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Center for Popular Democracy Announces New Co-Executive Directors DaMareo Cooper and Analilia Mejia

New Leadership of Largest Multiracial Organizing Network to Grow Progressive Base for Victories in 2022

Wednesday, November 10, 2021


NEW YORK CITY – The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) and CPD Action today announced DaMareo Cooper and Analilia Mejia as new Co-Executive Directors of the nation’s largest multiracial organizing network. They will start in their new roles on January 1, 2022.

Cooper and Mejia, grassroots organizers rooted in Black and Latinx working class communities, will lead CPD’s network of over half a million activists in 48 organizations across 38 states and Puerto Rico. With a year until the 2022 midterms, the new leaders are launching a renewed effort to build organizing and electoral power rooted in Black, brown, immigrant, and working class communities. 

“The real swing voters in America are Black and brown people who have been unmotivated by and disconnected from the priorities of the Democratic party -- and we are connecting with these core voters each and every day until the midterms,” said incoming CPD/A Co-Executive Director DaMareo Cooper. “Our people have the power to transform our Democracy when we come together -- this strategy will transform the politics of what’s possible for big progressive policy.”  

CPD/A will also be leading the way to hold both Congressional Democrats and the Biden Administration to their word to fund and support working class and poor Black and brown communities across the country -- bringing thousands of impacted people to Washington, DC and state houses for hundreds of actions over the next three years to force politicians to do better and meet the courage of people fighting for one another and a country where all of us can thrive. 

“The impulse within the Democratic Party to pivot center to satisfy wealthy donors is hurting our communities, and leaving the base unmotivated, unspoken to, and unorganized,” said incoming CPD/A Co-Executive Director Analilia Mejia. “This is a mistake some insist on repeating year after year -- and we reject it. We win by doing the opposite.”

Watch the video announcing the incoming Executive Directors here.

Progressive leaders from across the country will join the incoming Co-Executive Directors in growing the reach of CPD affiliates across the country, expanding the base and mobilizing activists everywhere.

"As a lifelong organizer, I am grateful for all that CPD has done on a daily basis to stand up, speak out, and secure real change for families and communities throughout America while centering the powerful voices of Black, brown, immigrant, Indigenous, and working-class people," said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. " As the proud chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I look forward to continuing to fight alongside CPD's members and leaders — including Analilia Mejia and DaMareo Cooper — in the months ahead as we deliver on our promises to pass policies that allow people to wake up feeling a real difference in their lives and the opportunities their families have."

The incoming Co-Executive Directors have unparalleled experience in delivering progressive victories. 

DaMareo Cooper has over 15 years of experience in grassroots organizing, from building up the CPD-affiliated Ohio Organizing Collaborative into a local organizing powerhouse to running a grassroots coalition field program that knocked on over 4.9 million doors leading up to the 2020 Georgia U.S. Senate runoff elections as the BlackPAC National Organizing Director. 

Analilia Mejia is one of the foremost national political leaders in the progressive movement,  most recently serving as the  U.S. Department of Labor Women’s Bureau Deputy Director. Previously, Mejia built on her experience of running victorious issue advocacy campaigns to serve as Political Director on Bernie Sanders’ 2020 campaign, which built a massive rank-and-file union support program and galvanized latino groups across the country. 

The incoming Co-Executive Directors will build upon the nation-changing work of current Co-Executive Directors Jennifer Epps-Addison, Ana Maria Archila and Andrew Friedman. Together, Epps-Addison, Archila and Friedman built CPD/A into the largest multiracial network in the country, and positioned CPD to lead successful campaigns to raise wages for millions of workers, advance immigrant rights, win housing protections, reign in police abuse, fight climate change, and so much more. 

"In ten years, CPD has built the largest multiracial organizing network in the country -- and now we are thrilled to pass the baton to two dynamic leaders -- DaMareo and Analilia -- to go bigger, stronger, and farther," said outgoing Network President and Co-Executive Director Jennifer Epps Addison. 

“DaMareo and Analilia are rooted in the struggles and aspirations of Black, brown and immigrant communities, and they are uniquely able to advance a vision for a country where our families can thrive,” said outgoing Co-Executive Director Ana Maria Archila. 

"DaMareo and Analilia have spent their lives building community and power with low-income and working class people, especially people of color, to flip local elections and national policy fights. We couldn’t dream of a better duo to lead us into the next chapter of CPD/A and the network,” said CPD Action Board Chair Christina Livingston,  the Executive Director of Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE).

"Analilia and Damareo are incredible organizers who know exactly what it takes to build powerful movements at scale to improve all our lives -- we're thrilled to have them on board to take CPD/A to a new level,” said Interim CPD Board Chair Aaron Dorfman, the President and CEO of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy.


The Center for Popular Democracy is the largest multiracial network in the nation. CPD and CPD Action have over half a million members in 48 state and local community organizations across 38 states dedicated to achieving racial and economic justice through local grassroots organizing. CPD/A trains and supports leadership, staff, and members to grow base-building organizations to scale and leverage that strength to win cutting-edge policy victories at the federal, state and local level.


More About the New Executive Directors 


DaMareo Cooper

DaMareo Cooper is the incoming Co-Executive Director at the Center for Popular Democracy. He is a longtime grassroots organizer who previously served as Director of Place-Based Power at CPD. For fifteen years, he developed and implemented statewide electoral and grassroots organizing campaigns, ranging from housing and healthcare to criminal justice reform and economic opportunity access.

DaMareo was formerly the National Organizing Director of BlackPAC, a political action committee dedicated to engaging and mobilizing Black voters across the country. Before that, he served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Organizing Collaborative (OOC) and Stand Up for Ohio, statewide organizations dedicated to improving everyday Ohioans’ lives through base building, policy advocacy, civic engagement, and registering hundreds of thousands of new voters. 

A deep passion for building power with people closest to the negative impacts of racist exploitative economic and criminal justice policies has guided his career, primarily in communities of color.  He has focused his energy on creating effective campaigns that make structural changes at the intersection of race and economic inequity. DaMareo holds a Bachelor of Arts and Science from Kent State University, focusing on Pan-African Studies and Anthropology. DaMareo resides in Akron, Ohio.


Analilia Mejia 

Analilia Mejia is the incoming Executive Director at the Center for Popular Democracy. She is a seasoned political strategist and Afro-Latina grassroots organizer focused on helping Black and Latinx working families, and served as the Deputy Director of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor under the Biden Administration. ​​

Analilia previously worked as the national political director for the Bernie Sanders’ 2020 presidential campaign. Following the campaign, she joined the Biden Administration’s transition team to work on progressive outreach. From 2014 to 2019, she was the Executive Director of the New Jersey Working Families Alliance, a state affiliate of the Working Families Party. In 2015, the Obama Administration honored Analilia as a “Champion for Change" in recognition for all her efforts in support of working families in New Jersey.

Prior to joining Working Families, she spent about 10 years working with several unions. As the daughter of a Colombian garment worker and a Dominican laborer, Analilia is deeply attuned to the needs of immigrant and working-poor communities and has dedicated her career to ensuring that other families can thrive in the ways that hers did once her mother became a member of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union.

Analilia holds an undergraduate degree in comparative literature and two master’s degrees from Rutgers University, one in public policy from the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and the other in labor education from the School of Management and Labor Relations (SMLR). Analilia resides in Glen Ridge, NJ with her spouse and two sons.