CASE is a movement of young people and working families committed to achieving economic, social and immigrants’ justice in Arizona. We are a grassroots organization led by our volunteer leaders, the majority of whom are young people trying to build a future in a State that currently provides them too few educational and economic opportunities.
We strive to increase civic and political participation among working families in Arizona. We seek to end the scapegoating and political attacks against immigrant and refugee workers who came to Arizona in search of a better life for themselves and their families. And we work engage community members across Maricopa County in an effort reverse the trend in Arizona’s economy toward low-wage service industry jobs that do not pay enough for everyday working Arizonans to make ends meet.
Meet Our Staff
Brendan Walsh, Executive Director
Born and raised in Boston, Brendan graduated from Harvard and taught English in Chile before enrolling in a Ph. D. program in American Studies at Yale University. While there, Brendan became a leader in the union for graduate-student teachers and researchers, GESO, where he collaborated in campaigns for social justice with Yale’s unions of clerical, technical, maintenance, and dining hall employees. More recently, he has directed political and community programs for UNITE HERE!, the hospitality workers union.
Joseph Silva, Organizing Coordinator
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Joseph got a degree at UCLA before getting a job as a banquet server at a high-end hotel. There Joseph got involved with the hotel workers union UNITE HERE Local 11, and eventually became an union organizer. In 2016, Joseph moved to Arizona to join the CASE staff. He has worked in our data and operations departments, and currently coordinates all of CASE’s field operations.
Sara Spragg, Community Organizer
Sara is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up in rural Michigan. Sara is a first-generation college graduate of Northern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s in Political Science with Minors in Public Relations and Art & Design. Sara has worked in various industries, all relating to creating a positive impact on her community. Sara has done conservation work to revitalize our natural resources, coordinated youth programs to help students obtain post-secondary education, and is currently organizing communities to protect democracy and ensure that all residents of Arizona have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.
Maico Olivares, Community Organizer
Maico Olivares is a first generation American from a Mexican background. He grew up in Tucson, Arizona and earned an Associates of Science in Engineering degree from Cochise Community College in 2016. Maico is currently a student at Arizona State University. In 2020, he will finish his bachelor’s degree in environmental design, becoming the first university graduate in his family. A proud father, Maico works with CASE as a community organizer, leading the way to make Arizona a place where working families–especially immigrant and refugee families–thrive. Maico believes that we at CASE are setting the pace, expectations, and standards for working families across the United States
Simon Foster, Data Coordinator
Simon grew up in Michigan’s rural Upper Peninsula. He started working at 16 and held a multitude of jobs in the service and retail industry. After a decade working menial jobs for employers that didn’t respect their workers or pay livable wage, Simon decided to make a change in his life’s direction and became an organizer with the Michigan Democratic Party working to elect progressive candidates. In 2019 he moved to Arizona and found CASE. He is happy to work for an organization that really fights for people, and is very proud to be a part of a movement that is changing the lives of Arizona’s working families.
Kori McClemens, Operation Coordinator
Kori’s social justice and community development work began when she was a stay-at-home mother and a dedicated volunteer in the fields of environmental conservation, education, and community engagement. Over the past decade, Kori has been an environmental steward, Kiwanis Board member, PTO president, and LGBTQ social justice advocate. Having launched her professional career with CASE, Kori is fine-tuning her public relations skills, supporting fellow members of the LQBTQ community, and building on her previous administrative experience as CASE’s Operations Coordinator.
Victoria Stahl, Digital Organizer
Victoria was born and raised on the west side of Phoenix. She grew up during the era of the infamous anti-immigration law SB1070, and saw the direct effects on her friends and community. While getting her associates degree at Estrella Mountain Community College, Victoria joined NextGen America’s 2018 voter registration campaign. Victoria is currently in her junior year at Arizona, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Business Communication. An advocate for police reform she sits on the Review and Implementation Ad Hoc Committee for the City of Phoenix as the City Council District 5 appointee.
Josh Wells, Community Organizer
Raised in Buffalo NY, Josh is an alumnus of Northern Arizona University and a brother of Lambda Phi Epsilon International Fraternity, Inc. Josh works as a phone operator at a downtown Phoenix hotel, and is a proud member of the hospitality workers union Unite Here Local 11. He is currently on extended leave, leading civic engagement and refugee organizing efforts with CASE. He is a proud husband, and father of two boys.
Board of Directors
Betty Guardado, Vice- Mayor City of Phoenix
James McLaughlin, President, UFCW Local 99
Rebekah Friend, Executive Director, Labor’s Community Service Agency
Rev. Aubrey Barnwell, Pastor, New Life Missionary Baptist Church
Ian Danley, Executive Director, Arizona Wins and member of the Phoenix Union High School District Governing Board
The Partnership for Working Families
The Partnership for Working Families (PWF) was created as a national federation of regional power-building organizations in 2006. Our affiliates bring together labor and community interests reflecting the needs and voices of working families in the 21st century. Across the nation, we are champions of innovative economic policies that can lead to local and national change for working families. Learn more here.
ONE Arizona is a non-partisan partnership dedicated to voter registration to bring about full electoral participation by the Latino community. Each of the ONE Arizona partners plays an integral role in Arizona’s Latino communities by motivating civic engagement, educational efforts, encouraging self-sufficiency, and building collective power. Learn more here
EQUAL VOICE FOR AMERICA’S FAMILIES
Equal Voice For America’s Families is the framework for collaborative movement building used by the Marguerite Casey Foundation to change public policy, attitudes, and practices to ensure the well-being of America’s families. The Equal Voice movement is grounded in the understanding that living in poverty has an impact on virtually every aspect of families’ lives: the work we do, the quality of our children’s education, and our health, safety, and security. Learn more here.
We Are All America
We Are All America works to uphold and strengthen our nation’s commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety and refuge in the United States. By organizing people across religious and cultural differences they work to build inclusive communities where we all belong. Learn more here.