Democrats Elect Steve Baker Chair, Mike Hemminger Deputy Chair, and A Diverse Slate of Party Leaders and Precinct Captains
ARLINGTON, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022—Over 200 Arlington Democrats turned out to elect 11 party officers and nearly 100 precinct captains in the County Committee’s biennial reorganization meeting Wednesday night.
Elected to two-year party leadership roles were Steve Baker (Chair), Mike Hemminger (Deputy Chair), Sarah Landford (Precinct Operations Chair), Paul Ruiz (Communications Chair), Kristin Hoffman (Secretary), Sangeeta Rao (Outreach and Visibility Chair), Jimmy Rogers (Sergeant-at-Arms), and Corey Barton (Parliamentarian). Arlington Democrats reelected Elizabeth Morgan (Finance Chair), Inta Malis (Treasurer), and Nancy Pilchen (Volunteer Coordinator).
"Arlington Democrats elected a diverse group of leaders tonight with the experience, energy and commitment to keep Arlington a great place to live, work and call our home,” Incoming Chair Steve Baker said. “We are proud of our local elected officials who have made Arlington the great place that it is today.”
Baker added, “That work isn’t over. We know our affordable housing supply is constantly under pressure. Our schools and open spaces are a priority for many Arlingtonians. Addressing the climate crisis is urgent and non-negotiable. And we have to build trust between our community and public safety officials to address the legacy of social and racial injustices in our country. We are proud of our community and I am excited to address these challenges as we elect Democrats up and down the ballot in 2022."
Baker joined the committee in 2007. He was a Precinct Captain for nine years, County Board campaign manager twice, Joint Campaign Co-Chair, 8th District Committee member, Deputy Chair of Outreach for the State Party and founded our Beyond Arlington initiative.
Every two years, the Democratic Party of Virginia requires local party committees, like the Arlington Democrats, to reorganize and elect new leadership. This year’s meeting was held at Arlington’s Lubber Run Community Center. Meeting proceedings took place outdoors due to public health safety concerns, with simulcast on screens inside the venue and with remote viewing available via YouTube Live. Attendees followed strict vaccination, masking, and social distancing protocols. Limited curbside voting was also made available to COVID-positive, contract-traced, immunocompromised, or mobility impaired individuals.
“Our thanks go out to the Lubber Run Community Center staff for their help with this meeting. Planning a reorganization in normal times is a big task, but doing it with COVID and a snowstorm requires a lot of forethought and close coordination. They consistently met our space and technology needs with great customer service and professionalism,” Executive Director Howard Solodky said.
All Democrats were welcome to participate in the meeting, however only those who registered by December 27 were eligible to vote.
Consistent with the Arlington Democrats bylaws, Outgoing Chair Jill Caiazzo will continue to serve on the Steering Committee in an ex-officio leadership position as Immediate Past Chair. Three positions not filled will be appointed by the Chair with approval from the Steering Committee, including the Chairs of Voter Support, Press & Public Relations, and Inclusion & Equity.
The next monthly meeting of the Arlington Democrats will be Wednesday, February 2, at Drew Elementary School.
Steve Baker was elected Chair. The Chair is the chief executive and supervisory officer of the committee who shall oversee local committee efforts in furthering Party interests in Arlington, representing local Democrats in matters of Party and policy and helping to elect Democrats up and down the ballot. Steve joined the committee in 2007, was a Precinct Captain for 9 years, County Board campaign manager twice, Joint Campaign Co-Chair, 8th District Committee member for 8 years and Deputy Chair of Outreach for the State Party for 5 years. Steve is committed to maintaining a big tent Party, expanding on our outreach efforts across all communities and making certain that everyone has a voice. Steve’s love for hiking in Virginia’s great outdoor spaces is second only to his interest in knocking on doors and talking to voters.
Mike Hemminger was elected Deputy Chair. Mike has a proven track record of hands-on experience and leadership. Mike has served as Membership Director for the Arlington Young Democrats (AYD) and attended the Young Democrats of America National Convention in 2019 and 2021 as a Virginia Delegate. He currently serves as a national appointed officer for the Young Democrats of America, is in his second term as Virginia’s National Committee Representative and also served as AYD’s Party Representative for the last two years. In 2019, he was appointed to the Arlington Steering Committee as Membership Co-Chair. Mike has been a precinct captain in one of Arlington’s historically Black neighborhoods and went on to become Outreach Chair, leading one of the largest committees in Virginia. Mike was a delegate to Virginia’s 2020 State Convention and sits on the 8th Congressional District Committee. Beyond politics, Mike is the Vice-President of the local NAACP and a Housing Commissioner for Arlington County.
Sarah Lanford was elected Chair of Precinct Operations. In this role, Sarah will work with area chairs and precinct captains to coordinate precinct operations across Arlington's 54 precincts. Her party service includes experience as Co-Area Chair for Metro East and time as a precinct captain in Rosslyn and Park Lane precincts. She also spent a year as the Finance Assistant at the Texas Democratic Party during the 2016 cycle. Sarah is passionate about increasing healthcare access and affordability and advocates for improved cancer care in her day job. Originally from Houston, Sarah has been involved with Texas Bluebonnet Girls State, a program designed to teach young women the importance of exercising their civic responsibility, for 10 years. She holds a bachelor's degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and has been proud to call Arlington home for the past five years.
Elizabeth Morgan was reelected Chair of Finance. She will organize the fundraIsing efforts of Arlington Democrats, including the annual Blue Victory Dinner and Roosevelt-Obama Society sustaining donor program. Liz has also supported the ArlDems communications team for several years as a Facebook and Twitter account administrator. She is a fundraising and communications professional who works to ensure that all Americans have the opportunity to pursue higher education, especially people of color or limited means. She lives near Tuckahoe Park with her husband and rescue dog.
Paul Ruiz was elected Chair of Communications. He will coordinate the overall branding of the County Committee’s written and electronic communications. Previously, Paul was communications co-chair for the Arlington Democrats Joint Campaign Committee and, in 2020, was elected as a National Delegate representing Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention. His party service includes experience as an organizer for Joe Biden’s presidential campaign, a precinct captain for Park Lane in Arlington, and as Secretary of the Hunter Mill Democratic Committee in Fairfax County. Paul is passionate about transportation and equity issues and works on automated vehicle technology policy in his day job. He has a master's degree from the Biden School of Public Policy at the University of Delaware. Originally from Chicago, he lives in North Arlington with his partner Amanda.
Nancy Pilchen was reelected Volunteer Coordinator. Her job is to make sure that you get to do something that makes you happy to volunteer your time and expertise for the Arlington Dems. So don’t hesitate to contact her for assistance in finding your passion with the Dems. She’s always got some ideas. In addition to being the Volunteer Coordinator, she created the Rides to Vote program in 2008 and managed a (winning) school board campaign. When her now-adult children were in school, she served on a number of county-wide School Advisory Committees as well as PTA presidencies. Recently retired, Nancy was a Family Mediator for the DC Courts for 33 years. She now enjoys traveling (or at least hopes to enjoy it again soon), e-biking here and abroad, creating stained glass, and being with her family including her erstwhile companion, Rudy, the labradoodle. She wishes she knew how to knit but believes that ship has sailed. (Ditto with skydiving).
Kristin Hoffman was elected Secretary. Her primary responsibilities include maintaining official records of committee actions and files, and keeping the ACDC member rosters up to date and accessible. Along with the Technology and Data Chair, Kristin intends to share more minutes and information about ACDC processes with the public. She believes that we will inspire more participation from the community by informing them about what Democrats do to support democracy, people, and the planet. Kristin returned to ACDC in 2021, after several years in Tampa where she supported the Hillsborough County Democrats, organized rallies with Our Revolution, directed field operations for a school board candidate, and was an elected delegate to the Democratic National Convention. As a mother, veteran, and cancer survivor, Kristin appreciates that burnout is a real concern and she’s willing to serve again. Kristin appreciates justice and dark chocolate.
Inta Malis was reelected Treasurer. Inta has held this position since 2011. Her duties include the handling of all funds, making disbursements, preparing budgets, and filing campaign finance reports. Active for many years in crafting local Arlington land use policy, she has led planning studies, chaired the Arlington County Planning Commission, and currently chairs Arlington’s Board of Zoning Appeals. She has also served on a variety of Arlington Public Schools committees and was PTA president of her daughter’s local elementary school. A longtime resident, Inta lives on the west end of Columbia Pike with her husband Derick and their two cats Milli and Banjo.
Sangeeta Rao was elected Chair of Outreach and Visibility. Sangeeta has been a volunteer with the Arlington Democrats since 2012 as a canvasser in Woodlawn to Precinct Captain of Barcroft to Co-Chair of the AAPI Caucus. As Chair of Outreach & Visibility, she will oversee nine caucuses for underrepresented groups and create a sense of community by having events, reaching out to groups, and holding voter registration events. Sangeeta’s career spans marketing, sales, and event management. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from George Mason University and a Master of Science in Marketing from Johns Hopkins Carey Business School. She and her family emigrated from Fiji to the United States when she was a toddler and has lived in Dallas, New York and currently resides in South Arlington. In her free time, she is an avid traveler and concertgoer.
Jimmy Rogers was elected Sergeant-At-Arms. In this role, he will maintain order and decorum at committee meetings and events, and plan, organize and direct special meetings, caucuses and conventions, and be responsible for counting and reporting votes. Jimmy is a Chief of Staff in the Virginia State Senate for the second time, and was a Deputy Regional Organizing Director, and the Deputy State Organizing Director on the VA18 and VA20 Democratic campaigns, respectively. Jimmy was also the Campaign Manager for several successful County Board candidates. He serves as an Arlington Democrats Precinct Captain in the Gunston precinct. Prior to that, he was the Shelter Director at two homeless shelters, and a Supervisor for a technology company in their Compliance department. Jimmy has lived in Arlington County for more than twenty years after growing up in Arlington and Falls Church City."
Corey Barton was elected Parliamentarian. In this role, he will advise the Chair on questions of parliamentary law or procedure or on interpretation of Committee bylaws. Corey previously served as chair of the Committee’s inclusion and equity committee, as well as co-chair of the joint campaign. He also served as a National Delegate for then-candidate Joe Biden at the Democratic National Convention, as well as campaign manager for Sheriff Beth Arthur. He has also served as a precinct captain and Arlington Young Dems (AYD) recruitment director. Corey is committed to expanding prevention, treatment, and recovery options to people with addiction and works daily towards ending the opioid overdose epidemic. Corey graduated from The George Washington University with an MPH in Health Policy. Corey is a proud Lumbee Native American from southeastern North Carolina and lives in South Arlington with his fiancé Geoff and his dog Paprika.
The Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Democrats) is the official county organization for the Democratic Party of Virginia. Arlington Democrats is open to anyone interested in advancing Democratic candidates, policy priorities and values in Arlington. Be a part of future efforts to keep Virginia Blue by volunteering with Arlington Democrats. Learn more at the Arlington Democrats website, and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.