California Democratic Party Black Caucus Executive Board
Taisha Brown, Chair
Taisha Brown has been dedicated to public service her entire life. As an activist committed to civil rights and labor movements, Ms. Brown has worked extensively within her union, SEIU Local 1000, as a member leader advocating on behalf of workers and the community at large. Ms. Brown has a wealth of experience in engaging diverse groups and fighting for equal rights for all people. She is the former President of the Martin Luther King Jr. Democratic Club as well as the former Vice President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. She sits on several key boards such as the Neighborhood Unity Foundation as the Director of external affairs and on the Board of Advisors for Nile Sisters Development Initiative.
In 2012 Ms. Brown was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Committee for President Obama and caught the political bug, she hasn’t looked back ever since. Ms. Brown has worked very hard to gain the support of the California Democratic Party (CDP), and has moved into the ranks of the CDP Executive Board and was voted in as the Chair of the Black Caucus in August 2019, Vice Chair of the Labor Caucus, and served as a co-chair to the Platform Committee. She served as the first Black female Vice Chair of the San Diego Democratic Central Committee where she was awarded the San Diego Democratic Party Chairs Award in 2018.
Throughout California and her local community, Ms. Brown continues to work tirelessly to improve the lives of people, she truly walks the walk! Ms. Brown took on the challenge to fight the epidemic of homelessness, due to the staggering number of African Americans who are homeless in California. For several years now, she has been working with the homeless program, “Complete Count” in San Diego. She works tirelessly to ensure everyone is given access to a warm, safe place to sleep, whether it be a shelter or temporary housing. She is committed to assisting local and state government in resolving the homelessness epidemic.
Ms. Brown’s insight into the priorities of union workers, and her extensive experience in labor-management collaboration helped her gain a seat at the table. She works to strengthen her community by not only participating, but by leading organizing efforts within the Democratic Party to mobilize the Black community to be politically engaged in the numerous racial, social and economic injustice issues facing the State of California.
Corey Jackson, Vice Chair
Corey A. Jackson, a local nonprofit and civil rights leader specializing in youth development, culturally responsive interventions, and social justice issues. He currently serves as the founder and Chairman/CEO of the SBX Youth and Family Services whose mission is to break the cycle of poverty and violence through mentoring, education, and community organizing. Corey Jackson was elected to the Riverside County Board of Education in 2020 and represents the Riverside, Moreno Valley, and Val Verde Unified School Districts. Mr. Jackson continues to serve his community as the Political Action Chair of the Riverside NAACP and as Youth Minister at the Moreno Valley Church of Christ.
As a leader in the Democratic Party, Corey serves as the Southern California Vice-Chair of the California Democratic Party Black Caucus, a state executive committee member, and an elected member of the Riverside County Democratic Central Committee.
Rhodesia Ransom, Treasurer
Rhodesia Ransom is a proud resident of Tracy, California who has dedicated two decades in service to her community. Known for her ability to lead as a visionary and inspire people with innovative ideas, Rhodesia Ransom is always a catalyst for progress. She attributes her passion for servant leadership to the time she spent as a child working alongside her grandmother— connecting vulnerable families with resources.
After earning her BA in Political Science from San Francisco State University and a Master’s in Public Administration, Rhodesia worked in private sector management and went on to teach graduate-level courses in public finance and business management. She has used her experience and education to create solutions that address the concerns of the community. She is proud of her service on community boards and commissions including United Way and the Tracy Police Activities League.
As co-founder and former executive director of Sow A Seed Community Foundation, Ms. Ransom championed mentoring and mental health programs for San Joaquin County youth. Her efforts have helped thousands of youth access stigma-free counseling and support services in public schools.
As an elected council member for the City of Tracy, Rhodesia Ransom earned a reputation for challenging the status quo and tackling important policies like investing in our youth, reducing homelessness, diversifying housing, and improving government transparency. She co-authored the city’s Equity and Empowerment Initiative to promote policies and protections to shield the community from unjust policies and ensure equitable conditions for staff and constituents. She also led the city’s first homeless strategic plan which was the catalyst for the first warming shelter. When the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the proliferation of poverty and a lack of access to healthcare, Rhodesia Ransom worked with Planned Parenthood Mar Monte to bring a testing site to Tracy, so residents could access testing in their own community.
Ransom’s service to the community includes seven years on the Tracy Planning Commission where she performed a critical oversight role on new residential and commercial development projects. She has also served on the San Joaquin County Civil Grand Jury providing oversight to public agencies across our county to improve efficiency and service delivery.
In 2021, Rhodesia Ransom was appointed District Director for Hon. Congressman Josh Harder to serve constituents in the 10th Congressional District. She is honored to continue her advocacy and service to the community in this new role.
Mark Williams, Corresponding Secretary
Mark Williams is an experienced, and respected governmental affairs professional, political consultant and native of the East Bay. Since 2006, he has continued to hone his skill set as a political consultant, that can develop successful strategies, navigate obtaining key endorsements, and build winning coalitions by serving as staff, managing, and consulting for multiple campaigns to successfully elect multiple Democratic candidates to public office. He has worked on campaigns for candidates, measures, and initiatives throughout the East Bay.
Mark has worked on campaigns in both Alameda and Contra Costa counties for candidates such as Bob Wieckowski for Assembly and Senate, and Joan Buchanan for Assembly. He has worked on measure campaigns such as Alameda County’s Measure BB sales tax, AC Transit’s C1 parcel tax and BART’s measure RR bond.
In addition to successfully managing his election and reelection to the AC Transit Board of Directors, in 2010, 2014 and 2018 respectfully, Mark also served as interim campaign manager for Jovanka Beckles for Assembly.
Mark has also worked as a political organizer for both the Alameda Labor Council and Service Employees International Union 1021. He also served as a Communications Coordinator and founding member of the Alameda County Assessor’s office Public Relations Unit.
Most recently, Mark worked as a campaign consultant for City of Fremont Councilmember Raj Salwan’s successful 2020 reelection campaign. Mark also proudly serves as an elected official on both the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District, and the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee.
His election to the AC Transit Board of Directors in 2010, at the age of 24 made him the youngest person ever elected to the board, in addition to being one of the youngest elected officials, in the history of California and the United States. Mark has been active in the Democratic Party for over 15 years, and has proudly served as an associate, alternate and recently elected member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee, representing Assembly District 20, and as an elected and appointed delegate to the California Democratic Central Committee.
Mark is committed to using his passion for politics, and opportunity to serve as an elected leader of the Democratic Party, to support and elect the next generation of leaders to public office, especially candidates of color, and those that want to work as political staffers and consultants.
In his spare time, Mark supports the Alameda County Food Bank and personally provided meals and needed supplies to unsheltered residents throughout Northern California. He is a lifelong Warriors, Athletics and Raiders fan even though they have divorced Oakland TWICE!
Mark holds both an Associate of Language Arts, and Associate of Social Science degree from Laney College and attended Tuskegee University.
Dr. Margaret Fortune, Recording Secretary
The youngest of three children of a Black military family who migrated to California from North Carolina, Dr. Margaret Fortune grew up in Sacramento where she is a public school educator and community activist. Dr. Fortune founded a K-12 public school system of nine schools located in Sacramento and San Bernardino with over 2,300 students with a mission to close the Black achievement gap by preparing kids for college.
Margaret serves on the board of Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network, Sacramento and is an active member of the education committee of the San Bernardino NAACP where she is a lifetime member. She writes a monthly column called Let’s Talk Black Education with Dr. Margaret Fortune that appears in ten Black newspapers in California, including her hometown paper, The Sacramento Observer. Fortune recently launched a podcast by the same name.
Growing up in the State Capitol, as a child Margaret worked her first political campaign for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wilson Riles when her father hoisted her up on his shoulders to pin a campaign sign on a telephone pole. Dr. Fortune caught the political bug at a young age and her passion has continued ever since. Margaret is a member of the El Dorado County Democratic Central Committee, a delegate on California’s Democratic State Central Committee, is the Recording Secretary for the California Democratic Party Black Caucus and is on the board of the Sacramento Black Women’s Democratic Club.
Throughout Margaret’s 25 years of public service, she has been an education advocate for Black children. She has been an education advisor to two California governors, chaired the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and is a trustee emeritus of the California State University. Dr. Fortune earned her Bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkley, a Master’s in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.