Officers

Candace Tiana Nelson

President

Candace Tiana Nelson, an activist and advocate, serving her community and the Democratic Party is her true passion.

Currently, she serves as President of the Ward 4 Democrats of Washington, DC, Vice Chair of Ward 4’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4A, and First Vice President of the DC Democratic Black Caucus.

She seeks to serve and lead by sharing vision and expanding inclusion.

Vanessa Rubio

1st Vice President

Vanessa Rubio is passionate about voter education and expanding the Ward 4 Democrats’ outreach to the Hispanic community. She is a DC native, mother of four, ANC 4C01 Commissioner, and the Brightwood Education Campus Parent Teacher Association President. 

Tiffani Nichole Johnson

2nd Vice President

Tiffani Nichole Johnson is a lifelong resident of Washington, DC. She is a graduate of several schools in DC, including St. John’s and the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. Following law school, she clerked for several senior Judges in DC Superior Court before becoming a disability rights advocate. She has worked with the protection and advocacy agency for DC before accepting an advocacy position with the DC Department on Disability Services, a position she has held for the past 8 years.

In addition to being a disability rights advocate, she currently represents her community of Manor Park as its ANC Commissioner and is the sole proprietor of Johnson Consulting Services, which provides traveling notary services, advocacy and referral services throughout Washington, DC.

She currently resides in her family home in Manor Park with her daughter, cousin and two cats, Tinkerbell and Rascal.

 

Laurence B Minor II

Treasurer

Laurence B. Minor II is a native of Washington, DC. He’s a retired Army veteran with over 23 years of proven experience, including five deployments in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Bosnia. He has also enjoyed a well-rounded career in management and planning, supervising 120 personnel across various departments, and organizing military training events. His record is one of increased responsibility and accomplishment.

Laurence has served in roles of First Sergeant (2), Operations Sergeant, and Flight Operations Sergeant.  He has accomplished measurable results while leading teams in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.  He possesses a comprehensive background in operations management, domestic, and global operations. As a First Sergeant and Operations Planner, he managed multiple projects, executed the company’s supply discipline program, and maintained accountability of supplies and equipment valued over $15M.  He demonstrates extensive knowledge of administrative support, high profile events, security management, budget analysis, risk management, and strategic planning.

Since his transition from the Army, Laurence has continued his service through community engagements within Ward 4 by most recently collaborating with neighbors to orchestrate the first annual neighborhood Block Party, fostering community and education of Washington, DC programs and resources.    

Shauna Gordon-McKeon

Corresponding Secretary

Shauna Gordon-McKeon is a Takoma resident and a technology professional. She works with academics, non-profits, and progressive organizations to build better software in an open, transparent, community-driven way. Recently she has begun to specialize in Democratic/progressive campaign technologies. She’s eager to put her skills to use serving Ward 4.
In her free time, Shauna volunteers as a labor organizer, with the goal of building worker power in the tech industry. She’s also an avid soccer player and supporter of the local women’s professional soccer team, the Washington Spirit.

 

Tamira Benitez

Recording Secretary

Tamira Benitez is a near life-long Washingtonian, Ward 4 resident, and a foodie. She brings over ten years of nonprofit experience, where she led teams in helping individuals and families preserve affordable housing, start and grow their businesses, and create communities of opportunity.

Tamira served in various leadership positions at the Latino Economic Development Center, the Small Business Development Center, and the Local Initiative Support Corporation. She also served in the DC Language Access Coalition and the DC Coalition for Immigrants’ Rights as a committee member. She is a graduate of the University of San Diego where she obtained a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership. She also holds a Bachelor’s in International Relations and a Bachelor’s in Japanese Language and Culture from Beloit College. Currently, she serves as a Constituent Service Coordinator at the Office of Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George. 

Tamira is originally from El Salvador, where she loved playing soccer barefoot and eating pupusas while watching Sabado Gigante with her family. She moved to Washington, DC, as a teen looking for a better life. She lives in Brightwood with her wife and their dog Lilo.

 

Renee Bowser

DC Democratic State Committeewoman

Renée Bowser currently serves as Ward 4 Committeewoman on the DC Democratic State Committee. Renée is a trade unionist and community activist. She strives to better structural conditions of working-class people, particularly the most marginalized, through organizing community power that promotes implementation of community expressed needs. 

Renée is a retired labor/union lawyer, who is a long time ANC Commissioner and recently appointed Labor Member of the Public Employee Relations Board (PERB). She champions issues of racially equitable development, deeply affordable housing, and increasing jobs and economic growth to serve our entire community.

 

James Sydnor

DC Democratic State Committeeman

James Sydnor is son to Alvin Sydnor of Sydnor’s Auto and Donna Ellis, former Committeewoman. Product of the D.C. public school system (Calvin Coolidge 1980), he achieved a Master in Homeland Security degree from the University of District of Columbia.

While serving in the U. S. Marine Corps, he deployed to Operation Iraqi Freedom I and II. Having obtained the rank of 1st Sergeant, he retired after 22 years of service.

Following military service James pursued a career as a security professional, where he is now at Headquarters Marine Corps as a Program and Management Analysis (Policy).

Serving his community, he was a prior Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner representing Single Member District 4B04 and is now serving as the Ward 4 Committeeman as a member of the Washington D.C. Democratic State Committee.

James’ service to the community extends to veterans and military families as a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars Price-Anderson Post 341, American Legion Kenneth Nash Post 8, and Public Member of the Advisory Board on Veterans Affairs for the District of Columbia.