Mountain West Correspondent
Co-Host | Environment & Feminist Correspondent
Having grown up in Hawaii, Kaili first gained an interest in politics when she was in eighth grade and her U.S. history teacher showed clips from The West Wing in class. She attended Dartmouth College—in part so she could be in New Hampshire for the nation’s first primary—where she majored in Women and Gender Studies with a minor in Public Policy. Upon graduation, she started work in New Hampshire—first as an organizer with Repower America and then on a 2010 Senate race.
Since then, she has worked in the online progressive movement leading various digital campaigns at Democracy for America, UltraViolet, and MoveOn—interspersed with her role as Women’s Issues Campaign Manager at Organizing for Action.
Besides politics, Kaili is mostly interested in dogs: spending time with her dogs, volunteering with Summit Dog Rescue, and taking way too many pictures of dogs. She currently lives in Denver where she is involved with several groups working to uplift, connect, and empower women.
Growing up in Las Vegas, Nevada, Ryan could have grown up to work in the gaming industry, but after getting his first brush with activism in school, standing up for his little sister and then later getting involved in politics itself – working for Dina Titus when she was running for Governor he was hooked.
Whether working in California to help single parents advocate for their own children in the educational system or flipping State Senate seats in Nevada and Colorado, Ryan has been working on behalf of Democratic causes for over a decade. Most recently, Ryan serves as a consultant on state legislative races, working to build the Democratic bench.
Ryan earned a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Pepperdine University, with a concentration in Economics and American Politics. When not working on campaigns, Ryan takes in the occasional baseball game, rooting for the San Francisco Giants since birth and frequently singing badly at karaoke.
Learn more about the folks you listen to, with backgrounds across the country, and from across the movement. Our folks have worked from Presidential campaigns to small school boards. We've helped & worked for some issue organizations that do progressive work too!
Co-Host | Florida Correspondent
Co-Host | Colorado Correspondent
Will Andras has spent most of his life in Colorado. Like many millennials his progressive political beliefs were cemented due to abysmal Presidency of George W. Bush. His first efforts in activism came in 2004 registering new voters on college campuses, but his real start in Democratic politics came in 2010 volunteering for Michael Bennet’s campaign for US Senate as a canvasser, phone banker, and staging location director. Will then spent 3 years campaigning for Democratic candidates across the country. This work took him to Oregon, Wisconsin, and Missouri before finally returning to Colorado.
Will has a BA in Political Science from Metropolitan State University in Denver. His only passion outside of politics is for soccer where he tries to withhold his disappointment in the local Colorado Rapids, and wakes up early (nearly) every weekend to watch Arsenal play in the English Premier League. Otherwise you’ll find him running, poorly playing soccer, watching low budget movies, or hanging out in the local punk scene.
Volunteering during John Kerry’s campaign for President and working on his first congressional campaign at 16, Franco was deeply involved in progressive politics. In 2010 he graduated cum laude from FIU where he was President of the College Democrats with a degree in Political Science.
Franco then taught in Arizona & Colorado for Teach for America. He did field and digital work for Organizing for America and managed data at SEIU. Franco joined Democracy for America where he eventually ran their electoral program. He worked as a Manager of Candidate Development at Leadership for Educational Equity for a pair of years before joining the Center for Community Change in 2016.
When he is not working, Franco is usually cheering on his beloved Manchester United or watching one of his other sports teams. The rest of the time, he is playing with his dogs or his Playstation, proving that boys never grow up.
Alabama and Legal Correspondent
Beth Clayton is a native Alabaman who got the political itch at Auburn University, where she received her degree in Public Relations. She's liable to yell 'War Eagle!' anytime during football season. Having led the Alabama College Dems and the Young Democrats, she's an expert organizer and can win races in the reddest of territories. That leadership and ability earned her the position of National Program Director with the College Democrats of America.
Beth was part of the capitol press corps with the Alabama Political Reporter and still contributes to APR's television arm, The Voice of Alabama Politics. In 2014, Beth began working with Scout Communications and Impact Campaigns as a campaign consultant, leading over 27 political campaigns in five states. She recently began working at Boulder Strategies where she helps to elect progressive candidates across the country while going to law school.
Conner Wood is a native Michigander who got his political start stumping for John Kerry in his fifth-grade mock election. His progressive values are rooted in his experience growing up the son of a single mother in the depths of the Great Recession.
Conner was active in his high school’s gay-straight alliance, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in Political Science and Spanish. After internships at Democracy for America, the Michigan AFL-CIO, and a local city council race, he went on to manage a targeted state house race in 2016. He hopes future cycles will be less reminiscent of Yeats’ “The Second Coming.”
When he’s not knocking doors or calling his elected officials, you can find him reading, listening to the Mountain Goats, or watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
[Editor's Note: Mountain Goats are apparently a band, not an animal that sings in Michigan]
Appalachian and Rural Correspondent
Michael Cooper Jr. is a journalist and attorney in the foothills of North Carolina. He was a 2009 New Leaders Fellow at the Center for Progressive Leadership in Washington D.C., a 2015 New Leaders Council Fellow in North Carolina, he interned in the office of Congressman Keith Ellison (DFL-Minn.) and was a staffer for the Hip Hop Caucus before returning home to practice law and work on campaigns.
He's been a contributor to the New Republic, Generation Progress, The Charlotte Observer, The Winston-Salem Journal, and U.S. News & World Report.
He's also an avid Appalachian State football fan and will happily recount their triumphs over the years to any innocent bystander.