Meet Our Team

Founders

Katie Lieberman, Chairman of the Board – Katie Lieberman is a licensed clinical therapist and mom of three daughters.  As a Utah native, Katie knows the social political landscape of our state and firmly believes in the ethical values that make our state the amazing place she chooses to call home. She lives in Salt Lake City with her family.

 

 

 

Andrea Himoff, Executive Director – Andrea is a mom, a writer, a nature lover and an environmental blogger. She graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Classical Studies. After living in many places around the country and the world, Andrea settled for good in Park City to raise her daughters in the Rocky Mountains just a few hours from where she grew up in Colorado. She is an ordinary member of the community who had never previously been engaged in politics, but now feels inspired to get other ordinary Utahns like her engaged in issues that impact our communities to make Utah an even better place.

Katie and Andrea founded Action Utah in response to the overwhelming reaction around Utah to the 2016 elections in order to support greater community involvement in making meaningful improvements at the state and national level. And also for their daughters, in hopes that they may grow up understanding that democracy is only as strong as the people willing to engage it. Katie and Andrea believe that the diverse voices of Utah need more representation and are excited to build bridges and bring greater community involvement to a range of policy areas.

OUR TEAM

Issue Captains

Public Health Policy

Carrie Butler – Carrie is a student at the University of Utah, finishing a dual Masters program in public health and public policy. She is the epidemiology field coordinator for the Four Corners States Biomonitoring Consortium and is passionate about environmental health and health policy. She lives with her husband and daughters in West Jordan, Utah.

 

Immigration and Refugees

Laura Bandara – Laura is an urban designer and planner, with a background in political science and landscape architecture. After observing politics all her life, and seeing political polarization and incivility reach new levels during the last election cycle, she felt compelled to engage in building bridges and finding common ground.

 

Voter Rights/Redistricting

Miriah Elliot – Miriah is an attorney and mom of three.  She earned her J.D. with Highest Honors at the University of Utah SJ Quinney College of Law and was a shareholder at Parr, Brown, Gee & Loveless in Salt Lake City before going in-house at a small renewable energy company.  She lives in Ivins, Utah with her family.

 

Poverty/Homelessness

Ashley Hoopes, BSW, MPA 2017 – Ashley is an longtime advocate for Utah’s homeless children and families. She is committed to strengthening the formal and informal support systems they rely on so that they can permanently escape poverty and homelessness. Ashley believes everyone needs a “village” to survive and thrive and will be opening Circles Salt Lake County this spring to provide mentorship relationships to these parents. Ashley is a member of RESULTS Utah, a volunteer group that lobbies Utah’s congressional members to support legislation to eradicate childhood poverty. Ashley is the mom of three kids, two cats and Portuguese Water Dog. She is from Utah County and lives in Salt Lake.

Women’s Issues

Holly Richardson – Holly is a former state legislator, wife, mother, small business owner and Masters degree student. She is currently the Utah Women and Education Initiative Coordinator at Utah Valley University. She has served as a marketing and communications director for a state office, is a social media consultant, a popular speaker, writer and humanitarian. She is also excited to be working with women to help them find and use their voices. Holly and her husband, Greg, are the parents of a large family. Holly is also delighted to be a grandma to six and a half adorable grandkids. Between the politics and the large family, she has learned how to stay calm(ish) under intense pressure. Or maybe she’s just kidding herself. Either way, she’s a fan of pedicures and chocolate…..

Health Policy – Addiction

Erin Bigler, MSW– Erin is an Army Wife and mom of three. After being stationed around the world, in 2016 she jumped at the chance to move her family to Utah County where she grew up. She’s thrilled her kids will spend their summers hiking the Y just like she did! She wants to ensure Utah remains a safe place for her children and other families to grow and explore. Erin is passionate about protecting the state’s wild spaces, public education, and women’s health. She is a clinical social worker and specializes in adult mental health and substance abuse.

Utah’s U.S. Congressional Representation

Erika Palsson – Erika is a relative newcomer to Utah. After growing up in California and spending time in New York and Arizona, she moved to Salt Lake City in 2014. She holds a B.A. in Dance and an M.F.A. in English from the University of California at Irvine, and currently works as the Executive Assistant to the Head of School at Rowland Hall.

 

Stewardship – Public Lands

Kate Ferguson – Kate grew up with her dogs and ponies roaming the woods and fields of Massachusetts. Skiing and the lure of the west drew her to Utah, where she has lived for 28 years in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains. She has worked as a Newborn ICU nurse, as a children’s bookseller, and has raised a puppy for Canine Companions for Independence. She plugs away at writing for children. She has three kids and is married to an extremely patient husband. Her love of open spaces keeps her actively engaged in matters of public and private land management; she is interested in the discussion and the complex choices our state faces regarding public and private land.

State Legislative Policy

Maríadelmar González – MaríadelMar is an art historian, grassroots activist, and advocate. She holds a Ph.D. in modern and contemporary art history specializing in the intersection of art and politics. Maríadelmar has over 6 years experience in institutions of higher education, art museums, and nonprofits. As an educator and arts advocate she serves the community through work in local nonprofits that focus on social justice and access serving the local Latinx/Hispanic community. Since arriving to Utah over the summer of 2016, Maríadelmar has become involved with local activism and advocacy volunteering time in nonpartisan voter registration and advocated for a progressive agenda that benefits women and marginalized communities in the state of Utah.

Public Education

Ashley Anderson – Ashley is an artist and educator based in Salt Lake City. Her work developing an arts non-profit and teaching across numerous districts converges with her advocacy for her two young children that attend their neighborhood Title 1 School. She believes that ordinary Utahns can and must act to equitably improve education for all children.

 

Communications & Outreach

Director of Social Media

Libby Mitchell – Libby has a background in broadcast news and currently works in the realm of public relations and social media. She is a mother of one daughter who she hopes to raise in a country where people do not have to fight for their rights because of gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation.

 

Director of Technology

Kirsten Crear – Kirsten is a Software Engineer in West Valley. Originally planning to get a degree in Political Science, she attended Gettysburg College, but left with a degree in Computer Science. She is most passionate about getting more diversity in STEM and leadership roles, protecting the future for our LGBT citizens, and safeguarding the environment and it’s natural resources. Originally from Maine, she recently relocated to Utah for our “Silicon Slopes” and unrivaled access to great outdoor recreation. She lives in Salt Lake with her boyfriend and Border Collie.

Action Coordinator

Teresa Carlson – Teresa is a litigation paralegal, a healthcare staffing coordinator and a lifelong community volunteer. Originally from Illinois, where she earned a B.S. Degree in Anthropology (with minors in Social Work & Sociology), she fell in love with the mountains and moved to Salt Lake City where she continued her education at Westminster College to become a paralegal. Teresa is committed to civil rights and is a volunteer employment coach at People Helping People, a nonprofit group dedicated to reducing the number of children living in poverty. She is delighted to join Action Utah and to help people make their voices heard.

Photography

Gabe Moreno – Gabe is an undergraduate student at the University of Utah, double majoring in Communications and International Studies. He earned his A.S. in Communications from the Salt Lake Community College where he graduated with the highest honor of Civically Engaged Scholars. He resides in Sandy, Utah with his family and enjoys volunteering, advocating for multiple causes as well as exploring the great outdoors.

 

Volunteers

Action Utah is a volunteer-based organization putting ordinary citizens to work on state and national policy issues, often for the first time. Find out about current volunteer opportunities on our Volunteer page.