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Dare to Run Virtual Women's Leadership Cohort #5

Paola Martinez, Director of Fundraising, Catholic Charities of NY

Paola M. Martinez is originally from the Dominican Republic. She is a seasoned community organizer with experience working in the private and government sectors, developing strategies for public engagement and public policy initiatives at the City and State levels. Paola immigrated to the United States in 2009 and currently lives in the Bronx with her mother and her son. She currently works at the Director of Strategic Program Development of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York. In 2014, she graduated from the City College of New York (CCNY) with a degree in Political Science and minors in public policy and romance languages and pursued a master’s degree in urban policy from Hunter College. She loves to dance salsa and is a Broadway enthusiast.

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Susan Kaye, Entrepreneur and Civic Leader

Susan has been involved with a number of civic and political organizations for over 30 years.  This year made her realize that she should run for office either at the local or state level. Susan was very involved with Nassau County  redistricting on the Town of Hempstead and Nassau County.  She spoke at all the public meetings.  Susan also directly participated in the local township meetings to determine whether they should bring a Casino to New York City or not. She also spoke at the March for Our Lives Event at the  Nassau County Legislature Building back in June and several legislators participated in that meeting as well.  Susan is also very involved with Mom's Demand Action for the purpose of stopping this gun violence in this country.

Shirley Rich, News Editor and Radio Show Host

Shirley Rich is a newspaper editor and radio show host.  She is the former editor of a newspaper that largely focused on addressing the opinions of the general public on a variety of political and social issues. Shirley re- wrote much of the comments so they were constructive criticism and just not cruel mean spirited in nature.  She also welcomed all comments from both sides of the table and eventually the publication turned into a newspaper focused solely on political issues.    Shirley also worked as a radio host and people called into her morning show to air their grievances on politics.  At this time, Shirley now wants to turn her attention and focus on making a difference in the world by running for public office.  Shirley’s passion is to listen to what people are saying and give them a voice and a platform to address their concerns about issues affecting our country. 

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