Denise Tugade, President

Denise is Press Secretary for the Office of Assembly Member Monique Limón. She is a graduate student at The George Washington University, where she is pursuing a Masters in Public Health in Epidemiology. She recently moved to Sacramento from Rwanda, where she trained community health workers to use smart phones to create Electronic Health Records, coordinated the delivery of water filters and high efficiency cook stoves to rural villages and evaluated public health programs.

Candice Riley, Vice President

Candice works as a Program Consultant in the Senate Office of International Relations. She previously worked in the Services to Students with Disabilities office at California State University, Sacramento. She graduated from University of California Santa Cruz with a degree in European History, with a focus on Women's History. If she's not working or training for a race, she's usually having her reading time interrupted by pet demands from one of her four four-legged companions.

 Kristi Thielen, Communications Director

Kristi K. Thielen is currently the Legislative Aide for Assemblymember Rob Bonta. Prior to her work at the Capitol, Kristi was the Account Manager at Acosta Consulting and worked on three statewide initiative campaigns, one targeted State Assembly race and countless advocacy campaigns. Before her work in politics, Kristi worked in the world of startups in Los Angeles, collaborating with founders on outreach and marketing strategies. Kristi is very involved in the Sacramento political scene, serving on multiple boards & elected office. In addition to being the Fem Dems Communications Director, she is also the Communications Director for the Sacramento County Young Democrats. Kristi is also an elected official, serving as the youngest public official in the Sacramento Region as a Democratic Party of Sacramento County elected member. Kristi received her Bachelor's in Political Science with an emphasis on International Relations and American Politics from UCLA. While attending UCLA, Kristi was a Research Assistant for the Political Science Department, contributing to a paper that was published in The New York Times on the analysis of presidential speeches.


  Tempestt Edward, Treasurer

Tempestt Edward is a Legislative Aide for Assemblymember Jim Cooper. She previously participated in the Capitol Fellowship program where she was a Senate Fellow placed in Senator (now Congressman) Mark DeSaulnier. Tempestt graduated from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies and Political Science. She also currently serves as the Communication Director for the Black Young Democrats of Sacramento. In her spare time she enjoys trying out new recipes, getting lost in a good book, and watching the latest movies.


    Cynthia Castillo, Secretary

Cynthia is Legislative Assistant for the Faculty Association of California Community Colleges (FACCC), where she advocates for faculty and student concerns. Previously, she served as a Field Organizer for the California Democratic Party in District 07’s 2016 Congressional Election. A graduate of California State University Sacramento with a Mass Communications degree and a first generation American; she now resides in Midtown Sacramento where she can often be found at the latest movie premier, music festival, or art show. 


    Linda Tenerowicz, Membership Services +
    Outreach Coordinator

Linda is a Legislative Aide for California State Assemblymember Rodriguez staffing public safety, health, and human services. After graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Linda moved to Sacramento where she worked as a consultant in the Senate Public Safety Committee through the Capitol Fellows Program. In 2016, Linda helped co-found Barkada Sacramento, an organization committed to bringing together the Filipino-American community to explore ideas around identity, politics and culture. Outside of work, Linda enjoys dancing hula and learning about Hawaiian culture and the arts. 

   Valeria Hernandez, Political Director

   Valeria works in the office of Senator
   Newman, she previously worked for
   GroundWorks Campaigns and the California
   Vote Project. She recently graduated from
   Sacramento State with a degree in

   Caity Maple, Finance Director

   Caity is a Legislative Advocate for Gonzalez,
   Quintana. Her focus is on elections,
   campaign finance, effective government and
   transparency. She is a gubernatorial
   appointee to the 52nd District Agricultural
   Association, County Fair Board of Directors,
   board member of the Midtown
   Neighborhood Association, steering
   committee member for the University of
   California Center, Sacramento and member
   of several democratic and community
   organizations. Her passions include social
   equity and empowering women to become
   leaders, among others. Caity earned her
   Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the
   University of California, Davis.

   Mary McCune, Pipeline Program Director

   Mary is a Regulatory Analyst + Advocate for
   the California Dental Association. She also
   serves on the advisory board for California
   Groundbreakers and is a California
   Democratic Party Delegate for Assembly
   District 9. She previously worked for
   Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California.
   She is also a graduate of McGeorge School
   of Law and CSU Sacramento. In her spare
   time, Mary can be found in the cookbook
   section of a local bookstore, playing with her
   dogs, or snapping photos.  

Nicole Norton, Media Relations Director

Nicole is a Marketing Specialist for Selland Family Restaurants. Previously, she was an Account Executive for Perry Communications Group. She has a bachelor’s degree in Government from CSU Sacramento and previously served as a Public Affairs intern for the California Special Districts Association. Nicole has experience securing media coverage for clients, building social media strategies, developing content and planning events. In her down time, Nicole can be found exploring Northern California’s wonders.