Maria Perez is the Co-Director of Democracy Rising, an organization that seeks to create a democracy where all communities have political equity and are fully able to participate in shaping policy and holding elected officials accountable. Democracy Rising works in partnership with organizations on the ground to provide technical assistance, training, and resources to facilitate successful and sustainable education and advocacy efforts, and support local groups to ensure smooth and successful RCV implementations using best practices from other jurisdictions.
Born and raised in Ecuador, Maria immigrated to the United States in the 1990s to pursue her education. A seasoned non-profit leader, organizer, facilitator, advocate, educator, and coalition builder, Maria is a firm believer in the power of people coming together to address complex social problems. She served as Campaign Lead and later as Interim Hub Manager for the California Endowment’s project Building Healthy Communities (East Oakland), Director of FairVote New Mexico, and more recently as Campaign Manager for Common Cause New Mexico. She is a national expert on the issue of ranked choice voting. She believes that democracy is the ultimate health equity indicator. She founded the firm Democracy in Action, which works at the intersection of equity and democracy in 2019.