For two decades, Rebecca Kirszner Katz has helped candidates, personalities, campaigns, and causes shape the narrative and tell their story. Katz has worked in all levels of government – from the local to the federal — on political campaigns, and issue-advocacy efforts on behalf of non-profit groups. 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 then running Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid's war room, which helped position Democrats to win back the Senate.
In 2013, Katz worked as a top advisor to an upstart campaign for Mayor of New York City that would upset the political establishment. While other candidates in the race stuck to issues that were considered safe, Bill de Blasio's campaign ran on an aggressively progressive platform, focusing on inequality and an unjust racial justice system. When de Blasio won – because of his progressive stances, not despite them – it was a national proof point that you can win without compromising your ideals. And this was not unique to New York City.
In 2016, Katz worked with a small-town mayor named John Fetterman who launched a long-shot bid for the U.S. Senate. The campaign bucked the traditional strategy in Pennsylvania and ran on Fetterman's progressive record, rather than running away from it. The Democratic establishment had different ideas, spending heavily on behalf of their chosen candidate, a moderate who wouldn't excite voters but could collect big checks. Despite being outspent more than 15 to 1, Fetterman earned 20% of the vote in a 4-way race, and two years later was elected Lieutenant Governor in a landslide — winning solidly against the entrenched Democratic incumbent in the primary and beating the Republican nominee in the general by a million more votes than the ticket garnered four years earlier. Fetterman's campaign resonated throughout Pennsylvania, showing that the way to win a purple state isn't by running as a watered-down moderate, but rather by being an authentic, progressive populist.
More recently, Katz served as a top strategist for Cynthia Nixon's insurgent run for governor, a campaign that moved the entire state to the left and supported a slate of young progressives that would topple centrist incumbent legislators. In the end, the unabashedly progressive campaign accomplished more by losing an election than most Democrats do when they win.
Katz has also worked with many advocacy groups, advising Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, managing her media profile and working with the organization to successfully fight back against an unprecedented assault on women's health during Trump's presidency.
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.
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.
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. Just last year, Camille worked with other labor unions to pass a precedent-setting increase for airport catering workers, and this summer 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.
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.
Hebert 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 about the issues with an authentic progressive voice.
Kipp has worked on a range of local and statewide campaigns, writing speeches, crafting jokes, and producing viral videos that cut through the noise. A zero-budget in-house video he wrote and directed calling for the legalization of marijuana ended up being viewed over 4 million times online and covered by TV stations around the country, with journalist and civil rights activist Shaun King calling it "the best video on the legalization of marijuana I've ever seen from someone running for political office."
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. At Gumbinner & Davies Communications, Kipp developed and managed direct mail campaigns in 10 districts for the Iowa House Democratic Caucus, including the only Democratic pickup in the state in 2010.
Kipp was also a key member of the communications team for Joe Sestak's upset Senate primary victory in Pennsylvania, 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 galas and major dinner 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.
Michelle Kuppersmith is a passionate advocate for progressive change. She comes to New Deal Strategies with a decade of experience in political and investigative research and communications. She has helped political advocates, complex organizations, and individuals manage crises and find their voice.
Michelle was most recently the Director of Equity Forward, a first-of-its-kind reproductive rights organization that uses research-driven communications campaigns to hold anti-abortion forces accountable, both inside and outside the government. Michelle built the organization’s research team and lead the organization in rapid response efforts to expose the many ways the Trump Administration, state governments, and anti-abortion groups are working to limit reproductive rights.
Michelle is a civically and politically active New Yorker. She is a member of Community Board 3 in Manhattan, where she advises city agencies on critical infrastructure changes and serves as Vice Chair of the Transportation, Public Safety, & Environment Committee. She is also a member of the Grand Street Democrats and the Manhattan Democratic Committee, representing the 65th Assembly District. She is also a Women’s Launch Pad mentor for students at her alma mater, Brown University, where she studied Modern American History.
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.