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Maez has an extensive background in public policy, strategic communications and civic engagement. Stephanie gained experience working in Governor Bill Richardson’s Department of Political and Legislative Affairs where she analyzed legislation, media and film related proposals, capital outlay requests, and constituents’ public policy concerns. As a communications professional for New Mexico’s primary electric utility, Stephanie worked on internal and external communications. Stephanie also served as the Director of Government Relations for the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce where she worked to develop and advocate for approved policy positions. In addition, she was responsible for developing and nurturing relationships at the local, state, and federal level to further dialogue surrounding public policy issues.
Recently, Stephanie was the Outreach Director for New Mexico Voices for Children, where she managed the local revenue coalition, formerly Better Choices New Mexico. Stephanie is now the Chief Executive Officer at the Center for Civic Policy where she drives the Center’s strategic vision, manages operations and maintains relationships with local and national allies.
Stephanie resides in Albuquerque with her two wonderful children and sweet husky. She is also working toward a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at the University of New Mexico.
Melanie Aranda brings data and financial management experience to the Center for Civic Policy and specializes in GIS mapping and merging data files with organizational databases. Her involvement in social justice issues began in 1995 as a volunteer for the Petroglyph National Monument Protection Coalition, a non-profit organization involved in the struggle for indigenous rights.
Melanie has served as Field Director for a number of successful political and issue campaigns in New Mexico. Ms. Aranda is also a small business owner, who for the last 4 years has maintained accurate financial records for a number of non-profits, small businesses and independent consultants.
A Chicana and Albuquerque native, Melanie Aranda currently lives in the South Valley with her husband James.
Amanda Manjarrez is a native New Mexican, originally from Socorro, NM. She graduated in 2007 from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in Philosophy and Criminology. Amanda entered the nonprofit sector with a background in developing youth programming and volunteer engagement strategies. She has since worked to develop winning campaign strategies for tax and budget, green jobs, campaign finance, ethics and health care policy issues in New Mexico. She is the Chief Strategist at the Center for Civic Policy, where she leads the organization’s program and advocacy initiatives at the state, local, and federal level. Amanda also has experience managing electoral campaigns and political consulting. She brings leadership experience, a love for the value of policy and politics, as well as a commitment to promoting social justice issues in her community and state.
In his role as Senior Advisor, John Daniel contributes to the overall success of CCP by providing support on state-based strategy and civic engagement programs. He coordinates creative design and production of paid media, oversees the editorial functions of CCP’s online presence, and supports the issue advocacy and civic engagement efforts with policy and demographic research.
Coming to CCP in 2007, John brought his 25 years of experience as a consultant in the private sector, organizer in the nonprofit sector, and media relations and performance measurement specialist in both state and local government. He has worked with the N.M. Commissioner of Public Lands, the N.M. Secretary of State, the Mayor of Albuquerque, the Bernalillo County Commission, the President Pro Tem of the N.M. Senate, and the Speaker of the N.M. House of Representatives. He has staffed the N.M. Clean Alternative Vehicle Fuels Task Force, Albuquerque Indicators Progress Commission, the Albuquerque Government al Effectiveness and Results Task Force, and the Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Unification Commission.
A proud native New Mexican, Javier has spent more than a decade engaged in New Mexico’s progressive movement. As the Center for Civic Policy’s Communications Director, he leads the organization’s communications strategy, planning, implementation, and partner support.
Prior to joining CCP, Javier served as Speechwriter and Communications Liaison to U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich (NM-01) and as Outreach Director for Conservation Voters New Mexico. Aside from his full-time work, Javier has regularly hosted several radio shows dedicated to public affairs and has held leadership positions on the boards of various community organizations, including the SouthWest Organizing Project, the Sawmill Community Land Trust, the Southeast Team for Entrepreneurial Success, 1000 Friends of New Mexico, and the Barelas Neighborhood Association.
Javier and his wife Ann Marie live with their two young children in Barelas, a beautiful historic community coined as “the Heart of Aztlan” by novelist Rudolfo Anaya. Javier completed a bachelor’s degree in political science at Santa Clara University and dual master’s degrees in Public Administration and Community Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico.
For a little over four years, Michelle Penson has served as the resident Data Diva and Excel Ninja in New Mexico. While she previously served both America Votes and State Voices in state, she now exclusively works with the Center’s partners to advance sector-wide goals through her data strategy, management and training expertise.
Michelle has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Philosophy from the University of New Mexico. Before realizing her inner data diva, she served as the Administrative Manager for the NM statewide LGBT rights group, Equality New Mexico, doing everything from managing their membership database, fixing fickle computers, planning fundraising events and figuring out ways to make the organization’s graphics and advertisements more interesting. She enjoys opportunities to help organizations use the tools available to them in the most effective and efficient ways having witnessed first-hand the importance of utilizing limited resources well. She is passionate about LGBT rights and Choice.
When she isn’t creating intricate spreadsheets and analyzing data, she enjoys baking and decorating cakes, reading more books than is considered normal, eliciting yummy noises from people via her cooking and taking photographs.
Nicci graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in psychology and neuroscience. Her work before moving to New Mexico focused on supporting teams to meet their goals in a variety of settings, including medical research and law. She joined CCP in early 2011 and has quickly become an integral part of the team. Nicci contributes to the overall success of CCP by providing support to the Chief Resource Officer by maintaining CCP’s administrative and financial systems to meet organizational and legal requirements. Nicci has a deep commitment to the work at CCP because she believes that a socially and economically just society allows people an opportunity to maximize their potential and pursuit of happiness.
In her spare time, Nicci collaborates with a brain imaging and research lab at the University of New Mexico. She also enjoys motorsports, baseball, and playing volleyball.