Our People - Staff, Volunteers, and Board Members
E-Democracy's local volunteer forum leaders or "Forum Managers" lead the way on over 45+ online community forums. Contact them via our web form or see the "Policies" tab on the home page for each forum for a link to their profile.
Lead Staff & Contractors
Steven Clift, Executive Director and Founder of E-Democracy.org
Steve coined the term “e-democracy” in 1994 or, using current buzzwords, he uses social media for citizen engagement, public participation, transparency, Government 2.0 and related topics. In the fall of 2011, he taught a social media course at the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs where he challenged his students to learn by doing. That November he and his students organized the first Minnesota CityCamp, an “unconference” focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. Steve is an Ashoka Fellow and speaker and consultant on online engagement and “e-democracy.”
Corrine Bruning, Outreach Manager
Corrine grew up exposed to many different cultures moving around the world with her military family. She has worked with youth and the elderly, tutoring, teaching work skills, and working in outdoor environments. She began her college career at Minneapolis Community and Technical College, the most diverse college in the State of Minnesota. She then transferred to Hamline University on a Presidential Scholarship to receive her Bachelor of Arts in urban studies concentrating in economics and environmental studies. Her passions lie in the ecological realm and she feels that equity and compassion must be woven deeply into society to reach true sustainability. She is a trained Community Organizer through the Midwest Academy–Chicago. Corrine focuses her work on leading the outreach team to reach its goal of raising up ALL community voices.
Jennifer Armstrong, Project Coordinator
Jennifer has been doing freelance writing, editing and organizing since 1996, originally from the Twin Cities but more recently from the Iron Range in northeast Minnesota where she moved in 2006. “When my children were toddlers I bought my first house on the East Side of Saint Paul because I wanted them to be raised embedded in the diversity I knew they would have to live and work and thrive in as adults. For me, it’s about walking the talk and doing everything you can to remove the barriers to participation that impact so many in our community.” Jennifer provides project coordination assistance, helping in the background to make outreach efforts a success and producing regular reports to help the team effect real-time change. She went to the University of Colorado, Boulder where she was the first graduate to be awarded the newly approved B.A. in American Studies: Women Studies in 1983.
Carrie Davis, Development Coordinator
Carrie provides fund development coordination for E-Democracy, including grant writing, funder prospect research, project evaluation and donor relations. She has worked in fund development in a number of capacities for the past seven years. "I'm very excited about the idea of engaging neighborhoods using social media. E-Democracy is very innovative in the ways they're reaching out to people to invite them to the conversation and in how they're working to make that convening space a place where all voices are respectfully heard." Carrie has grant writing experience in the areas of health care, public health, youth development and other community-based organizations. She has also coordinated and facilitated special events, donor appeals and other activities to raise funds for nonprofits across the United States, including the Boys and Girls Club of Anaheim, the Raven Drum Foundation in California, Southwestern District Health Unit in rural North Dakota, and Strategic Health Care, a consulting firm based in Washington, DC. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Community Psychology from Saint Cloud State University.
Cirien Saadeh, Communications & Outreach Assistant
Cirien is assisting with communications, social media, and outreach logistics and organizing, and is passionate about social justice, particularly racial equity as it relates to sharing our untold stories, "I think it's really, really important we help people learn how to tell their stories. Storytelling is something we share across all cultures, and it's through listening to each others' stories that we create a common language. That's why E-Democracy is so important. It provides a way for people to learn each others' stories without having to go to a community meeting set up to support someone else's agenda." Cirien graduated with a degree in Political Science in 2012 from St. Catherine University and is a trained community organizer through the Organizing Apprenticeship Project and citizen journalist (video and print) through The UpTake and other projects. In her spare time, Cirien is a martial artist in training, a new gardener, and a writer.
Bill Bushey, Technology Coordinator
Bill is a civic nerd – a software developer who works where technology meets society. Prior to joining E-Democracy, Bill received a B.S. in Computer Science from Clarkson University and an M.S. in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. He has developed software and provided technical consultation for Thomson Reuters, IBM, and Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, and has participated in Google's Summer of Code. He now develops E-Democracy's online platform, provides technology guidance, and helps to plan the organization's technology initiatives. Bill is also involved in the civic technology community in the Twin Cities as a co-founder of Open Twin Cities, a grassroots group working to deploy online tools for the Twin Cities community.
Tim is a social and business entrepreneur with a passion for online community and social media. Since 1997 he has organized and facilitated a variety of local, national, and international online public policy discussions, including facilitating an online debate for US Senate candidates in 2000, representing E-Democracy at national and international meetings, and serving as volunteer forum manager for the St. Paul Issues Forum for almost four years. "St. Paul is an exciting and diverse city and we have much to learn from each other. Connecting people online is a great way to make the city a better place to live and work." Tim recently worked to update E-Democracy's training resources and assists with support queries and special projects.
2013 Outreach & Engagement Team - Meet the people working to make BeNeighbors.org come alive in your neighborhood!
Chia (Chilli) Lor
Chilli was born in Chiangkham, a Hmong refugee camp in Thailand, and came to the United States with her family at the age of two. She lived in the McDonough Home Projects until 2000 when her family moved to the Greater East Side. She graduated from Central High School and is currently a student at St. Catherine University double majoring in Sociology and Critical Studies or Race and Ethnicity. Her passion for racial justice began with her refugee/immigrant experience and she is a trained community organizer through ISAIAH and TakeAction MN where she interned as a community organizer on the Central Corridor Light Rail Project. "I am a firm believer in grassroots organizing, because only through getting everyone at the table can there be authentic decisions." As a poet, hip-hop artist, and b-girl (a girl that break dances), Chilli is a huge advocate for using the arts as a tool for social justice. This spring she interned at the Plymouth Youth Center (PYC) Arts and Technology High School where she helped students produce the school's first school wide Hmong show. She is an active member of the youth group at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and volunteers as a youth mentor artist with East Side Rising, a project of the Payne Phalen (D5) Planning Council. Chilli co-leads outreach in Payne Phalen, Greater East Side, North End, Dayton’s Bluff and the Asian community.
Pastor Devin Miller
Pastor Miller is a leader in the African American faith community. He is an Ordained Elder of the Church Of God In Christ and an Ordained Minister of the National Baptist Convention, and has worked with several communities and congregations to promote cultural understanding and improve services. "There's a new generation of media savvy leaders coming up that have not made the connection to the African American communities. There needs to be a bridge, and neighborhood is a place where common interests can bring us together." Pastor Miller is working to promotes African American forum engagement on the Frogtown, Greater East Side, Summit University Rondo forums.
Donna is a deeply committed community volunteer. Her most recent efforts include collaborating with Saint Paul City Councilmembers, the Aurora St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation (ASNDC) and neigborhood residents in a successful campaign for three additional Central Corridor LRT stops. She also served on the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood Advisory Board and volunteered with the Promise Neighborhood high school Solution Action Groups. She has an Associate of Arts in Computer Science. Donna co-leads outreach in central Saint Paul (Frogtown, Summit U, Union Park, and Hamline Midway) and is focusing her efforts in Summit University and Union Park. Donna first joined E-Democracy as a member of the 2012 Summer Outreach Team.
Gloria was born and raised in Mexico City. She moved to Minneapolis at the age of 12 where she graduated from Roosevelt High School. She went to Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall for two years, and is transferring to Minneapolis Community and Technical College to continue her studies. Gloria has been involved in many civic organizations mainly focused on the immigrant community. She helped to organize Dream Act rallies in Minnesota and has marched for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Gloria is passionate about social justice, and happy to be working with E-Democracy this summer to help grow a more connected, collaborative Saint Paul. "It's very hard for the community to get together. Using the forums is a way for people to build trust among their own neighbors. They help people get along and get things done." She co-leads outreach in Dayton’s Bluff, West Side, West 7th, and on the Greater East Side, and promotes forum engagement in the Latino community.
John is a Minnesota native who has lived in the Twin Cities since 1983. He has been working as a community organizer since 2007, first with the Metropolitan Interfaith Coalition on Affordable Housing and until recently for Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity. "Access to electronic media, the freedom of the internet, and media alternatives are critical to democracy, which is why E-Democracy.org is so important. Our work helps level the digital playing field." John has a BA from Macalester College and an MA from the University of Minnesota in Linguistics. He became passionate about social justice as a college student and has worked as an environmental canvasser, union organizer, and media activist. He was a founder of the Twin Cities Independent Media Center (TCIMC) and has been on the board of KFAI Fresh Air Radio (90.3/106.7 FM) since 2006. John co-leads outreach in Dayton’s Bluff, D1, Payne Phalen, and on the Greater East Side.
Siciid came to Minnesota with relatives at the age of five, leaving behind his mother and brothers and sisters and the turmoil in Somalia, where his father was killed in the civil war. As the oldest child of a family that eventually grew to include 13 siblings, Siciid began working as a breadwinner at a young age. It was a tough decision to go to college. He recently earned his Masters in Public Administration with a focus in public management from Mankato State University where in 2011 he earned a BA in Urban Planning and a BS in Professional Geography, and obtained certificates in Geographic Information Science and Nonprofit Leadership. He has worked with the Senator Amy Klobuchar’s office, the State Department of Commerce, Dayton's Bluff Neighborhood Housing Services, and the Brian Coyle Community Center in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. From 2008 to 2011 he was a member of the Mankato State University Somali Student Association where served as Vice President and organized annual cultural shows, led community gathering to promote understanding about Somali culture, and mentored Somali students. "I was raised by the community with a lot of mentors. This is my time to give back. The forums are a place where we can talk about our issues and concerns within the community. I am working to get the message out that they are welcoming and can help people find the information they need to accomplish goals and results." Siciid co-leads outreach in District 1, Union Park, Dayton’s Bluff, and West 7th/Fort Road.
Tong was born and raised in St. Paul and has been living in Dayton's Bluff for over 10 years. He discovered his passion for community organizing while working for the Frogtown Neighborhood Association (FNA) and interning with the Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) as a Housing Coordinator/Community Organizer. "Community is all about the people. Without the people there is no community, and if the community raises its voice about what they want to see, we can build a stronger community." Tong is a 2012 graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College where he majored in Geography. He is working to promotes Asian forum engagement on the Dayton's Bluff, Frogtown, Greater East Side Neighbors, North End, and Payne Phalen forums.
Learn more about Past Team Members.
Learn more about our Board Members who determine our mission, set our strategic direction, approve the budget and hold our staff accountable.