CO-FOUNDER & Chair
With significant experience in political campaigns and government relations, LaTanja Silvester is a veteran activist who has dedicated her career to defending the rights and improving the lives of Louisianans. Silvester is well known for her ability to organize and develop grassroots campaigns with a particular focus on Get Out The Vote (GOTV) efforts. As President of Urban Campaign Strategies, LLC, a boutique consulting company founded in 2017, LaTanja has led campaigns for voting rights, equal pay for women, equitable education, and fair wages. She has worked to register voters, ensuring that their voices are heard and increasing her client's chances of success.
In 2015, as the lead strategist for a statewide 501(c)3 Table and a selection of 501(c)4 organizations, Ms. Silvester developed and executed the plan to create a statewide coalition of non-profit and political organizations across Louisiana, synchronizing common political efforts for efficiency and effectiveness. With her leadership, the Coalition helped increase voter turnout in target districts throughout the State of Louisiana.
In addition to her political consulting activities, Ms. Silvester is also President of Service Employee International Union (SEIU) Local 21-Louisiana. As President, she has been a constant voice and advocate for the needs of Louisiana’s working families. Under Ms. Silvester's leadership, SEIU of Louisiana successfully implemented the American Federation of Labor’s (AFL-CIO) GOTV's efforts from 2013 to present.
In the Louisiana Legislature, Ms. Silvester has advanced legislation supporting access to healthcare, living wages and economic empowerment, and she has worked to broaden and deepen opportunities for local and minority owned business across Louisiana.
LaTanja Silvester earned her Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science, and her Master's Degree in Criminal Justice. She has received significant campaign management trainings through Wellstone Action, Emerge America, VAN, and Hustle. Ms. Silvester has been President of SEIU from 2013 to present.
Kea Sherman is the founder of the Sherman Law Firm, a boutique firm that advocates for individuals and small businesses in civil matters. Additionally, Kea acts as general counsel to a number of companies located in the New Orleans area. She has spent the past decade tirelessly growing the firm, championing women’s rights by co-founding Emerge Louisiana and Les Femmes PAC and working to increase access to Early Childhood Education in Louisiana. In 2019, her passion for New Orleans and our state motivated Kea to run for the Louisiana Legislature in House District 98.
Never one to shy away from hard work, Kea got her first job at age 15, and continued to juggle multiple positions to put herself through college. Kea received a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science with a minor in communications and public relations. She studied civil law at the LSU Law Center, receiving her law degree in 2004 from the South Texas College of Law.
As a young associate, Kea worked with the plaintiff’s lawyers, who would litigate Robinson v. United States – the lawsuit against the United States Army Corps of Engineers for its negligent maintenance and operation of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (better known as the MRGO). The opportunity to work on a case of this magnitude with such a personal connection was significant and transformative. She understood her life’s mission was to advocate for those without a voice and to make Louisiana a better place for all to live.
Kea has served on a fundraising committee for Educare New Orleans, the Board of Directors for Kingsley House and the Board of Directors for Dress for Success New Orleans. In 2017, Governor John Bel Edwards appointed Kea to serve as a Commissioner on the Louisiana Environmental Education Commission. She also currently sits on the Board of Governors of the Louisiana Association for Justice. Super Lawyers recognized her as a Rising Star in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Kea and her work have been featured in Vanity Fair, Inside New Orleans, and on ABC’s “20/20″.
Kea resides in New Orleans, with her husband, Neal Bodenheimer, their daughter Hayden, and dog Fonzie.