall of Gavin Newsom. After leaving for his first year at UC Santa Cruz where he became a Transportation and Public Works Commissioner for the City of Santa Cruz, Zennon returned as a Field Organizer for the 2022 Midterm elections to manage the paid youth training and canvassing programs.
Pratyush Mallick - Technology Coordinator
Since high school, Pratyush has worked both volunteer and staff roles on several political and issue advocacy campaigns, primarily in his home state of Texas. In 2020, he was elected as one of the youngest National Delegates at the Democratic National Convention, where he helped lead conversations on COVID relief, Universal Basic Income, and Healthcare. Currently, he is a sophomore at Harvard College pursuing a joint concentration in Government and Computer Science.
Ale D'agostino - Youth Vote Associate
Ale served as the Grassroots Democrats Latino Field Organizer for the 2022 midterm elections. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the George Washington University double-majoring in Political Science & Criminal Justice, with a minor in Law and Society and a certificate in French Language, Literature, and Culture. In 2008, Ale immigrated from Venezuela to the United States. As a first-generation student and because of what she witnessed first-hand in Venezuela, she grew passionate about the preservation of human rights and the prevention of constitutional violations. Ale currently serves as a Staff Assistant for Congressman Raul Ruiz (CA-25).
Pamela "Kelly" McAfee
What happens when you cross an IT professional, call center technical assistant, and a radio DJ? Mix it with the passion of a activist, the voice of an advocate, and the heart of a Democrat. Pamela knows that promise of the United States is something we all must work for. From judge at the polls of North Texas, to staging location director in North Carolina, she was hooked. It wasn’t until the pandemic in 2020 that allowed Pam to really use her skills. Pam’s mobility issues were a hindrance to participating fully, but she was always at home online. A natural in zoom, her tech support skills and training background allowed her to help activists transition from in person to virtual organizing. She is very happy to have found a home within the Grassroots Dems HQ community.
Jane Faull - Field Organizer
Born in Stockton, CA, Jane began her work in activism and politics in her youth by working with local organizations on LGBTQ+ rights, environmental action, and youth literacy. Jane first began with the Grassroots Democrats HQ in 2020 as a volunteer phone banker for the Presidential election. Enthused and inspired by the work of the HQ she joined the Fellowship program in 2021, and was promoted to the position of Field Organizer in early 2023. Recent President of the Politics and Law Club, she recently graduated from San Joaquin Delta College with her A.A. in Political Science. She is now attending Arizona State University to obtain her B.A. in Political Science.