Obama General Election Campaign Organization, New York
revised April 14, 2009  disclaimer

Obama for America  |  52 Broadway, 5th Floor  |  New York, NY  10004    
State Director
Dave Pollak
Co-chair of the NY State Democratic Party, Dec. 2006-April 2008, and a twenty-year veteran of political campaigns at the federal, state, and local levels.  A managing director of UBS Investment Bank through Jan. 2007.  First vice president at Paine Webber, 1995-2000.  Vice president at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette, 1990-95.  In 1992 Pollak founded DL21C, Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century ("an independent organization of young, progressive New Yorkers").  Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, 1988-90.  B.A. in politics and economics from Colorado College, 1986. 

Political Director
Dawn Smalls
(Aug. 2008)  Worked on the Hillary Clinton for President campaign in the Arlington, VA headquarters as regional political director for Iowa.  Program officer at the Open Society Institute.  Associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP, a litigation firm based in New York.  J.D. from Stanford Law School, 2003.  Assistant to Chief of Staff John Podesta and Special Assistant to the Federal D.C. Interagency Task Force from 1997-2000.  B.A. in linguistics from Boston University.

Field Director
Tara Martin
District director for Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, 2007.  Director of community relations in the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, 2005-07.  Senior managing consultant to Inside Pitch, LLC., a multi-media consulting agency, 2004-05.  Political director on the Dean for America campaign in New York.  Legislative director to Councilwoman Yvette Clark, 2001-03.  Community liaison in Office of state Sen. Vincent Gentile, 1999-2000.

Deputy Field Director
Karina Cabrera
Special assistant to City Comptroller Bill Thompson, Jr. and chairwoman of Latina PAC.  Worked on Thompson's 2005 re-election campaign.  Field organizer in the Elyria office (Lorain County) on the 2004 Ohio Democratic Coordinated Campaign.  B.A. from Mount Saint Mary College.

Communications Director
Blake Zeff
(started Sept. 8, 2008)  A national spokesman for the Clinton campaign starting in Jan. 2007.  Communications director for the New York State Democratic Committee, announced Oct. 2005.  Communications director for Sen. Chuck Schumer; started working for Schumer in 2002 as deputy press secretary for New York City and Long Island, then promoted to press secretary for upstate New York.  Worked on Mark Green's 2001 campaign for Mayor of New York City.  Graduate of Brown University.

New Media Director and Voter File/Data Manager
Ben Yee
Researcher at the Transport Workers Union.  Owner of the Concretebeat blog, late 2007-mid 2008.  Graduate of the University of Michigan.

Volunteer Director
Al Benninghoff
President of the Manhattan Young Democrats (elected Jan. 2007) and special assistant to Bronx Borough president Adolfo Carrion, Jr.  Attended Tulane University.

Field Organizers
Camille Joseph (Queens/Bronx)
Moira Kelley (Westchester)
Michael Gaye (Harlem)
Sara Feuerstein (Staten Island)
Larry Knox (Rochester)
Demone Smith (Buffalo)
Susannah Mrazek (Long Island)
Simeon Banister (Brooklyn)
Jason Haas (Manahattan)

Office Manager
Howard Hemsley
Veteran community organizer.  During the primary Hemsley coordinated Obama's campaign in the East Village and Lower East Side (23rd St. to South St.).

and many super volunteers...

: As with several other non-battleground states, the Obama campaign did not establish a separate Campaign for Change organization in New York.

Graphic from Obama
New York page (half size)

Like California, Illinois and Texas, New York was a phone center state.  Volunteers in New York made millions of GOTV phone calls to contested states, including 1.3 million calls on Election Day from about 40 phone centers across the state.

New York State Democratic Committee
  461 Park Avenue South  |  New York, NY  10016   212.725.8825    >
June O'Neill
(Co-chair in 2006; chair after the resignation of Dave Pollak in April 2008)  Comptroller H. Carl McCall's Director of Training and Intergovernmental Relations; retired in 2001.  Served in St. Lawrence County government for more than 16 years including as Clerk of the Board, County Auditor, County Budget Officer, Election Commissioner, and Head Social Welfare Examiner; she was also the first person to hold the position that has now become County Administrator.  Joined the administration of Gov. Mario Cuomo in 1983 as the north country regional representative and then served as a member of his Cabinet in the post of Director of the NYS Office of Rural Affairs.  St. Lawrence County Democratic chair from 1978-83, and again starting in 2001.  Attended the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam.

Executive Committee Chair
Reginald Lafayette
Westchester County Democratic chairman; Democratic commissioner of the Westchester Board of Elections.

Acting Executive Director
Adam Riff
(succeeded Edna Ishayik, who left in Aug. 2008)  Riff moved over from his position as deputy director; he started at the party in Nov. 2007.  Legislative aide in the New York State Senate.  Finance/compliance associate at Spitzer 2006.  B.A. in political science and international studies from Northwestern University.
Communications Director
Carly Lindauer
(July 2008)  Deputy press secretary on Hillary Clinton's NH primary campaign, then press secretary on the primary campaigns in Missouri, Wisconsin, Vermont and North Carolina.  Senior associate at Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications, 2005-07.  Public Policy Fellow for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).  B.S. in communications from Boston University's College of Communication, 2004.  Lindauer has also served as a communication intern for the Department of Women in New South Wales, Australia.

Upstate Political Director
Cathy Calhoun
(Aug. 2007)  Previously Central New York regional director for Sen. Hillary Clinton.  A top volunteer on Clinton's 2000 campaign in Onondaga County.

Long Island Political Director
Lauren Corcoran-Doolin
Graduate of State University of New York College at Cortland, 1998.

Deputy Finance Director
Rohini Singh
(finance director vacant)  B.A. in political science and philosophy from Vassar College, 2008.

Upstate Field Director
Seth Wallace

Voter File Manager
Andrew Goldberg

Executive Director
Edna Ishayik
(left in Aug. 2008)  Ishayik has worked on numerous camapigns including deputy political director at Spitzer Paterson 2006; finance director at Ellner for Manhattan Borough President, 2005; finance director on Joe Driscoll for Congress in PA-15, 2004; campaign manager at Patti Morrissey for Delegate in Virginia, 2003; and field director at Anne Sumers for Congress in NJ-5, 2002.  B.A. in philosophy from Douglass College at Rutgers University.

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Copyright © 2008, 2009  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action