our story

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katie

merrill

Katie grew up in Newark, Ohio, the daughter of an Air Force B-52 bomber pilot, and endured early heartbreak as a diehard Cleveland Browns fan. She moved to California after college, and began her career as an organizer for LGBTQ rights in Sacramento, where she met her wife, Tracy.

 

For the past 25 years, Katie and Tracy have shared adventures, travels, bike trips, mountain hikes, and more - all with their loving dogs in tow. Tracy is a professionally trained civil engineer, but Katie calls Tracy her official “focus group of one.”

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1997 New Hampshire

wedding ceremony

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Hiking Sawtooth Wilderness

with Pinkie the Poodle 🐾 

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Bride + Bride

One of California's most successful female and LGBTQ+ campaign managers and statewide consultants, Katie's served as strategic advisor to candidates for governor, U.S. Senate and Attorney General and implemented the winning statewide strategy for California's Prop. 35, which toughened laws against human trafficking and banked over 10 million votes making it the largest vote getting initiative in American political history.

 

Katie led the Overturn Citizens United and Yes on Prop 59 campaign to victory in 2016, and oversaw the successful field campaign to defeat Proposition 23 in 2010, which would have rolled back California's landmark climate change law. Katie has dedicated her career to electing women, minorities and progressives to all levels of elected office, from city council to U.S. President. 

duane

baughman

Duane is the proud son (and now full time Alzheimers caregiver) for his mother, an immigrant West Indian woman of color.  Duane grew up between Barbados and East Grand Rapids, MI where his parents were the first, and for years, only mixed race marraige in that small midwest town. 

 

Duane was raised in East Grand Rapids, MI with 98% white population and Barbados in the Caribbean, with a 97% black population. For nearly a decade, Duane's mother and father were the only mixed race marriage in their small midwestern town. 

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Duane + his cousin Marc, in Harlem, NY where his family has lived since the 1950's

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Duane's with his mother in Barbados on her 70th birthday, before developing Alzheimer's disease

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Duane's mom, Annette, immigrated from Barbados to America in 1958

Duane oversaw 20 million pieces of mail for New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's election and re-election campaigns, and was one of only 6 national Democratic mail strategists hired by the DCCC to develop and execute the mail campaign responsible for winnning back the Democratic majority in the U.S. House in 2006. 

 Duane managed the development of over 30 million pieces of mail and a multi-million dollar budget for Hillary Clinton's 2008 presidential campaign, winning a history-making 20 primaries. His mail has helped pass statewide initiatives and helped elect and re-elect Democrats at every level in every corner of California. Duane lives in San Francisco.

Image by Gradienta

are you ready to change the game?

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