Lezlie Braxton Campbell

Lezlie Braxton Campbell

President - president@ydma.org

Lezlie Braxton Campbell is a native of Springfield, MA where he was born and raised for most of his life. He is a proud graduate of Springfield Public Schools where he is now a third-year middle school teacher and proud advocate for his students. Before becoming an educator, Lezlie worked in aviation for different major U.S. airlines. One of his proudest accomplishments related to diversity comes from his time at JetBlue being the co-founder of JADE (JetBlue’s African Diaspora Experience) employee resource group.

Lezlie began doing advocacy work in high school and continued throughout college in areas including environmental justice, school to prison pipeline reform, conflict resolution & non-violence training for youth, and youth empowerment initiatives. He received his Bachelor’s degree from Westfield State University. During his time at Westfield, he was the first full year President of the Black Student Union and a Senator on the Student Government Association.

He has been a part of YDMA since 2019 starting as the Chair of the Western Mass Young Democrats where he restarted the chapter. He has also served as Vice-Chair of the YDMA Black Caucus. Lezlie is currently serving as the first Black President of YDMA and is happy to represent Western Mass while leading the statewide organization. In addition to being President, he also serves as Secretary of the Young Democrats of America Legislation Committee, Co-Chair of the MassDems Youth Services Sub Committee, Diversity & Equity Officer of Bay State Stonewall Democrats, and is a Board Member of Neighbor to Neighbor MA Education/Action Fund.

Lezlie is a fan of many historical figures and lives by the words of A. Phillip Randolph “Freedom is never given, it is won”.

Lisa Stevens-Goodnight

Lisa Stevens-Goodnight

Vice President for Membership & Outreach - vice_president@ydma.org

Jack Perenick

Jack Perenick

Vice President for Political Affairs - vp-political@ydma.org

Our Vice President for Political Affairs, Jack Perenick, is originally from western Massachusetts where he grew up and served as the President of the Hampden County District Attorney’s Youth Advisory Board, which helps educate students and parents about online safety, substance abuse prevention, and promotes community diversity and reconciliation. In 2021, he served as one of two delegates chosen to represent Massachusetts as part of the United States Senate Youth Program. He is currently a Somervillian and a student at Tufts University, where he is studying political science and international relations. Jack is passionate about environmental justice and education and is a Climate Reality Leader with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, working to promote green policies in Somerville.

In the last several years, Jack has put his training with the National Democratic Training Committee to work volunteering for Democratic candidates from Melanie Stansbury in New Mexico to Nicole Galloway in Missouri. As VP for Political Affairs, he will continue to support diligent and hardworking Democrats for public office in our Commonwealth and work to enact reforms to our electoral system with policies like ranked-choice voting, public campaign funds matching, and blanket primaries.

Books that shed light on the inner working world, including Metropolitan Life, The Deficit Myth, The Selfish Gene, and The American Senate, are where he gets inspiration for new strategies for a Commonwealth guided by Democratic ideals.

Ela Gardiner

Ela Gardiner

Vice President for Communications - communications@ydma.org

Ela Gardiner serves as our Vice President for Communications and is the youngest member of the YDMA Executive Board. Born in Boston, she grew up in London, England, where she gained an international and well-rounded view of government and became increasingly involved in liberal politics. Upon moving back to Massachusetts, she joined YDMA and has become the president of the Wellesley Young Democrats.

Ela brings experience to the Communications department from working with High Schoolers for Biden and High School Democrats of America. As Vice President for Communications, she will continue to use our public image and social media to further YDMA’s mission in the Commonwealth and work to continue our standing as the go-to youth organization.

In her free time, she is often found reading congressional resolutions or watching C-Span. Political biographies and autobiographies fill Ela’s bookshelf, where she continuously collects original copies of published novels.

Rob Cohen

Rob Cohen

YDA Committeeperson - rjcohen10@gmail.com