As part of our strategic planning effort, State Voices has enlisted the help of Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett and Carmen Berkley to help navigate the North Star Committee’s three-phase process. Part of their work will include producing a short report on the committee’s findings to support fundraising, organizing and implementation of our new strategic direction.

Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett is the Principal of Dancing Hearts Consulting, a progressive political consulting firm that curates innovative ideas, programs, and campaigns to challenge the status quo and test emerging strategies that change the political game to win long-term change for the people. Esperanza has spent the last 17 years building political power for working class, immigrant, and communities of color in Oakland, around the state of California and across the country.

Esperanza was the first woman of color to lead a 501c3, 501c4 & PAC collaborative civic engagement formation focused on mobilizing progressive voters of color in the United States.  Her ability to build grassroots power in neighborhoods, at the ballot box, and at City Hall has earned her a solid reputation as a savvy electoral strategist, a seasoned political organizer, and a power-building innovator among social justice activists and philanthropic leaders.

Esperanza serves as the Co-Chair of the Funders Committee for Civic Participation, a network of civic engagement funders who move more than $150M into the field each year. Esperanza is married to wife Christine and her proudest accomplishment is her brilliant and tenacious son, Santiago. They live at Dancing Hearts Ranch, a 16-acre ranch in the Cascade Mountains of Southern Oregon.


Carmen Berkley is an award-winning political strategist, entrepreneur, radio host and DJ changing the world through politics, social impact, creative expression and culture.

She is currently a senior associate at Civitas Public Affairs, a reputable advocacy and public affairs firm, and is also co-host and producer of the nation’s longest running women’s radio shows at Washington DC’s WPFW  89.3 FM. On the weekends, you can also find her spinning on the ones and twos at clubs, progressive organizations and family events as DJ CarmenSpindiego.

Carmen has focused her career on the intersectionality of communities of color, and women, to build initiatives and programs that have improved the lives of millions of people at organizations like the NAACP, the AFL-CIO, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She is also co-founder of the social impact strategy firm, Can’t Stop! Won’t Stop! Consulting and has developed thousands of organizers, and political strategists through training and organizational development.

Carmen is recognized by her peers in the movement for her work and has been featured in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Coveteur Magazine. and New York Times. She currently serves as the board chair for re:Power, board member for Advocates for Youth, and she proudly serves as a founding member of BYP100.