Young Women Run Atlanta: Electeds


Women in Politics Lunch

Guests announced on a rolling basis. 


Tonya Anderson, State Senator Senator Tonya P. Anderson, a Democrat, was elected to the State Senate to represent Georgia’s 43rd District in 2016. Senator Anderson’s district includes parts of DeKalb, Rockdale, and Newton counties. Sen. Anderson serves as the Vice Chair of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus (GLBC), serves as Secretary of the Retirement Committee. She is also a member of the Public Safety, Special Judiciary, and Veterans, Military, and Homeland Security Committees. She also served on Defense & Veterans Affairs Committee and with the Working Families Caucus. Senator Anderson retired in 2012 from the United States Air Force Reserve after more than 21 honorable years of service and continues to volunteer and advocate for veterans’ services. In addition, she volunteers in the community through local Senior Centers, NCNW, the NAACP, NCBW 100 and several non-profit boards. Senator Anderson began her elected public service as a City Councilmember for the City of Lithonia from 2006 to 2008, and served as its Mayor from 2008 to 2011. During her tenure as Mayor of Lithonia, she gained funding for the amphitheater renovation project and completed the installation of a $1.2 million federally funded streetscape improvement plan. She also gave oversight to the completion of “The Terraces at Parkview,” a housing complex for 94 low and moderate income families. Senator Anderson is a member of several national and local governmental organizations including Women in Government, NBCSL, GLBC, NOBEL Women, Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute and Leadership DeKalb. 


Teri Anulewicz, State Representative, District 42 Bio coming soon. 

Karen Bennett, State Representative - Chairwoman of the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus Karen Leeper Bennett moved to Georgia in 1985, and has resided in DeKalb County since that time. She was first elected to serve in the Georgia General Assembly as State Representative of District 94 in 2012; representing citizens in both DeKalb and Gwinnett Counties. In this capacity, she serves on some of the most influential committees to include Economic Development and Tourism, Health and Human Services, Regulated Industries and Code Revision. In addition to having served as an officer in both the Gwinnett and DeKalb delegations, Representative Bennett currently serves as the Chairwoman for the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus.


Rhonda Burnough, State Representative, District 77 Rhonda M. Burnough was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2016. She proudly represents the citizens of House District 77, which includes portions of Clayton County. She currently serves on the Economic Development & Tourism, Governmental Affairs, Higher Education, and Small Business Development committees and has sponsored legislation that supports anti-discrimination, equal voting rights, absentee ballot access, education, and issues facing veterans and senior citizens, amongst other issues. State Rep. Burnough’s second term saw the unanimous, bipartisan passage of House Resolution 655 during the 2018 legislative session which selected November 9th as the annual Gold Star Fathers Recognition Day. This day encourages Georgians to honor fathers who lost a child while serving on Active Duty in the Armed Forces of the United States or died as a result of such service. This Resolution is now being considered by Congress to recognize Gold Star Fathers Nationally on November 9.


Park Cannon, State Representative, District 58 Park Cannon is in her third term as the youngest member of the Georgia House of Representatives. She is excited to represent Midtown, Downtown, and Southwest Atlanta. At the 2016 Democratic National Convention has in Philadelphia, Representative Cannon said "We need to trust black women!" and will continue to stand up for LGBTQ and minority visibility in the South.


Karla Drenner, Representative, District 85 A native of Charleston, West Virginia, Karla has lived and studied in various regions throughout the U.S. She was awarded a PhD in Public Policy Analysis and Administration from St. Louis University and completed her second PhD curriculum in Occupational Safety & Health from LaSalle University. She was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2000 as the first openly gay person in the south, and is now serving in her 10th term and sits on five legislative committees, including the Rules, Health & Human Services, Natural Resources & Environment, Energy, Utilities & Telecommunications and Small Business Development committees. Karla is also active in the policy process nationally, where she serves on the Policy Committee for the National Foundation for Women Legislators. Recently she was selected to participate in a two-year healthcare task force by the Conference of State Government. At the regional level she serves on the Energy and Environmental Public Policy Committee of the Southern Legislative Conference. Also, she serves as the chair of the DeKalb County House of Representatives legislative delegation. She has written several books entitled: “One: The True Story of Politics, Prayer, and the Power of One” in which she shares her legislative experiences. 

Patti Garrett, City of Decatur Bio coming soon. 



Nabilah Islam, Democratic Candidate for Georgia's 7th Congressional District Nabilah Islam is a 30-year-old Bangladeshi community activist and proud progressive running to fix our broken healthcare system, end student debt, and fight for immigrants and working people. The daughter of working-class Muslim immigrants, Nabilah grew up watching her parents live paycheck to paycheck and work long hours to get by. In high school, Nabilah’s mother herniated two discs working in a warehouse—and when the insurance company refused to cover her care, Nabilah helped her family navigate the legal process and force the insurers to pay. A proud graduate of Gwinnett County Public Schools, Nabilah’s first jobs were at the Ingles Grocery Store and the Walmart in Lawrenceville. She worked her way through Georgia State University at a luggage store in Peachtree Corners, and after graduation, began working for local progressive candidates in Georgia. Like millions of Americans, Nabilah owes nearly $30,000 in student loans—and like nearly a quarter of her district, she has no health insurance. Nabilah’s running for Congress because she knows, firsthand, that incremental change doesn’t work. Georgia’s 7th needs bold, progressive solutions: Medicare for All, student loan forgiveness, and an economy that actually works for working people. 

Donzella James, State Senator Senator Donzella James is a democratic senator representing Metropolitan Atlanta’s 35th District of Georgia, which includes portions of Fulton and Douglas Counties. She proudly served four and one half full terms and retired to offer herself to serve in the US Congress. In 2009, Senator James was re-elected to serve once again in the State Senate. Senator James currently serves as the Chairwoman of Interstate Cooperation. She is also a member of the Education and Youth, Special Judiciary, and Economic Development committees. She has worked to bring progressive change in the area of crime reduction, a safe and clean environment, stronger drunk driving laws and drug trafficking laws, economic development, increased access to affordable healthcare and quality education. 


Regina Lewis-Ward, Former Councilwoman Regina Lewis-Ward is a lifelong advocate for education, reading literacy, and economic advancement in her community. In 2013, Regina was presented with a distinguished Spotlight Award by the Henry County Chamber of Commerce and Board of Education for her outstanding community contributions. Regina holds a B.B.A. from Bernard M. Baruch College in computer systems and an M.A. in political science from Clayton State University. Regina has also served as a City of Stockbridge councilmember. As a councilmember, Regina founded the Stockbridge Citizens Academy to provide a greater level of transparency in how the city operates. She also led the initiative to use Community Development Block Grant funds to upgrade public parks with inclusive special needs playground equipment. Regina has more than thirty years of public and private sector leadership in areas of policy integration and management. As a leader in her community, she has worked with several organizations including the Atlanta Regional Commission, League of Women Voters of GA, One Henry Economic Alliance, NAACP, and the American Business Women’s Association.

Brenda Lopez Romero, Representative, District 99 Brenda made history in 2016 when she became the first Latina elected to the Georgia General Assembly, representing House District 99 in Gwinnett County. She sits on the education, retirement, and state planning & community affairs committees. She served as Vice Chair of DPG Latinx Caucus and on the House Democratic Caucus Policy Committee. Brenda exemplifies strong leadership as a rising star in Georgia politics.


Audrey Maloof, Candidate for Georgia State House, District 83 Audrey Maloof is a life long resident of DeKalb County, where she was raised by a public educator and a female business owner. Audrey's involvement in government began in the Office of Congressman John Lewis, where she learned how to best serve constituents. Audrey expanded her experience and encountered all sides of government, federal, state, and local, during her time working for a Commission Office in DeKalb County. Audrey is currently focused on protecting Georgia's voters through her work with Fair Fight Action. All of these experiences throughout Audrey's life have built her into someone who is dedicated to preserving the good of this district as well as doing better where we need to.


Donna McLeod, Representative, District 105 Donna McLeod was born in the island of Jamaica, grew up in Canada. She moved to Georgia in 1998 and became a US citizen in 2012. Donna McLeod is a Chemical Engineer with over 20 years’ experience in Quality Assurance Management/ Engineering, she is now the President/CEO of Enviroqual, LLC a Quality Assurance/Regulatory Consulting company specializing in Medical Devices, Food, Plastics and Pharmaceuticals. She is the Committee Chair for Voter Outreach and Outreach for the Gwinnett County Democratic Party as well as member of the Executive Committee. Ms. McLeod was a grassroots organizer for Senator Obama’s 2008 campaign. In 2012, she was National Director for Voter Outreach for Black Women for Obama. In 2016, she ran for State House Representative, District 105, in Gwinnett County, GA. Ms. McLeod was endorsed by President Barack Obama. On November 6, 2018 she was elected State Representative for District 105, winning with over 4000 votes. In 2018, she also earned the endorsements of both President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. During the 2019 Legislative Session, Representative McLeod worked with the Department of Corrections and the Department of Community Services to update their release documents to ensure that Ex-Felons that have served their time will be informed that their Voting Rights are restored. Ms. McLeod is a co-founder of C.A.N.I, Inc., (Community Action Network Initiatives) a non-profit 501c3 organization that helps educate and inform people of their civic and societal rights and responsibilities. 

Erika Mitchell, Board Member Since elected to the Atlanta Board of Education, Erika Mitchell has established herself as one of Atlanta’s most influential public servant. Mitchell is an active board member when it comes to serving her community and she is a strong believer in parent and community engagement. Within Mitchell’s first year in office, she developed the first electronic newsletter for her district, and established community partnerships with Georgia’s Own Credit Union, Chick fil-A, University for Parents, youthSpark, Fulton County Juvenile Courts, U First Project, NFL Players Association,100 Black Men of America, St. Peters Missionary Baptist Church, and The Launch Pad for her educational district.  She has also co-written the first school district Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking policy and protocol in the state of Georgia in collaboration with Dr. Sharnell Myles. 


Michelle Olympiadis, Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education District 3 Michelle Olympiadis is the District 3 Representative of the Atlanta Board of Education.  From the time Michelle was a preschool room parent, she has been engaged as an active parent, volunteer, and leader to support schools and great experiences for students. She is a current member of the State Advisory Panel, Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE), Student Success Stakeholder Committee and Inclusion Committee Chair for District 10, Georgia Parent Teacher Association.