James_Haslam.jpg JAMES HASLAM, Executive Director

James co-founded Rights & Democracy after serving as the Executive Director at the Vermont Workers’ Center for over 15 years. He has extensive experience in running grassroots legislative advocacy campaigns, labor and community organizing.

Maria.jpg MARIA ROSA FITZSIMMONS, Organizing Director

Maria is a native of the south side of Chicago. She has been organizing since her first year at Fordham University, where she studied economics and theology, and led a number of student organizing efforts. She has organized communities in New York, Seattle, Los Angeles, and Chicago on a number of issues including access to public housing, immigrant rights, economic democracy, and racial justice. She is a member of the national people's action national training team.

Isaac_Grimm.jpeg ISAAC GRIMM, Political Engagement Director

Since RAD's inception, Isaac has worked as the lead organizer and canvass director. He worked as co-canvass director with the Working Families Party and organizer for SEIU helping thousands of adjunct faculty form a union. A University of Vermont (UVM) grad and former Vermont Workers’ Center intern, he also worked as a high school social studies teacher in Colombia for 5 years.

Greaves.jpeg ELISE GREAVES, Lead Organizer

Elise was born and raised in Hardwick, Vermont. She graduated from UVM in 2014, where she studied History and Secondary Education. After college, she served as an AmeriCorps member organizing community service opportunities for middle and high school students in Essex Junction. She began working with Rights & Democracy in August 2015 organizing in communities across the state, and played a key role in organizing the Women's March on Montpelier in January of 2017. At roughly 20,000 attendees, the march was the one of the biggest rallies in Vermont history. You can reach her at

katie.jpeg KATIE MCCARTY, Development & Finance Director

Katie is a native Vermonter. She earned a Master’s of Science Degree in Nonprofit Management from SIT Graduate Institute. She has years of experience working for environmental, educational, and human rights-based nonprofits in the United States as well as abroad. You can reach her at

Shay_Totten.jpg SHAY TOTTEN, Communications Director

Shay grew up in the Northeast Kingdom and as a writer and publisher has worked to give voice to people organizing on a variety of issues, from labor, LGBTQ and disability rights to the environmental justice and anti-war movements, and more. A graduate of Bennington College, he has served on the boards of the Vermont Press Association, the Peace & Justice Center, the Keep BT Local Coop, Burlington Friends of Education, and was a founding board member of RAD. You can reach him at

adrian.jpeg ADRIAN BURNETT, Canvass Director

Adrian got involved with political organizing during U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign where he canvassed in New Hampshire and then started working as an intern in the Burlington HQ. He also worked on David Zuckerman’s campaign for Lt. Governor as the Field Organizer for Windham, Windsor, and Orange counties. As RAD's canvass director, he connects with people all over the state, inviting them to get involved with the political revolution. You can reach him at

jessica.jpeg JESSICA EARLY, Healthcare Organizer

Jessica is a nurse who has organized on public health, healthcare reform, and patient advocacy issues for more than seven years. She has worked as a primary care provider for the Veterans Health Administration and has specialty training in geriatric care. During the 2016 election cycle, Jessica served as the campaign manager for Mari Cordes' (a fellow nurse and Rights & Democracy leader) first-time bid for a Vermont State House Representative seat as part of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders' down-ballot revolution. She has previously worked for the Vermont Workers’ Center and has done overseas nursing and patient advocacy work in Kigali, Rwanda. She continues to work as a nurse in the Burlington, Vermont area while leading Rights & Democracy’s healthcare organizing work.

emma.jpeg EMMA SCHOENBERG, Grassroots Organizer

As a Grassroots Organizer for Rights and Democracy, Emma works to lift up the voices of Vermonters by training, building empowerment, and educating. A UVM grad, her background is in agriculture and food justice issues, but she has also worked on issues surrounding climate and energy. In her free time she likes to sing songs, spend time with plants, and crack puns. You can reach her at

nate.jpg NATE LAGUE, Canvasser

Nate is a lifelong Vermonter, and grew up in Belvidere. He was first introduced to critical thought and political engagement at Lamoille Union High School when he joined their debate team. That passion opened up amazing opportunities with the Lawrence Debate Union at UVM. There, he continues to pursue a degree in political science. He has worked on environmental and social justice issues with non-profits in Vermont for the past two years. He spends his free time playing guitar and snowboarding in the winter. He can be reached at