Tania Jackson was raised in Ward 1 and has more than 20 years of experience in neighborhood-level community outreach, communications and project-related activism. Working variously with local government, non-profits and socially responsible for-profit entities, she has been able to help bring projects to fruition all over the District of Columbia.
In 2009 she started her own consulting organization, Create Communitas, specializing in public-private development, tenant purchase, and compliance with District and federal hiring standards. She currently serves on the Board of Humanities D.C., the Mary Church Terrell House, is the Vice Chair of the Ward One Democrats and a member of the Potomac Chapter of the Links, Inc. Tania’s first job after finishing college was working for then-Ward One Councilmember Frank Smith. She is a seventh generation Washingtonian and speaks French.
A U Street resident, Tom brings a decade of experience serving in political and non-profit communications roles in the government, campaigns, and as an advisor to non-profit and progressive organizations. Previously, he was a Senior Director at West End Strategy Team, and Senior Associate at Rabinowitz/Dorf Communications. Tom served as a communications official in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and as press secretary for U.S. Senator Ben Nelson and deputy press secretary for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. During the 2008 campaign season, Tom served as the deputy communications director for the Obama campaign in Indiana. He also served as a senior communications official at a start-up nonprofit focused on ending the corrupting influence of money in politics. Tom is a graduate of Oberlin College.
John Hillegass moved to Ward 1 with his sister in 2014 and has lived in U Street and Adams Morgan. John is currently an active resident of the LeDroit Park neighborhood. John brings his experience in the both private and non-profit sectors as a Project Manager and Member Relations Manager, respectively. John is fluent in Portugese, having spent a year in high school studying in Brazil as a Rotary Club exchange student and returning to South America for a year in college. While studying International Relations, Ethics, and Social Justice at Boston College, John realized his true passion was for local governance and community building. John is excited to be a member of the Constituent Services team and for the opportunity to serve the residents of Ward 1.
Amanda primarily serves residents in ANC1B and ANC1C, which includes the neighborhoods of LeDroit Park, U Street, the southern parts of Columbia Heights and Pleasant Plains, Shaw, Meridian Hill, Adams Morgan, and Lanier Heights.
Amanda Bonam is committed to serving the residents of Ward 1. As an undergraduate student at Howard University, Amanda served as the president of the Howard University Community Development Association which allowed her to engage with the surrounding Lower Georgia Avenue, Shaw, LeDroit Park, and Pleasant Plains communities. In October 2015, Amanda filled a vacant seat on Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B where she served and represented Single Member District 1B10 for over a year. She graduated from Howard University with a B.A. in Sociology in May 2017 and hopes to use her education to advocate for marginalized communities.
Maricela Nava has a strong interest and passion in helping the Ward 1 community where she was born and raised. As a child she attended Harriet Tubman Elementary School, Lincoln Middle School, and Bell Multicultural High School where she graduated in 2008. Maricela also attended Trinity Washington University where she obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. After obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree she decided to pursue her life-long dream to become a Cosmetologist, and she attended Flair Beauty Institute and obtained her Washington, D.C. Cosmetology license. Maricela is a fluent Spanish speaker.
Committee on Human Services
Tai has dedicated her legal career to the public sector by way of local legislatures. Prior to joining the D.C. Council, she worked at the New York City Council at the pleasure of the Speaker. While there, Tai focused on cultural affairs and women’s issues. Upon joining the D.C. Council, her portfolio expanded to include subject matter areas such as corrections, reentry, housing, transportation and economic development. Tai holds a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School where she was a student attorney at the school's Small Business and Community Economic Development Clinic, and she holds a B.A. from the University of Maryland, College Park where she majored in Criminology and Criminal Justice while earning a citation in Spanish.
Michelle is dedicated to improving local government with her work on the Committee. Her portfolio with the Committee on Human Services includes the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services. With other committees, Michelle’s work encompasses judiciary and public safety issues, government operations and matters that come before the Committee of the Whole. Prior to joining the Council Member's office, she worked on several campaigns around the country and in the District. Michelle holds a J.D. from Wayne State University Law School and a B.A. from the University of Detroit Mercy where she majored in Finance. She formerly practiced as an attorney focusing on criminal law and juvenile justice.
Aamir is interested in, and excited to be working on, finding policy solutions for issues that affect Ward 1 and the District as a whole. His portfolio within the Committee on Human Services includes the Department of Disabilities Services, the Office of Disabilities Rights, and other agencies that work with people with disabilities. Additionally, Aamir’s work includes issues relating to housing and neighborhood revitalization, education, and labor & workforce redevelopment. Prior to joining D.C. Council, he worked in legislative affairs at the federal level. Aamir holds a J.D. from the George Washington University Law School, and holds a B.A. from the University of Minnesota where he majored in Political Science and Global Studies.
A Columbia Heights resident, Ben is dedicated to serving his neighbors through his work in D.C. Council. Prior to joining D.C. Council, Ben practiced law at a public interest law firm in the District where he advocated for indigent clients on issues ranging from environmental contamination to employment discrimination. Ben holds a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and a B.A. from the University of Michigan where he majored in Organization Studies with a focus on environmental studies. His portfolio within the Committee on Human Services includes the Child and Family Services Agency. With other committees, Ben’s work includes issues relating to government operations, local business & economic development, finance & revenue, and transportation & the environment.
As a Park View resident, David is thrilled to be working for the people of the ward he calls home. His work includes in-depth policy research across issue areas, as well as being a liaison between the office's legislative and communications teams. David holds a Masters in Public Policy (M.P.P.) from George Washington University, where he also attended as an undergraduate in Political Science and Creative Writing. Before working on the Council, David was a Legislative Associate at Prosperity Now, where he wrote and advocated on tax and housing policy solutions to the Racial Wealth Divide.
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