Eliza Townsend is the Executive Director of the Maine Women’s Lobby. She represented part of Portland in the Maine House of Representatives for 8 years, then moved into the non-profit sector when she became the first Executive Director of the Maine League of Conservation Voters & Maine Conservation Voters Education Fund. During Eliza’s tenure, the Conservation Voters convened the Environmental Priorities Coalition, comprising two-dozen diverse groups that agree to and advocate for a common legislative agenda. Eliza left the Conservation Voters when she joined the Maine Department of Conservation, where she served first as Deputy Commissioner and later Commissioner. She joined MWL in 2011.
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Prior to joining the Maine Women’s Lobby, Danna worked as a community organizer for the Preble Street Maine Hunger Initiative where she worked to expand access to federal nutrition programs, advocated for systemic change on behalf of low-income Mainers, and strengthened the emergency food system in Cumberland County. Danna is a graduate of Vermont Law School. While in law school, she worked for New Hampshire Legal Assistance and the Vermont Attorney General’s Civil Rights Unit where she assessed and investigated employment discrimination and hate crime cases. She also worked at the Vermont Department of Education Office of General Counsel, where she supported education-related legislative activity for the department and assisted with litigation and regulatory functions. After graduation, Danna spent two years clerking in New Hampshire Superior Courts where she assisted with civil, criminal, and equity cases and research.
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Kathy joined the staff of the Maine Women’s Lobby in 2012, and oversees program, outreach, fundraising, and communications efforts. She has organized three iterations of the Maine Women’s Summit on Economic Security, developed training materials and programs for advocates and partner organizations, helped coordinate press conferences and rallies on key issues affecting women in Maine, co-chairs the Alliance for Maine Women, and helps engage the public, the media, and elected leaders on issues involving violence, discrimination, health care, and economic security. She represents MWL at the Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition and supports its ongoing communication efforts on a wide range of issues impacting the immigrant community.
Kathy serves on the board of Emerge Maine and is a 2010 graduate of the program. She has been a part of many leadership and training programs such as the Sigma Class of the ICL Leadership Intensive. Additionally, she has volunteered on several ballot initiative campaigns, including the effort to reinstate same-day voter registration. She was a trainer for the Speakers Bureau for Marriage Equality in 2012 and served as the team leader for the York County team. Kathy is passionate about making feminist organizations and advocacy inclusive for all women and raising up the voices of the most vulnerable in our work toward a truly equitable future.
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Victoria Rodriguez, MPH
Community Organizer and Program Assistant
Prior to joining the Maine Women’s Policy Center as Community Organizer and Program Assistant, Victoria worked for both non-profit and private organizations in New York and abroad. While completing her Master of Public Health degree at the University of New York at Albany, Victoria was the graduate student liaison with the New York State Public Health Association (NYSPHA). Victoria created NYSPHA undergraduate and graduate student chapters at her alma mater to help connect students to mentors and internships. Victoria was accepted into the Duke University Geneva Program on Global Policy and Governance which placed her in an internship at the UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. She worked in data analysis and evaluation of national budgets allocated to improving HIV/AIDS services to at-risk populations including women and children.
Upon completion of her degree, she joined the Maine Women’s Lobby to help engage women within the state of Maine, especially those that are often underrepresented, on a multitude of key issues including paid family leave, fair pay, and access to quality healthcare services.
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Sarah Nichols, Bangor-native and former Graphic Design and Events Coordinator at St. Joseph Healthcare in Bangor is the newest addition to the Maine Women’s Lobby team. In addition to her role as our Administrative Assistant, Sarah serves in many leadership positions in the Bangor community. Sarah is a Bangor City Councilor, sits on the board of EmergeMaine and works as a consultant for the Mabel Wadsworth Center. Concurrently, Sarah is continuing her education to prepare for a career in teaching. “I felt that this would be a good fit because the mission of the Lobby and Policy Center fit with my values, and working for an organization that you love makes it exciting to come to work each day. I am truly happy to be here.”