Meet Our volunteers

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Wes Jensen, co-founder, Book Club host

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Kristi Kelly, co-founder, Day of Action host

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Benedict Roemer, co-founder, Building Bridges to the Local host

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Jenny Okamoto, co-founder, Real Talk host

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Caz Margenau, co-founder, Real Talk host

Caz Margenau is a research manager by day working in climate, atmosphere, and space research. No project is too big. Her passion for real science-based climate policy action, democratic reform, and equity was renewed in 2019 by Pete Buttigieg's candidacy. A group of strangers turned friends as she helped form Colorado for Pete in 2019 and became state lead for Pete for America in Colorado. What a ride! The life-changing PFA bootcamp experience provided Caz with the skills to politically organize in local hubs, digitally, and statewide. She then turned to help head up digital organizing for the Biden/Harris campaign in Colorado. Caz also helped form Building Bridges for America in 2020 and the grassroots development program Real Talk. Continuing campaign work, Caz worked in marketing for Jeni Arndt's hugely successful mayoral campaign in Fort Collins, CO. Caz is driven to give agency to people to take control, to have the know-how, and take real action to meet a need, strengthen our democracy, and make a change. Caz is an only parent to two kids, now young adults, and is a proud ace/aro member of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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Jodi Carter, founder
The Heartland Movement hub

Jodi Carter is an ophthalmologist who was drawn into volunteer organizing through the Pete For America campaign. She took the lead on grassroots social media for the state of Kansas, and went on to become the initial lead volunteer organizer for PFA in the Kansas City Metro area, hosting debate watch parties, trainings, and “Pete-ups” on both sides of the state line. She also was a leading grassroots fundraiser for the campaign. During the pandemic, she immediately transitioned to helping the Biden/Harris campaign and down-ballot candidates. She formed The Heartland Movement to find and share virtual political events and volunteer opportunities while providing connection to the former PFA supporters in the Kansas and western Missouri region. She realized that the origins and goals of The Heartland Movement were aligned very closely with Building Bridges for America, and in 2021 The Heartland Movement became a regional hub of Building Bridges.The Heartland Movement seeks to encourage political involvement with progressive campaigns and causes in the state of Kansas and the western half of Missouri. In addition to spreading Building Bridges trainings and events, they host a weekly zoom called The Heartland Hangout, focusing on local info, opportunities for activism, and community. Jodi continues to produce The Heartland Movement newsletter which corrals all the recent Buttigieg news, plus links for events and happenings both local and from around the entire “Pete” world. She also continues to involve herself in “financial organizing” whenever she can!

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Jenny Okamoto's work background includes leadership development and non-profit management in education and the arts. Her education includes Sociology, Communications, Conflict Resolution and Change Management. During the 2020 presidential primaries Jenny formed Indiana for Pete a grassroots organization to support the candiacy of Pete Buttigieg. Jenny worked with her volunteers on training, development, recruitment, voter contact in early primary states and assisting in the Iowa Field Office. After Joe Biden became the presumptive democratic nominee Jenny formed Indiana for Joe Biden, volunteer grassroots organization and worked both in Indiana and in key states to get the BidenHarris ticket elected. After the general election, Jenny was a volunteer lead in the Ossoff campaign for the Georgia runoffs and worked in a virtual field office to train volunteers on voter contact. In 2020 Jenny co-founded Building Bridges for America with fellow Pete for American grassroots alumni to continue the grassroots movement of the Pete Buttigieg campaign and support progressive candidates and issues. Jenny’s focus has been on training grassroot leaders to empower them to grow their organizations. For more information www.buildingbridgesforamerica.com. Jenny’s primary goal is to help people find their passion, talents, and strengths and help them to effect progressive change.