Saily Avelenda, a progressive leader who played a key role in forcing Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen into retirement, will serve as campaign manager for Democratic State Chairman John Currie’s re-election campaign.
The executive director of NJ 11th for Change, the grassroots group that helped flip the North Jersey congressional seat now held by Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair), first gained attention in 2017 when she organized a series of Friday afternoon protests at Frelinghuysen’s district office to call attention to his refusal to meet with constituents and hold town hall meetings.
Frelinghuysen sent out a fundraising letter talked about the “organized forces” out to defeat him to Avelenda’s boss at Lakeland Bank, where she was a senior vice president, that included a handwritten postscript: “P.S. One of the ringleaders works in your bank!”
“Saily Avelenda is one of our state’s most impactful activists and she has a record of bringing Democrats and grassroots leaders together to fight for what’s right,” said Currie. “Her determination to fight for progressive change is incomparable and Vice Chairwoman Schaffer and I are excited to see her join our campaign.”
Avelenda called Currie and Vice Chair Peg Schaffer strong leaders who are “committed to bringing everyone to the table to work collaboratively for change.”
“Over the past three years, we have seen the best and worst of politics come to light across our country,” said Avelenda. “While we see hateful rhetoric being spread from the White House, we’ve also been able to bring together progressive and grassroots leaders to help bring meaningful change to Washington and to our own communities.”