Director of Public Policy: Matthew Durshimer

Matthew Durshimer is a Civil Engineer and Project Manager working first hand on Hillsborough’s transportation evolution.  Born and raised in Pasco County, Matthew stayed close to home and attended the University of South Florida where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil Engineering.  Matthew began his career as a contractor on the I-4/ Lee Roy Selmon Connector project, where he supervised and planned the work for 3 crews on contracts in excess of $10 million. He is currently serving as a Bridge Engineer and Project Manager for a transportation-consulting firm where he specializes in complex construction projects for the Florida Department of Transportation.

Durshimer designed the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Daytona Beach, a project whose design had significant community involvement. He worked closely with a Volusia County Commissioner and Public Advisory Committee to change the public’s perception of the project, which went from predominantly negative to overwhelmingly positive. Matthew is proud to have engineered over 20 bridges in Central Florida.  Serving as a Lead Bridge Engineer on the I-275 Reconstruction through Tampa, Matthew has robust knowledge of Tampa’s infrastructure needs, and understands that new leadership is necessary to solving the transportation problems holding back Tampa Bay.  

As Director of Public Policy, Matthew brings a liberal perspective that is rooted in his engineering ethics - to hold paramount the health, safety, and welfare of the public. 

Chief Political Director: Christopher C. Cano, MPA

Christopher Cano is a United States Air Force Veteran and Public Administrator who currently serves on several nonprofit and advocacy organization boards throughout the state of Florida. Armed with multiple degrees from the University of South Florida and years of experience in Florida politics, Chris strives to be at the forefront of various social justice movements.  Christopher's professional experience working as a legislative analyst in the Florida Legislature, as an organizer for several social justice organizations, and on government relations for a major Fortune 500 Company in the pharmaceutical industry, has given him a wealth of applicable knowledge. His post-graduate work teaching business & education seminars for entrepreneurs, combined with his professional and academic experience, make him one of the top government relation professionals in the Bay Area. 

Chris is dedicated to changing healthcare policy and reforming the criminal justice system.  He has personally experienced seeing his family struggle for social mobility, and is therefore dedicated to furthering progressive values.  In 2014, Christopher founded the Central Florida Chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in order to support efforts to bring medical marijuana to Florida.  In two years as the Executive Director, Chris has taken CFL NORML from an abstract idea, to one of the major advocacy organizations in Central Florida.  Cano is currently a member of the New Leaders Council 2016 Class of Fellows.  His moral compass and dedication to progressive ideals make him an asset to the Democratic Party.

Director of Government Affairs: Steven Angotti

Steven Angotti is a native of Tampa Bay; he graduated from Armwood High School, earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida, and earned his law degree from the University of Miami. 

Angotti joined U.S. Rep. Castor’s District Office in 2015, helping constituents and Tampa Bay organizations identify available grants and navigate the federal grants process. Steven is passionate about the environment and energy law, as well as education and policy-making, and he hopes to use his experiences to further help the community. 

Director of Fundraising & Finance: Gretchell Trochez-Triguero

Gretchell Trochez-Triguero was born and raised in Miami and is first generation Honduran-American. She graduated from the IB Program at Coral Reef Senior High. In 2011, she moved to Gainesville to pursue her BA in Political Science and German at the University of Florida. While in Gainesville, she interned for a local State House race. She went on to intern for Equality Florida’s Public Policy team, where she helped lobby State Legislators to pass the Statewide Domestic Partnership Bill and the Competitive Workforce Act. She also worked with Representative Clovis Watson, on a Restoration of Rights Bill in 2013, which died in committee. At UF, she was a part of service organization and volunteered more than 100 hours to local charities such as: Habitat for Humanity, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Take Stock in Children. In 2014, she joined the Charlie Crist for Governor Finance Team as a Finance Assistant. Currently, she is taking a year sabbatical from UF to work at Ruth’s List Florida as their Regional Fundraiser. This organization is near and dear to her heart due to their mission of recruiting, training, and assisting pro-choice women to run for local office. Gretchell plans on returning to school after this important election cycle, and continue to work with local democrats run for office. She hopes to one day assist in the reformation of Immigration Policy, Women Rights, our Education System, and the prison system.