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DFL Party Ramps Up Year-Round Organizing Capacity


Hirings reflect DFL’s commitment to organizing & infrastructure building

Today, the Minnesota DFL Party announced the hiring of four additional staffers to bolster the Party’s year-round organizing program and strengthen local infrastructure across Minnesota:

“I learned an incredibly important lesson from Senator Paul Wellstone’s campaigns: organizing wins elections,” said DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin. “This year, the DFL Party is investing heavily in grassroots organizing and building the infrastructure needed to ensure Minnesota stays blue in 2022. As a result of our commitment to grassroots organizing, the DFL Party has not lost a statewide election in the ten years I’ve served as Party Chairman, and these new hires will ensure we retain our edge going into next year’s crucial elections.”

The four new staffers joining the Minnesota DFL Party are:

  • Jess Bigirindavyi – Coalitions Director
  • Britta Moen – Rural Organizing Director
  • Bahea Manasra – Deputy Party Affairs & Training Director
  • Karen Velez-Barron – Office Manager

“The 2022 election cycle has already begun and the Minnesota DFL Party isn’t wasting anytime preparing for the upcoming midterms,” added Martin. “These fantastic new additions to the staff of the Minnesota DFL will allow us to forge stronger bonds across Greater Minnesota and deepen our ties to the communities that serve as the backbone of the DFL Party’s electoral coalition.”

Included below are brief biographies of the new staff members joining the Minnesota DFL Party:

Jess Bigirindavyi – Coalitions Director

Jessica Bigirindavyi was most recently the African American Community Engagement Director, on the DFL Party coalitions team during the 2020 election. In this role, she worked to elevate the concerns and needs of the community. She saw firsthand the significance of community representatives in the party structure; they are vital for the continual success of not only the DFL Party, but for the systematic changes needed in Minnesota to ensure that everyone has access to equitable opportunities and growth. Jessica previously worked with the DFL Party as a Field Organizer in the 2018 midterm election where she created two strategic, district-wide, door knocking and phone banking plans to turn out voters. She has a history of working with diverse communities and is committed to social justice and civic engagement. Born in Burundi, East Africa, Jessica immigrated to Minnesota at the age of 6 and earned her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from State Cloud State University. Complementing her professional work, Jessica enjoys being on the board of Open Your Heart and Women Winning Launch Committee.

Britta Moen – Rural Organizing Director

Britta Moen is a native of Wadena, Minnesota and proud graduate of the University of Minnesota. She is joining the Minnesota DFL Party as the Rural Organizing Director, working with activists, DFL leaders, and stakeholders across rural and small town MN to engage new DFL activists and voters. Prior to working with the DFL Party, she served as Field Director for Dan Feehan, where she managed a team of 11 and ran one of the largest field programs in CD 1 history, despite the pandemic. She is especially proud of the thousands upon thousands of phone, text, and Zoom connections made during a time without door knocking, a spectacular regional showing during GOTV, and the organizing infrastructure built in Southern Minnesota for 2022. She previously worked for Amy for America in rural Central and Northeast Iowa, Nevada, and Colorado and on Senator Tina Smith’s special election in 2018. She is thrilled to be returning to her roots in rural organizing in Greater Minnesota.

Bahea Manasra – Deputy Party Affairs & Training Director

Bahea Manasra is a recent graduate from Hamline University and holds two master’s degrees in nonprofit management and public administration. Public service and policy are at the core of her everyday work. Bahea has been building my career to center around progressive policy, civic engagement, and community-based advocacy and comes to the Minnesota DFL Party from AmeriCorps. She is a firm believer in advocating for progressive and equity-based policy, and is excited to expand opportunities for community members to be involved with the DFL Party’s mission and vision. As a former campaign volunteer, Bahea looks forward to joining the DFL community and being a vital part of the team.

Karen Velez-Barron – Office Manager

Karen Velez has been an active member of the Minnesota DFL Party, working as a canvasser in the 2020 elections. Her passion for politics stems from her experience and commitment to human rights and immigration. At a young age, Karen started lobbying for immigration rights and volunteered with different non-profit organizations. She was named 40 Under 40: Latinos in American Politics, by the Huffington Post. Karen focused on immigration and human rights for most of her college career. She then graduated from George Washington University majoring in Political Science. Now she currently serves as The Office Manager for the Minnesota DFL and is excited to be a part of the team.