Rebecca Kirszner Katz, Founding Partner

For two decades, Rebecca Kirszner Katz has helped candidates, campaigns, causes and personalities shape the narrative and tell their story. Katz has worked in every level of government – from the local to the federal. She has expertise in communications planning and strategy, rapid response, media relations, and message development.

Katz is a rare communications specialist who has experience successfully navigating both the daily grind of big city news-cycles and long-form journalism. She has a knack for helping clients mix both the serious and the soft in order to shape public image, develop narratives that drive a positive message, and preempt unflattering stories.

Katz has worked in nearly every political setting imaginable, beginning in the House of Representatives, then on presidential campaigns, and later running Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's war room, which helped position Democrats to win back the Senate.

At the beginning of the 2018 cycle, Katz founded New Deal Strategies, taking a gamble that a consulting firm could survive without taking any corporate clients. It’s paid off – and with clients like Sunrise Movement, Justice Democrats, and Congressman-elect Jamaal Bowman, Katz has established herself as a go-to communications strategist for the progressive movement.

Katz has a BA from Clark University and a Master's in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania's Fels Institute of Government, where she has also taught graduate courses on congressional politics.

Camille Rivera, Partner

As the head of our political, labor and community relations practice, Camille Rivera comes to New Deal Strategies with long and deep ties to the labor movement, both in New York City and across the country.

Since joining New Deal, Camille’s work has included serving as a Senior Advisor on the New York operation for Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 2020 Presidential campaign, and working with SEIU to build out the National Latino Civic Engagement Table, overseeing its Latino independent expenditure program in key battleground states, including Nevada, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Camille also worked as a consultant for Charles Booker for the United States Senate in Kentucky. She also serves as an advisor for the National Working Families Party and helped to lead key district attorney races in Michigan and Minnesota and LA and has served as a senior advisor on various political campaigns.

Rivera has offered her political commentary on CNN, NY1, BBC, and WNYC’s The Takeaway. She has written op eds for publications including for Colorlines, and has been profiled by publications including Mitu the New York Daily New, Huffington Post and other media outlets across the country.

Rivera is the former national & legislative political director at the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, RWDSU, where she was responsible for overseeing the union’s political, legislative, and electoral work on behalf of its members and leadership. During her tenure, she led campaigns to ensure retail owners provided fair and stable work hours to their employees, Camille worked with other labor unions to pass a precedent-setting increase for airport catering workers, and worked with the state legislature to pass a historic piece of legislation that would eliminate tipped wages for car wash workers and increase their pay to $15 an hour. When New York announced a deal that would have given Amazon billions in tax subsidies without any commitment to allow workers the right to organize, Rivera helped RWDSU lead the fight to ensure that workers and the community were allowed to have a voice in the process.

Rivera brings decades of experience in government, policy, and politics. Before coming on at RWDSU, Rivera spent the 2016 presidential campaign as national deputy political director for the Service Employees International Union, working to get out the vote in swing states like Nevada, Colorado, and Florida and running its massive $4 million Latino GOTV effort.

She also dealt directly with one of the most pressing policy issues in the city while serving as a top staffer in the New York City Department of Homeless Services. Camille was also the Director for United NY, helping to build up the city's low wage worker rights campaign, and was one of the coordinators of the first fast-food worker strikes in NYC, as well as the Fight for 15. Camille's work on low wage workers is documented in the book New Labor in New York.

Trison Braithwaite

Trison comes to New Deal Strategies from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, where he recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science.

As a lifelong progressive, Trison believes in the power of grassroots organizing and has engaged voters across Brooklyn by phone-banking and knocking doors in support of progressive candidates like Isaiah James and Shaniyat Chowdhury.

Trison captures audiences on platforms like TikTok, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter with his ability to transform complex policy and political news into digestible visual content. His videos regularly attract thousands of viewers and have been shared by the Bernie Sanders campaign.

Joe Calvello

Joe is an experienced communications professional who has worked for some of the most high profile progressive leaders and organizations.

Most recently, Joe was the Associate Director of State Media at the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. During the 2020 campaign cycle, Joe served as Western Press Secretary and Campaign Spokesperson on Senator Bernie Sanders' campaign for president. In this role, Joe developed and managed the campaign's earned media and communications strategy across nine western states, including working on the campaign's signature primary wins in Nevada and California.

Prior to working for Senator Sanders, Joe was Deputy Communications Director on Keith Ellison's successful campaign to be Minnesota Attorney General in 2018 and Communications Manager at STG Results. Joe started his career interning for former Senator John Kerry and Senator Elizabeth Warren. A Chicago native, Joe attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, earning a degree in political science with a concentration in environmental policy.

Carina Chacon

From managing social media platforms to building relationships with key stakeholders, Carina Chacon has implemented political and communications strategies for a range of candidates, campaigns, organizations, and public sector clients. She has helped clients develop their message, expand their reach, engage with their audience, and create new content.

During the 2018 election cycle, Carina helped produce and manage the targeting of over 150 custom-tailored direct mail pieces for U.S. Representative Gil Cisneros, one of six Democrats in Orange County to successfully flip a seat from red to blue. As one of the most expensive non-special House races in history, this race contributed to making Orange County completely blue for the first time since the Great Depression. Along with producing mail for this race, Carina also created and managed the production of hundreds of other mail pieces for over 30 California races.

Carina previously served as chief of staff at a public affairs firm, where she produced social media campaigns and executed communications strategies for a variety of public sector clients. This included working with various local school districts to halt their decreasing enrollment by retooling their message, expanding their community outreach efforts, and increasing their presence in social media, online, and in the press.

A native Californian, Carina Chacon got her start in politics as the lead deputy for a state Assembly Member near her hometown. Carina led a team of staffers in their efforts to highlight the Member’s legislative package and to promote her leadership during the #MeToo movement.

Carina is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and holds a B.A. in Political Science and Gender and Women’s Studies.

Sarafina Chitika

Sarafina comes to New Deal Strategies from Demand Justice, a progressive judicial advocacy group, where she fought the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court as press secretary. Prior to that, she was a national press assistant on Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign, and also worked on the Senator’s communications team during her 2018 Senate re-election campaign.

Born and raised in Atlanta, Sarafina got her start in politics working as an intern for then-Georgia-House-Minority-Leader Stacey Abrams in 2010, working to prevent Republicans from gaining a supermajority in the Georgia State House. While in college, she worked as a digital media intern on Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Brooklyn, NY.

Sarafina is a graduate of Harvard College and holds a B.A. in Government and a language citation in Chinese.

Kipp Hebert, Principal and Head Writer

A former Principal at Hilltop Public Solutions, Kipp Hebert has a talent for crafting the kind of sound bites and powerful phrases that are not only memorable, but sharable. Kipp works closely with clients to help them articulate what they believe, not what they believe people want to hear, and to communicate frankly and directly with an authentic progressive voice.

Kipp has worked on a range of local and statewide campaigns -- most recently Jamaal Bowman’s shocking primary victory in NY-16 -- writing speeches, ads, and messaging that cuts through the noise.

As the speechwriter for Cynthia Nixon’s campaign for governor, Kipp also wrote and directed a series of viral videos, including the candidate’s memorable call for legalizing marijuana. This zero-budget, in-house video ended up being viewed over 4 million times online and covered by TV stations around the country.

Kipp previously worked at Three Point Media for the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, producing TV, radio, and digital ads for candidates and independent expenditures in 30 states. Kipp was also a key member of the communications team for Joe Sestak's upset Senate primary victory in Pennsylvania in 2010, where his research was the basis for a devastating TV spot that the Economist called "the ad that sank Mr. Specter's campaign."

In his spare time, Kipp dabbles as a comedy writer, a skill he's put to use helping our clients kill at major events and prepare for appearances on the Daily Show, the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Late Night with Seth Meyers. Kipp graduated from Georgetown University and lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Charlie Hills

Charlie started at New Deal as an intern with the Communications team. Prior to that, he was an intern at Future Now and Future Now Fund, where he supported the political and fundraising teams in efforts to flip state legislative seats and chambers across the country.

He also held a digital and communications internship at The People PAC, another organization focused on state legislatures. In this role, he created graphics for social channels, wrote copy for fundraising emails, and crafted a new website for the organization. While in college, Charlie completed the Swing Left College Fellowship. As an organizing fellow, he built a coalition of students and led letter writing and phone banking events to help register potential voters in critical swing states ahead of the 2020 election.

Charlie is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University and lives in Brooklyn.

Seamus Kirst

Seamus has years of experience breaking down politics and social causes to mainstream audiences as a writer and journalist.

Seamus comes to New Deal from the world of magazines, where he wrote about politics, entertainment, and the places they intersect. In the political sphere, he interviewed politicians and activists including Elizabeth Warren, Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, Andrew Yang, Beto O'Rourke, Maxine Waters, Tammy Baldwin, Tammy Duckworth, Varshini Prakash, Dr. Leana Wen, and Cecile Richards. He specifically focused on progressive politics and millennials for multiple publications.

His writing has been published by outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, The Guardian, Vice, Vulture, Elle, and The Advocate.

Before entering journalism, Seamus spent a year working as the assistant to socio-political comedian and Emmy-award winning TV host, W. Kamau Bell. He also wrote scripts for the History Channel’s website, where the objective was to explain historic events - such as the 2008 Financial Crisis - in 2 minutes to high school students.

Seamus earned his master’s degree in journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University, and his bachelor’s degree in history and ethnic studies from Brown University.

Kolby Lee

Kolby was most recently Director of Communications at The Appeal Media, a non-profit newsroom covering the criminal legal system and other issues impacting vulnerable communities. During the 2020 campaign cycle, he served as Southern Press Secretary for Senator Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign — overseeing press strategy in 14 states across the South. Kolby has also held senior communications roles for former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke and U.S. Senate candidate MJ Hegar.

After a stint on Capitol Hill, Kolby joined the communications team at STG in Washington, DC. At STG, Kolby advised some of the nation’s leading advocacy organizations fighting for environmental justice, LGBTQ+ equality, and expanded voting rights.

Kolby started his career as a public elementary school teacher and proud member of the Providence, Rhode Island Teachers Union.

Lizbeth Lucero

Drawing upon organizational skills learned through her experience in research and education policy, Lizbeth provides operations support to both the General Consulting and Communications teams at New Deal Strategies. Lizbeth is a dynamic learner, collaborator, and advocate for social reform, and got her start at New Deal as a Communications Fellow working with people-powered campaigns, movements, and progressive organizations.

Lizbeth recently graduated from Cornell University, where she studied Development Sociology with minors in Education, Public Policy, and Law and Society. She is a first-generation college graduate born and raised in Brooklyn.

Cate Mahan

Equipped with a wide range of skills in scheduling and advance, operations, strategic planning, and project management, Cate joins New Deal Strategies after several years on Senator Warren’s team, where she held roles with Warren Democrats, Warren for President, and Sen. Warren’s official office.

Most recently, Cate led political scheduling at Warren Democrats, where she planned and executed hundreds of events, interviews, and grassroots fundraisers while adapting to the rapidly-changing political landscape during the pandemic. As a member of the Warren for President Scheduling & Advance Team, Cate handled all-things-logistics, traveling across the country to execute principal events and staff celebrity and high-level campaign surrogates.

Cate got her start conducting immigration casework in Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Northeastern University in Boston.

Jordana Narin

Jordana Narin has never been at a loss for words. At New Deal Strategies, she lends hers to candidates, campaigns, and causes across the left—in hopes of leaving the right, well, speechless. Before, she cut her teeth as a speechwriter with West Wing Writers, where she crafted everything from tweets and soundbites to op-eds and stump speeches for politicians, activists, and even her favorite TV character.

Jordana started her career as a journalist in the middle of the Indian Ocean, reporting for Sri Lanka's oldest English newspaper on a Princeton in Asia fellowship. She's also worked on three political campaigns, written about Modern Love for The New York Times, and served as the research assistant for a best-selling book on gender dynamics in the workplace.

Anna Poe-Kest, Principal

As principal at New Deal Strategies, Anna Poe-Kest brings years of political and operational experience to our electoral and advocacy campaigns.

Before joining New Deal, Anna spent six years working for the City of New York, beginning with the 2013 Mayoral Transition Team, to the Department of Cultural Affairs, and most recently serving as the Chief of Staff for the Mayor's Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In that capacity, she managed a team responsible for legislative and budget negotiations across the New York City Council, the New York State Government, and Federal Government.

In the wake of the 2016 election, Anna co-founded the Broad Room to empower and train young women to transform collective anger into sustained action on issues and elections. As a political home for New York City's newly activated women, the Broad Room has transformed hundreds of young women into organizers with the concrete skills to make a difference on the campaigns that matter most.

Anna is a Brooklyn native, Oberlin grad, and the daughter of ACORN organizers. She's been attending rallies for longer than she can remember.