Desi Canela composes political and strategic messaging, most recently as Press Secretary and Communications Director for Mauro Archer and Associates, and is currently based in Houston.
She previously worked as Campaign Manager for the largest-ever successful bond initiative in El Paso, Texas, the $668 million El Paso Independent School District Bond Campaign, and as Communications Director for the successful OneSA $850 million infrastructure bond campaign in San Antonio, Texas.
Desi secured her first job after graduating from college in her hometown, working as an editorial assistant and reporter for The San Antonio Express-News in San Antonio, Texas, where she covered feature obituaries.
She went on to work in corporate communications at the International Bank of Commerce, where she focused on marketing and government relations. She landed her first job in communications as Communications Director for Texas State Representative Justin Rodriguez.
During her tenure as a communications professional, Desi has worked on numerous high-stakes campaigns and projects with the Texas House Representatives, Hillary Clinton, the Mikal Watts Trial, Entertainment Cruises and numerous mayoral, congressional and statewide campaigns.
Her messaging has helped some of the most highly-contested campaigns and seemingly impossible operations across the state of Texas achieve success, and her bylines have appeared in the San Antonio Express-News and the Rivard Report.
A San Antonio native, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications with a concentration in journalism from the University of the Incarnate Word.
Desi gets her spirited work ethic from her mother and father and still has full faith in the American Dream. She believes, like Mark Twain said, that rumors of journalism’s death are greatly exaggerated, but that the power of the written word can still change hearts and minds.
Priscila Martinez arrived in Michigan, from Mexico at the age of 11. She graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with degrees in Sociology and Political Science. As an undergraduate, Priscila was active in the national immigrant rights movement as an organizer of the first Movement Building Training in Michigan for undocumented students and as a planner for the first civil disobedience action in Arizona by undocumented students. In 2012, she was selected as a Field Organizer for the Obama Presidential Campaign. That experience led her to Battleground Texas to continue to organize and mobilize Latinos. In 2015, she led and developed programs for Battleground Texas that include Movimiento Texas – a 100 person latino training for Latinos, a field program that registered 20,000 new people, and a GOTV program that knocked on over 100,000 doors. After Trump was elected into office, Priscila come back to immigration as the Texas Immigration Coalition Coordinator for the Workers Defense Action Fund, where she coordinates efforts among allies, trains and develops new groups, and leads Deportation Defense Campaigns. Priscila wants to continue to work on bringing Latino issues to the forefront so that legislation like the Dream Act can one day become a reality.
Kevin was born in Seattle, Washington and attended the University of Texas at Austin receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Government. While there he co-founded the Mixed Student Union representing mixed raced/ethnic students on campus and worked at the Texas Senate. After graduating, he worked at the University of Texas System Office of Governmental Relations. Moving to San Antonio in 2013, Kevin became a teacher in Judson Independent School District. While a teacher, he was active in the local teachers association, becoming treasurer and vice president. Kevin later held the positions as Chairman of the Texas State Teachers Association State Legislative Committee, a Texas State Teachers Association Region President and Board of Director, and the National Education Association Resolutions Committee. Kevin is currently pursuing a Master in Public Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He also serves on the SA2020 Commission on Strengthening Family Well-Being for the City of San Antonio. His inspiration for public service is his father, a disabled veteran who served in the Persian Gulf War. Kevin is a proud advocate and supporter of Texas public school students and teachers.
Rose Levy was born & raised in Austin, TX. She works for the Communication Workers of America doing political & organizing work across Texas. She began organizing with SEIU at the airport in Boston, MA before the magnetic pull of her native Texas was too powerful to resist. Before joining the CWA team she also organized at Workers Defense Project to build power for immigrant workers in the Texas construction industry. When she isn’t organizing she enjoys spending time with family & friends, exploring the outdoors, and discovering delicious breakfast tacos.
Steven is a trial lawyer living in San Antonio, Texas. His career has allowed him to take on some of the largest companies in America, fighting on behalf of individuals and families that have been hurt by the wrongful conduct of others.Originally from the Rio Grande Valley, Steven worked in the City of San Antonio’s Economic Development Department prior to law school. While working for the City, he developed a love for the community and is proud to call San Antonio home. He is an unabashed San Antonio enthusiast and serves as a member on many local boards including the San Antonio Trial Lawyers Association, Mexican American Bar Association and New Leaders Council-San Antonio. Steven received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and went on to pursue his law degree at Baylor University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. While at Baylor, he served as an Executive Editor of the Baylor Law Review and was a National Champion at the American College of Trial Lawyers National Trial Competition.
Kelli O’Keefe is the owner of Customer Service Advocates – a conflict resolution company. Kelli is also an adjunct professor in business at Our Lady of the Lake University. She has spent most of her career in business development (mainly in technology) and now occasionally lends her expertise to small, international firms who look to increase their U.S. presence. Kelli has an MBA in International Business from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. She enjoys travelling and spending time with her grandnephew, Vincent, and dog, Fritz.
Coda is a native of Laredo, TX whose heart belongs to San Antonio. She is currently Director of Partnerships for P16Plus Council of Greater Bexar County. She formerly served as Director of Policy for Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales, as well as Director of Zoning and Planning for Councilman Ron Nirenberg. A proud member of the inaugural class of the Latina Leadership Institute, Coda has dedicated most of her work to serving the public. From volunteering with her neighborhood association to serving as a mentor to young Latinas, most recently through the University of the Incarnate Word’s Cardinal Latina Mentorship Program, Coda is dedicated to causes that will increase civic engagement and enhance equity in our community. Coda is proud mother of two children who wake her up early and keep her sleepy, but happy.
Always missing Texas, Eduardo works in the Washington, DC area as the Communications and Program Coordinator for the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, which works to to build a more effective network of grantmakers who are passionate about achieving a vibrant and inclusive democracy for all.
Prior to this, Eduardo worked at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, mostly working on Election Protection, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, managing advocacy and outreach efforts in key states and core components of the national program. Previously, Eduardo worked in the office of Texas State Representative Ruth Jones McClendon.
Eduardo was born in Monterrey, Mexico and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He is one of MOVE’s founders and helped start the organization while attending the University of Texas at San Antonio. He enjoys spending time outdoors, avoiding cats, and discussing how great Texas is.