CHICAGO – Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson on Tuesday announced the leaders of his Chicago For The People transition team. Mayor-elect Johnson named Jessica Angus as transition director, Jason Lee and Amisha Patel as senior advisors, Erica Bland-Durosinmi and DJavan Conway as inter-governmental advisors, and Maria Virginia Martinez as legal advisor.
“Our work is already underway to bring together Chicagoans from all across the city in order to build a better, stronger, safer Chicago,” said Mayor-elect Brandon Johnson. “Our transition is about uniting Chicago and I’m confident these dedicated, experienced leaders will bring collaboration, compassion, and competence to our work in delivering a Chicago for the people.”
“Mayor-elect Johnson’s Chicago for the People transition team is already hard at work to bring in voices from all corners of the city and provide a smooth mayoral transition,” said Transition Director Jessica Angus. “As a proud Chicagoan raising two kids in our city, I’m honored to serve on this team, unite Chicago and build a stronger city for all of us.”
Jessica Angus, Transition Director: For over 25 years, Jessica Angus has dedicated her career to uplifting causes that empower underrepresented communities. She has helped lead the 90,000-member SEIU Healthcare Illinois as Vice President and Chief of Staff since 2008. In this senior leadership role, Angus has led the organization through tremendous growth, including by expanding SEIU Healthcare Illinois’ membership and collective power as the fastest-growing care workers’ union in the Midwest. She is a founding member of United Working Families and serves on the organization’s Party Committee. Prior to that, she spent 10 years leading political and ballot-initiative campaigns across the country on a variety of issues that prioritize investing in people and communities. Angus is a proud Chicago Public Schools parent.
Jason Lee, Senior Advisor: Jason Lee most recently served as senior advisor for the Brandon Johnson campaign for Mayor of Chicago. Lee has managed a variety of campaigns at the local, state, and federal level, including Brandon Johnson’s 2018 campaign for Cook County Commissioner. Lee has worked for several progressive labor and community organizations including AFSCME International, For Our Future, and United Working Families. Prior to that, he worked in corporate finance and investment banking at Morgan Stanley. Lee graduated with honors from Harvard University with a Bachelor’s degree in economics and a Masters degree in Politics, Ethics, and Religion.
Amisha Patel, Senior Advisor: Amisha Patel, a Chicago native, brings nearly 30 years of experience organizing for economic, racial, and gender justice to the transition team. Patel served as Executive Director of Grassroots Collaborative and Grassroots Illinois Action, organizations dedicated to building power with Chicago’s working families to secure fully funded resources for public schools, social services, and affordable housing for the past 15 years. Prior to that, she spent six years organizing hospital and Head Start workers with the 30,000-member SEIU Local 73, and worked in coalition with community organizations to fight against school closings. Patel began organizing at the age of 19, fighting against a toxic waste facility located in East Palo Alto, CA. She graduated from Stanford University and has received numerous recognitions for her work, including Crain’s Chicago Business 40 under 40 award, Chicago Freedom School’s Champion of Justice, and an Asian Emmy award for best documentary.
Erica Bland-Durosinmi, Intergovernmental Affairs Advisor: Over the past two decades, Erica Bland-Durosinmi has built and fostered dynamic networks across all levels of government, connecting decision-makers, community advocates and industry voices to fight for and lift up the needs of working people. As Executive Vice President of SEIU Healthcare Illinois, she grew the power of the 90,000-plus workers the union represents to drive–and achieve–a game-changing legislative platform achieving major wins in minimum wage, and paid leave for all at the state and city levels. Her leadership has been a key force in making SEIU Healthcare the fastest-growing care workers’ union in the Midwest advocating for the needs of healthcare and child care workers across four states. As a founding member of United Working Families, she helped to center a working-family-friendly approach in city politics, influencing the make-up and direction of city hall. Bland-Durosinmi has contributed dynamic vision and leadership to the city as president of Grassroots Collaborative. Her vision and leadership garnered her both the Ida B. Wells Award from Illinois Democratic Women and the Billie Paige Advocacy Award from the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus.
DJavan Conway, Intergovernmental Affairs Advisor: DJavan Conway brings over a decade of experience working in Illinois politics advising businesses and organizations as president of Conway Consulting Group, advancing solutions for technology, transportation, energy, entertainment, labor and manufacturing firms. Prior to founding Conway Consulting Group, he served as an Illinois House Democratic Leadership staffer, liaising with organizations including the Business Leadership Council. In addition, Conway has over 14 years of experience running campaigns for Democratic candidates across the state. Raised by teachers, Conway has lived in Chicago for over a decade and understands the value of investing in education. He has served on the board for Africa International House and on the Associate Board for Renaissance Social Services.
Maria Virginia Martinez, Legal Advisor: Maria is a lawyer at Croke Fairchild Duarte & Beres, where she advises clients on Government Affairs and Regulatory Law. Prior to joining the firm, Maria was Senior Legislative Counsel to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, where she represented, developed, and advanced the City of Chicago’s legislative priorities before the Illinois General Assembly and state agencies. She gives back to our community as a regional coordinator for the Life Goes On Program with the Illinois Secretary of State, and as Chair for the Diversity Scholarship Foundation’s First-Generation Law-Student Mentorship Program. Maria is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and got her law degree from the John Marshall Law School.
For more information, visit www.chicagoforthepeople.org.