Esperanza Tervalon-Garrett is a queer, Afro-Puerto Rican woman, and a native daughter of Oakland, California. She is the founder and Principal of Dancing Hearts Consulting, LLC, 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 most impacted by systemic oppression. Born to Black activist parents and raised in the social justice movement, 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 solid reputation as a savvy electoral strategist, a seasoned political organizer, and a power-building innovator among Social Justice activists and Philanthropic leaders.
Esperanza is the Co-Chair of the Funders Committee for Civic Participation, a network of civic engagement institutions that move $170M to the field each year. She is also serving as the Statewide Campaign Manager for the Oregon Hard to Count Census Campaign that aims to engage 1.3M people. 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.
DIGNITY & RESPECT
OBAMA FOR AMERICA
ELECTING A MAYOR
As a labor organizer with SEIU Local 1000, ETG was arrested outside of Los Angeles CalTrans building for organizing graveyard custodians to stand up for dignity and respect. Her arrest triggers arrest across the state and ends in a successful Unfair Labor Practice Arbitration.
ETG joins Obama for America as the Northern California Field Director, winning the most Congressional Districts in CA during the 2008 Presidential Primary.
ETG designs and leads the IE that elects the first Asian American Mayor in Oakland.
ETG leaves Oakland Rising after building a base of 52,000 voters of color from low-income, immigrant communities.
ETG leads the first women focused plenary at the Funder Committee for Civic Participation.