Steering Committee

The Steering Committee directs all FBC programmatic efforts and is made up of both individual and organizational members.

Jayme Epstein

Justice Arts Coalition

Jayme’s first career was as a  lawyer, and she later worked and continues to volunteer as an adult educator. She currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for Justice Arts Coalition, a network of currently and formerly incarcerated artists and writers and their allies. Jayme is a member of the steering committee of DC for Democracy and devotes much of her time to volunteering with organizations and for candidates that advocate for policies that will advance racial, social, and economic justice for all DC residents.

Betty Gentle

Betty works on health, behavioral health, senior services and workforce development policy as the Senior Advocacy & Community Engagement Specialist at SOME, Inc. The most important part of her job is working with D.C. residents most affected by long-lasting issues in the city to help uncover and recapture their power so they can rise to become advocacy and organizing leaders. Betty became interested in this type of work while in law school when she realized that many of the people who found themselves in the criminal system were there because of systemic issues stemming from poverty, racism and/or classism. Betty is a proud (most days) native Arkansan (yes, there are Black people in Arkansas), so she loves to travel home when she can—despite the nearest airport being two hours from her hometown.

Scott Goldstein

EmpowerED

After ten years as a teacher in DC Public and Charter Schools, Scott founded and now directs an  education non-profit called EmpowerEd which lifts the voices of teachers to improve our schools. We work to elevate the voices of diverse DC teacher leaders and help our schools retain educators. During my teaching career in various settings, he has been involved in teacher leadership, policy leadership and instructional leadership roles. He has spent a significant amount of time writing on and informing public policy on education as well as teaching and conducting teacher training in various countries including Indonesia, Togo, and Mexico. Empowering our young people and the adults who serve them is the cause of his career.

Matthew Hanson

DC Action

As Chief of Staff, Mat works alongside the Executive Director to help grow the organization and build power among its constituents. He provides leadership and management of staff, execution of the organization’s strategic plan, and ensures racial justice and equity is fully integrated into the work at every level. 

Mat has spent more than a decade working to promote economic, racial, and social justice. He joined DC Action after serving as the DC Director for the Working Families Party, a national organization that unites activists, community, and labor organizations to advance systemic change. During his time there, he used electoral, political, and legislative strategies that concentrated on increasing economic security for low-income families and bringing greater fairness and equity to our elections. He helped oversee large and small teams, develop, and set organizational strategy as well as organized and built winning coalitions that united advocates, business owners, faith leaders, policy experts, unions, and other allies. These efforts have resulted in policy changes that have successfully raised statewide minimum wages for more than half a million workers in Maryland and Washington, DC, passed and implemented one of the most progressive public financing of elections programs in the country, and helped secure funding for early childhood education and health programs.

He has worked at the local, national, and international level. A graduate from the City University of New York, he is originally from Minneapolis, Minnesota, a proud father, and Ward 7 resident.

Robert Harvey

Robert moved to Washington D.C. in 2014 from Georgia. He received his education from Gordon College & Georgia State University, majoring in Business Administration, with a minor in Policy Study focusing in Economics, Public Management, Criminal Justice & Social Work. He first started working in community advocacy with Bread for the City in 2015 after graduating from their Terrance Moore Organizing institute. In 2017, he helped to build a program called People Power Action for Washington Legal Housing Clinic for the Homeless. In 2019, he helped to convert the Consumer Health foundation into the IF’ foundation and lead the Mount Sinai Baptist Church youth in ministry. In 2022, he joined the steering committee of Fair Budget Coalition & I have been an onsite coordinator for Baroody camps since 2019. 

He’s received many awards for the work that he has done in the DC community including Jobs with Justice Leadership training 2018; Washington Legal Housing Clinic for the Homeless, Mary Ann Luby Award for community service 2018, and University of Washington DC, and Certificate for Advanced Youth Development in 2019.


His hobbies include chess, bike riding, traveling, podcasting, community organizing.

David Schwartzman

A native born “Brooklyntonian”, resident in DC since 1976, lives in Ward 4, Professor Emeritus, Howard University.

Chair: Political Policy and Action Committee, DC Statehood Green Party. 

Member: ONE DC, Empower DC, Fair Budget Coalition, Green Neighbors DC, Metro DC Democratic Socialists of America, DC for Democracy, Green Party’s EcoAction and International Committees; Steering Committee: DC Public Banking Center and the DC Statehood Green Party.
He’s advocated for over 20 years as a candidate and activist in the struggle for DC Statehood. His focus on hiking DC income taxes on our wealthy residents was realized last year when the DC Council passed this hike with revenue going to childcare, affordable housing and an increase in the DC Earned Income Tax Credit benefitting low-income workers.

Yael Shafritz

Jews United for Justice

Yael is an experienced campaign organizer, strategist, and manager, with 10+ years of experience in the UK and the US. They graduated with a 1st/4.0 in politics from the University of Sheffield before going on to be president of the Sheffield University Students’ Union. They have organized and run campaigns across a wide range of progressive issues including LGBTQ Rights, Climate, Living Wage, Student Rights, Anti-war, Housing, Palestine Solidarity and against Antisemitism. They have done several cycles of electoral campaigns in both the US and the UK. 

Yael is also an experienced campaign coach and supervisor, having supported several staff and volunteers in progressive organizations to develop their skills around campaign strategy and leadership.

Cynthia Smith

Cynthia Smith has a BS in Sociology, a major in Behavior Science, an MS in Administration in Human Services FBC Constituent Leadership Alumni Fair Budget Coalition Steering Committee member. She is a founding member/ board member of the Delaware Coalition for Open Government. Board member for Bread for the City and Survivor Advisory Board/DCCADV, Guaranteed Income Coalition, in recent years, she had a great deal of experience working with community groups, volunteers, and non-academic organizations such as local museums, Neighborhood Crime Watch, Domestic Violence Task Force, and Parental Involvement Organizations.

Erica Williams

DC Fiscal Policy Institute

Erica Williams joined DCFPI in April 2021 as Executive Director. In this role, she leads the team in achieving its mission to shape racially-just tax, budget, and policy decisions for an antiracist, equitable future. 

Erica is a dynamic leader who excels at building relationships, consensus, and collective vision across a range of stakeholders. She brings two decades of experience in pursuing racial, gender, and economic justice through public policy and is grounded in how fiscal and economic policies can advance or impede justice. Driven by her own lived experience, Erica holds a deep commitment to antiracism, equity, and inclusion and is committed to centering Black and brown lived experiences in DCFPI’s pursuit of equity and justice for communities sidelined by racism and economic inequality.

Prior to joining DCFPI, Erica was Vice President for State Fiscal Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In this role, she helped lead the organization and its 40-person State Fiscal Policy division, and supported and shaped the efforts of the State Priorities Partnership—a network of over forty state-level fiscal and economic policy shops (including DCFPI) working to reduce poverty and inequality and advance equity and opportunity. In addition to deep state tax and budget analyses, Erica oversaw and grew equity-focused policy initiatives on state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs), poverty reduction, and immigration, and spearheaded a major effort to deepen the equity and inclusion focus of the state team and the Partnership as a whole.
Before joining CBPP, Erica worked as a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, where she researched a variety of issues of concern to women, and especially women of color, including equal pay, job training and education, early care and education, Social Security, and civic engagement.

Erica holds a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish studies from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in international policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Sarah Novick

As senior DC organizer at JUFJ, Sarah is a professional nudger and meeting planner and facilitator. She loves eating, dressing up in inappropriate political costumes and filling out doodle polls. If Sarah were a potato preparation, she would be a latke with apple sauce on it (because she’s lactose intolerant and can’t eat sour cream).