GALEO Impact Fund is proud to endorse progressive Latina/o candidates who aspire to lead their communities from the frontlines of public office. Our mission is clear: to endorse, uplift, and support candidates who share our values and vision for a just, inclusive, and forward-thinking society.
For more information regarding our candidate endorsement program, please contact Kyle Gomez-Leineweber at kgomez@galeoimpactfund.org

2024 Endorsements

congressional endorsements

Candidate: ANTONIO DAZA (D)

Antonio Daza
US Congressional District 11

Antonio Daza, born in Venezuela, is a passionate advocate for democracy, justice, and progress. His political activism began when he was young, opposing government corruption and authoritarianism.

Seeking asylum in the U.S. in 2003, he founded Daza Dance, shaping Atlanta’s cultural landscape for 15 years. Academically, he initiated an inclusive major in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Oglethorpe University. Inspired by the events of the Trump era, he contested for Congress in 2022, demonstrating his commitment to defending democracy and advocating for equity. 

STATE legislative endorsements

Candidate: Jason esteves (D)

Jason Esteves
Senate District 35

Jason Esteves, Georgia State Senator for District 6, focuses on issues impacting families, including public education, healthcare, housing, and economic opportunity. Sworn in on January 9, 2023, he serves on several Senate Committees and is Vice Chair of Finance.

As a former at-large representative and Board Chair of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education, he promoted equity and improved the school system’s financial outlook. Under his leadership, APS achieved its highest graduation rate (83.1%) and addressed pandemic challenges by providing meals, laptops, and internet access to students.

Jason also championed equity policies and LGBTQ+ support. 

Candidate: Rashaun Kemp (D)

Rashaun Kemp
Senate District 38

Rashaun is the senior director of a national non-profit organization that focuses on amplifying the voices of Black and Brown public charter school leaders. He has led a state education department, served as a Government Affairs professional, and worked as a high school teacher and principal.

Rashaun actively contributes to his community, serving on various boards and volunteering in food distribution and community cleanups.

He’s a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated. Rashaun resides in Atlanta with his spouse, Ken Kemp, and their children. In his free time, he stays informed about politics, travels, watches football, and plays tennis.

Candidate: micheal garza (D)

Micheal Garza
House District 46

Micheal Garza owns a web development firm and is a local and state government leader. He co-founded the Cobb Community Care Coalition and has been active in local and state government, as a prominent leader in Moms Demand Action, the largest grassroots gun violence prevention organization in the countryIn. In 2022, he ran for office, achieving a historic Democratic vote share in Georgia.

He supports candidates with similar backgrounds and was Everytown for Gun Safety’s first candidate recruiter in Georgia. Micheal, a devoted father and PTA co-president, advocates for equitable education, community safety, and reproductive rights

Candidate: Laura Murvatian (D)

Laura Murvatian
House District 48

Ms. Murvartian, a business executive, small business owner, and nonprofit leader, is a proud immigrant running for State Representative of Georgia’s House District 48.

Hailing from an immigrant family, she witnessed firsthand the value of hard work through her parents’ example, working various jobs during her schooling years.

With a master’s degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, she founded Arte GA. She held senior positions at Equifax and Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. Recognized by the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, she’s actively engaged in the Atlanta community and serves on boards focusing on the Latino community and the arts.

Married for 26 years with two college-aged children, she resides in Johns Creek, GA.

Candidate: PHIL OLALEYE (D)

Phil Olaleye
House District 59

Elected in 2022, Phil represents Georgia House District 59, covering parts of Atlanta and East Point. As Executive Director of Next Generation Men & Women, he supports Atlanta youth by offering college and career guidance. Phil previously served as Director of Performance Management at WorkSource Atlanta and as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines. He’s a former President of the Organized Neighbors of Summerhill and has been honored by Georgia Trend and the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

With a Master’s from Harvard Kennedy School of Government and roots in Stone Mountain, Phil, the son of Nigerian and Colombian immigrants, resides in Summerhill with his wife, Sabrina Gómez, and their two sons.

Candidate: Maggy Martinez (D)

Maggy Martinez
House District 74

Maggy Martínez, a dedicated public servant, boasts a decorated record, including being voted “Legislator of the Year” in 1999 by the House of Representatives of Puerto Rico. She’s a longstanding member of the Clayton County Democratic Party, serving as a delegate for the 13th Congressional District and as Liaison for Voting Rights for the Clayton County Board of Elections.

Maggy’s commitment to community improvement led her to serve as a Georgia delegate for Joe Biden’s Democratic National Convention in 2020, where she contributed pro-bono work through her Public Relations firm, creating promotional videos for the Democratic platform. She’s been a Biden DNC Delegate since 2020. Additionally, Maggy served as a Board Member for Early Childhood & Learning under Governor Sonny Perdue from 2002 to 2006.

With 23 years of teaching experience, she instructed Spanish at Mundy’s Mill High School and Elite Scholar Academy and also taught film production at Southern Crescent Technical College in Griffin.

Candidate: Saira Draper (D)

Saira Draper
House District 90

Rep. Saira Draper, an attorney and voting rights expert, represents Georgia House District 90 in Atlanta/DeKalb. As a state legislator, she’s a leading voice in democracy and electoral policy. In 2020, she spearheaded voter protection efforts for the Biden/Harris campaign and Senators Warnock and Ossoff.

She co-founded Power the Vote, a non-profit supporting democracy protection work. Beyond voting rights, Rep. Draper focuses on economic opportunity, maternal health, gun safety, racial justice, and education.

She’s a first-generation immigrant, a Georgia Tech and Georgetown Law graduate, and a mother of three.

Candidate: sonia lopez (D)

Sonia Lopez
House District 96

Sonia Lopez, an American citizen who emigrated from El Salvador in 1971, settled in Los Angeles with her husband. They have three grown children and three grandchildren. Eight years ago, they moved to Norcross, where Sonia became active with the Hispanic Citizens Police Academy and founded the nonprofit organization Asami-Atl, which focused on helping families in the Norcross community.

She’s a dedicated member of the Norcross Lions, serving in various leadership roles. Additionally, she’s involved in the Norcross Public Arts Commission and the Neighborhood Cooperative Ministry.

Sonia works for the Boy Scouts of America/Atlanta Area Council, nurturing the next generation of leaders. 

Sonia Lopez’s legislative priorities:

  1. Equal Opportunity: Sonia aims to promote equal opportunity for businesses and individuals across Gwinnett County and the State of Georgia.
  2. Law Enforcement Support: She advocates for supporting law enforcement in their community protection efforts while safeguarding individual rights.
  3. Affordable Housing: Sonia supports statewide efforts to attract affordable housing through tax incentives, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.
  4. Education: She encourages affordable options for the state university system, including low-cost two-year degrees as an entry point to four-year universities, along with increased funding for local public schools.
  5. Medicaid Expansion: Sonia prioritizes expanding Medicaid. 

Candidate: mary ann santos (D)

Mary Ann Santos
House District 117

A McDonough resident for 23 years, she hails from hardworking immigrant parents who run a local business. A Henry County High School alumna, she navigated full-time work and night classes as a single parent, earning a bachelor’s in Criminal Justice Leadership from Mercer University and a master’s in Public Administration from Clayton State University.

As a proud Latina and woman of color, she champions marginalized communities through mentorship programs and non-profit work across metro Atlanta. A survivor of domestic violence, she brings empathy and strength to her 18 years of public service.

Outside work, she finds joy in motherhood, expressing her creativity as an artist, and attending T.O.P. Church.

county level Elections

Candidate: Brunessa Drayton (D)

Brunessa Drayton
Cobb Superior Court Clerk

Brunessa Drayton, a proud Afro-Latina immigrant, and daughter of a veteran, grew up on U.S. military bases in Panama. Her strong work ethic and unique perspective reflect her heritage. After a career in sales, she served with AmeriCorps before leading community-focused programming at the Cobb County library system. In 2020, she oversaw critical functions in the Chairwoman’s office of Cobb County, including the COVID-19 response and initiatives like the County’s first Youth Commission. Later, as the Northwest Georgia Outreach Coordinator for U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff, she secured federal funding for Cobb and Northwest Georgia.

With an M.P.A. from Kennesaw State University and a BA in Government and Spanish from Western Kentucky University, she’s deeply engaged in community service, including as a Trustee on the Cobb County Library Board. Active in Jack & Jill of America and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., Brunessa is committed to making a positive impact.

She enjoys running and training for half marathons with her husband, Christopher, and their four boys in Powder Springs.

Candidate: judge ana maria martinez

Judge Ana Maria Martinez
Dekalb County State Court – Division A6

Ana María Martinez made history as the first Latina judge in a Georgia court of record when she was sworn in by Governor Brian Kemp on January 18, 2022. Before her judgeship, she served as a Staff Attorney for DeKalb State Court (Division 6) and worked as a civil litigator. Committed to legal and community service, she co-founded the Georgia Latino Law Foundation and initiated the Judicial Internship Program. Martinez has been recognized for leadership in programs like Leadership Georgia and received numerous awards, including the Anti-Defamation League Southeast 2021 Emerging Leader Award.

A Colombian immigrant, she holds a B.B.A. in Marketing from The University of Georgia and a J.D. from Georgia State University College of Law. She resides in metro Atlanta with her husband and two daughters.

Candidate: Jerry Ramos-Arce (D)

Jerry Ramos-Arce
Hall County Sheriff

A third-generation Puerto Rican, Jerry Ramos is a candidate for Hall County Sheriff. Having
served eight years in the military and more than twenty years in law enforcement culminating in his
career as Chief of Police.

Using his background in law enforcement and security, his approach places a strong emphasis
on community service and protection. He wants to build stronger ties within the community and
promote an inclusive work environment. Jerry's vast education includes classes from prestigious
universities and law enforcement centers, which improves his skills.

Priorities for him if elected include ending the 287(g) I.C.E. agreement and ensuring that the
newly mandated HB1105 is applied as intended and the preservation of the 5th and 14thamendment due process clause by requiring all ICE detainers to be signed by a judge to
mitigate arbitrary detention by field agents!

He also plans to put into action a proactive and strict S.T.E.P. plan to address human trafficking,
community violence, property crimes, opioid impact, gun violence, and marginalization. As well
as maintaining a skilled workforce that represents the community we serve.

Visit: www.jerryramosforsheriff.com

Candidate: Frank torres (R)

Frank Torres
Whitfield County Sheriff

Frank Torres, a Whitfield County resident since 1988, immigrated from Guanajuato, Mexico. He’s a father of 5, all educated in Whitfield County schools. Known for his towing and mechanic business for over 28 years, he also served as a Whitfield County firefighter for 12 years, accumulating over 3,000 hours of first response training, including EMT certification.

Frank’s decision to run for Sheriff stems from observing friction between law enforcement agencies, prompting his campaign slogan “Let’s make the fear disappear” (“Ayudar no espantar”). He aims to bridge divides in the community, addressing concerns about interactions with law enforcement and internal departmental issues, including lawsuits for sexual misconduct. With over 35% of the Latino population in Whitfield County, Frank seeks to bring representation and positive changes to the community.

local non-partisan candidates

Candidate: Abigail guzman

Abigail Guzman
Gainesville City Council

Drawing on her experience as a small business owner, Abigail Guzman is dedicated to bolstering Gainesville’s business environment. As a wife and mother of two, she prioritizes resources that empower youth and enhance educational and recreational opportunities. Guzman, a Mexican-American woman, brings a diverse perspective to Ward 4, aligning with Gainesville’s varied population. Deeply connected to the Downtown Square business community, she advocates for its revitalization.

With a proven record in community advocacy through roles like WomenSource Board Member and Gainesville City School System PTA Boards, Guzman champions small businesses and envisions a safe, thriving Gainesville for every child.

Candidate: SHANA V. WHITE

Shana V. White
Gwinnett County School Board

Shana V. White is the Director of CS Equity Initiatives at the Kapor Center, focusing on Equitable CS Initiatives in CSforCA and CSforGA. With 16 years of experience in K12 education, she’s dedicated to improving teacher professional development and enhancing participation and success for students of color in CS courses. Shana holds degrees from Wake Forest University, Winthrop University, and Kennesaw State University.

Passionate about disrupting norms, she fosters online educator communities and advocates for justice and equity in K12 schools. Beyond work, she enjoys family time, live sports, volunteering, rom-coms, and weightlifting.

district attorney endorsements

Candidate: Deborah Gonzalez (D)

Deborah Gonzalez
Western Judicial Circuit

Deborah Gonzalez (D) is an experienced attorney, incumbent Athens DA, and former Georgia state legislator. She’s passionate about transforming the criminal justice system, advocating for victims of sexual harassment and domestic violence, and protecting children and working families.

As the most progressive candidate in this race, she’s committed to addressing racial disparities in our legal system. Her platform includes eliminating cash bail for low-level offenses, reducing prosecutorial overcharging, declining to prosecute low-level marijuana possession, ending death penalty prosecutions, and maintaining a unit to review unjust sentencing and wrongful convictions.

Additionally, she won’t prosecute women under the state’s vague anti-abortion bill and aims to increase transparency through a public data portal

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