2015-2016 Executive Board

President: Forest Barnes

Forest Barnes is a 4th year transfer student, majoring in Economics.  Having grown up in Bakersfield, CA, he is used to having to defend his progressive views. After joining Cal Dems his first week at Cal, he was glad to have found a group of people whose values aligned with his own. He couldn’t think of a better way to give back to the club than to run for board as Development Director. As Development Director, he plans to put on many memorable events for the club and enhance its social aspects, while actively searching for new volunteer opportunities. He hopes that these events will bring in students who not only joined Cal Dems for the political activism, but also for a sense of community. If you would like to catch up with Forest some time, feel free to meet up with him for coffee or lunch. He will be willing to listen to any of your suggestions for the club, as well as be open to talking about pretty much anything.

You can contact Forest at president@caldems.com


VP of Finance: Rhea Misra

Rhea Misra is a third year Molecular Cell Biology Major with an intended Marine Science minor and is originally from Cerritos, CA. She has always been passionate about politics, and in high school she was involved in Model UN and was president of Junior State of America. She first became involved in Cal Dems her freshman year by writing for the Smart Ass. Besides Cal Dems, she is also involved with the Berkeley Scientific Journal, American Red Cross, and Cal Fencing on campus. In her free time, she enjoys playing guitar, quoting obscure movies, watching Louie, collecting vinyls, and making fun of Republicans.

You can contact Rhea at finance@caldems.com


VP of Membership: Rigel Robinson

Rigel Robinson is a second year undergrad at the University of California, Berkeley. He grew up in St. Louis in the heartbreakingly purple state of Missouri, where he was involved in speech and debate, theater, student government, and as an Allocations Board Member for United Way St. Louis. His first true engagement with politics came in the fall of 2012 as he campaigned for Senator Claire McCaskill and successfully ousted Todd “Legitimate Rape” Akin. Since then, he has further worked to bring progressive values to the St. Louis area as an intern for Congressman Lacy Clay and the American Civil Liberties Union. At UC Berkeley, Rigel led the tuition protest in the fall of 2014 that snowballed into the Occupy Wheeler movement and has worked vigilantly with Cal Dems and the ASUC Office of External Affairs on various advocacy campaigns. Countless rallies and lobby visits later, he is eager to build power with Cal Berkeley Democrats and come into 2016 strong.

You can contact Rigel at membership@caldems.com


Political Director: TJ Grayson

TJ is a political science major and public policy minor from Petaluma, California going into his senior year. As a transfer from Lehigh University, he immediately jumped into political life at UC Berkeley in order to take advantage of the time he has there. While he has been interested in politics for some time, his passion was sparked after serving on the board of his local ACLU at 18. From there, he went on to conduct research on the importance of race and gender in elections through Berkeley’s political science department, intern at the Equal Justice Society and work in the public policy department of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law in Washington D.C. On campus, he is also involved in the Lobby Corps department of the ASUC where he has lobbied on every level of government in order to advocate on behalf of students. In his spare time he likes hiking, watching just the right amount of 30 Rock, and chatting about civil rights. This year, he is excited to get Cal Dems politically active and expand its role as a progressive voice on campus.

You can contact TJ at political@caldems.com


Development Director: Marandah Rain

Marandah is a second year Political Science major/Theatre minor at UC Berkeley, and is a passionate feminist, LGBTQ+ activist, and Claire Underwood impersonator. Her interest in politics stemmed from her years as a high school Mock Trial kid, which led to growing curiosity of how public policy intersects with the law, especially in various realms of social justice. Since then, she has served as the Vice President of Ready for Hillary at Berkeley, and interned in the Government Relations Department of the National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C. On campus, Marandah works as the Political Engagement Director for ASUC Senator Wes Adrianson’s office, as well as serves as a member of the ASUC Sexual Assault Commission and of the college council of IGNITE, an organization aimed at inspiring political ambition in young women. She is extremely excited for her role as Development Director, where she plans to plan fantastic events and increase political opportunities for Cal Dems members.

You can contact Marandah at development@caldems.com


Communications Director: Suher Adi

Suher Adi is a second year Political Science major minoring in Public Policy and Peace and Conflict Studies. Originally from Torrance, CA, and with roots from the Middle East, she quickly became aware of domestic and foreign politics at a young age. Her interest in politics sparked when she joined a program in high school called Youth & Government which taught her all about the California State Legislature in great detail. She first joined Cal Dems when she saw someone tabling on Sproul, went to her first meeting and she’s been hooked ever since. Besides Cal Dems, she is also involved in the ASUC, the Arab Retention & Recruitment Center, and she is serving on the IGNITE- Women in Politics College Council. On her spare time she likes to lobby about education and other social justice issues, go to concerts, watch Scandal, and discuss international law and politics. As communications director she will consistently update all the social media outlets with Cal Dems related content and continue to foster relations with local, state, and national politicians.

You can contact Suher at communications@caldems.com


IT Director: Ryen Bani-Hashemi

Ryen is a second year History and Political Science major from the Bay Area. He loves learning about law and politics, and he has worked for the City of Berkeley, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and the Alameda County Family Justice Center. Ryen’s other interests include filmmaking, attending concerts around the Bay Area, art, and running. He hopes to revive the Cal Dems online presence and to update members, students, and the neighboring community of club developments. In addition to Cal Dems, Ryen is the Video Production Director for the ASUC, a writer for the Daily Californian’s Weekender section, and simply a Jay-Z looking for his Beyoncé.

You can contact Ryen at it@caldems.com


Smart Ass Editor In Chief: Daniel Evans

Daniel is a second year intended Political Economy Major and Computer Science Minor. His loves politics, technology, Italian food, and fashion. He was the kind of kid who watched cable news at age 7. His deep roots in journalism steered him towards joining The Smart Ass during his first semester, helping to give the magazine a modern redesign. He hopes to continue to improve upon the work done by his amazing predecessors in making the magazine a forum for big ideas from the progressive point of view.

You can contact Daniel at smartass@caldems.com


Programs Director: Olivia McGovern

Olivia is a third year student studying Political Science and Spanish. She has been involved with Cal Dems since her freshman year. Olivia has interned for the Los Angeles City Council, Emerge California, and the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington, DC. She is also involved with the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and Danceworx. She is excited serve as the Programs Director for this upcoming year.

You can contact Olivia at programsdirector@caldems.com


Sustainability Director: Evelyn Montenegro

Evelyn is a third year Integrative Biology major and intended Food Systems minor from Southern California. She began really becoming interested in politics with the 2008 election of Obama, and since then, she steadily became more and more interested in politics. Once she came to Berkeley, she was as political as ever and quickly joined Cal Dems her very first semester here and has been very involved ever since. Last year, she was elected Vice President of Finance for the organization. In her role as Sustainability Director this year, she hopes to make the club more sustainable and get more members involved in and informed about environmental issues, which are of particular importance to her given her background in studying biology and environmental science. In her spare time, she likes to listen to music, read, consume caffeinated beverages, make art, and (attempt to) cook and bake.

 You can contact Evelyn at sustainability@caldems.com