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Committee Member Biographies

Sarah Gavian

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Sarah Gavian is a life-long democrat and social activist.  She has been active as a volunteer with the DC DCC since 2018; she served as an appointed member representing Council District 3 starting in 2019, and was elected to that position in November of 2022.  Sarah has served as the Chair of the DC DCC since February 2020.

Previous to her nearly full-time involvement with the DC DCC, Sarah worked for almost forty years to combat hunger and poverty in Africa.  With a BA in Sociology, she joined the Peace Corps in Togo (1983-84), where she lived in a mud hut and trained farmers in cooperative development. Wondering why people worked so hard to earn so little. She returned to the US to pursue her doctoral study on the economic, agricultural and demographic factors underlying rural poverty in Africa.  Living alternately in Washington DC and Africa, she managed $20+ million projects for the US government working with large, remote, multinational and highly professional teams. 

Since moving to Dorchester County, Sarah has been struck by many of the same dynamics underlying rural poverty.  Sarah is passionate about addressing America’s three existential crises: the widening economic chasm between our citizens, the protection of our democracy and the prevention of an irreparable and global climate crisis.  Towards those ends, she has thrown herself into strengthening the Democratic party in our County.  She has been instrumental in expanding DCC membership, creating databases, recruiting candidates, holding candidate forums, organizing get-out-the-vote activities, and building links to other democratic and like-minded organizations.  

Sydney Bradner-Jacobs

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Sydney Bradner-Jacobs is an activist and FDR-New Deal Democrat. She was appointed to represent Council District 5 on the DC DCC in May 2022 and was later elected to that post in November 2022. She has served as Vice Chair since December 2022.

A lifelong Democrat and Eastern Shore native, Sydney got influenced to get more involved in politics after Sen. Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign when she saw how many like-minded, ordinary working class people were supporting progressive candidates or themselves running for public office. Since earning her B.A. from Wesley College in May 2017, where she became the first openly trans woman of her alma mater to graduate, Sydney has been an activist, canvassing and setting up events for candidates on the Shore. Running (unsuccessfully) as a female DNC delegate for Bernie Sanders for MD-01 in 2020 prompted Sydney to later run, and win a seat on the DC DCC. During the 2022 gubernatorial election cycle, Sydney spearheaded the DCC’s most ambitious door-to-door canvassing effort of the last decade, personally knocking at least half of the Democratic doors in Dorchester County.  In her role as Vice Chair, she currently leads many of the activities designed to widen and deepen the DCC’s reach throughout Dorchester. Sydney cares deeply about tackling rural and systemic inequalities of Dorchester, trans issues, and making Dorchester County more competitive for Democrats in the future. Additionally, Sydney leads the Pride Caucus Chair for the Young Democrats of Maryland. 

Dorothy Drahzal

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Dorothy Drahzal is an at-large member and Treasurer of the DC DCC.  She has served as an appointed member of the DC DCC from June 2021 to November 2022 and as an elected member since then. 

Born and bred in New York State, her undergraduate degree was in Philosophy, Education and Mathematics.  Her graduate work on “Youth at Risk & Not-for-Profit Management” at Goddard College in Vermont resulted in her founding a Youth Bureau and a group home. Dorothy also founded three Family Resource Centers in Westchester County, NY, three Public School Educational Foundations and a Children’s Arts & Music Center in Westchester.  She has worked and consulted for over fifty organizations dealing with hunger,poverty, opera, chamber music, senior services, universities, LGBTQI rights, public and private schools and the arts.

 

Dorothy’s political involvement began early in the 70s, protesting the Vietnam war, fundraising for civil rights groups, and working for women’s reproductive rights.  Over the years, she worked on numerous political campaigns beginning with George McGovern in 1972 up through the recent 2022 midterms in Maryland. She attended the 2016 Democratic National Convention as a supporter of the Bernie Delegation for NY, and as a volunteer driver for the CFO of the Democratic National Committee.  She has been Treasurer or Finance Director for numerous national, state, county, town and city Democratic committees and campaigns.

 

Here in Dorchester, her work, besides handling Committee finances, focuses on recruiting and supporting Democrats for elected and appointed offices, commissions and committees.  Fighting and working to end the economic and racial divide is what moves her soul.  Her philosophy is “Make it happen at the lowest level and groom young people to take over our Party.”

Randy Cain

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Randy Cain currently serves as an appointed member representing Council District 5 on the Dorchester County DCC while also working as the DCC's database technology specialist. Originally from California, Randy enlisted in the Air Force in 1974 during the Vietnam War, specializing in communications technology at Kelly AFB in San Antonio, Texas.

 

For nearly four decades, from 1977 to 2016, Randy made significant contributions to Xerox Corporation. Holding the position of Certified Enterprise Architect, he played a crucial role in designing and implementing information and communications technology systems for internal and external clients. Randy's achievements at Xerox include obtaining two patents for his inventions.

 

Following retirement, Randy and his wife Kathryn sought a new chapter and moved to the Texas Gulf Coast, an area greatly impacted by the environmental effects of the petrochemical industry. Randy became a city council member in the City of Ingleside on the Bay, where he collaborated with his wife and fellow residents to establish a non-profit community organization opposing industrial expansion and aiming to protect the environment.

 

During a vacation in October 2020, Randy and Kathryn discovered the charm of the Eastern Shore, leading them to make a life-changing decision. They relocated to Vienna, Maryland, and settled into their new home in March of the following year. They have since found contentment and developed a deep appreciation for the welcoming community and the Eastern Shore's natural beauty.

 

In addition to their other endeavors, Randy and Kathryn are currently occupied with their business, Maritimatix, an incubator client in the Eastern Shore Innovation Center near the Cambridge-Dorchester Regional Airport. He spends most days converting a 34-foot catamaran sailboat into a 100% solar-powered motorboat.

 

Randy's professional journey, characterized by his contributions in technology and community advocacy, reflects his dedication and passion. As he continues to serve Dorchester County on the DCC, Randy hopes to make a lasting impact through his commitment to the community and the causes he supports.

LeRoi Robinson-Grant

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LeRoi Robinson-Grant currently serves as an appointed member representing Council District 4 on the Dorchester County DCC since May 2023.

 

LeRoit grew up in Prince George’s County. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps after the 9/11 terrorist attack where he adopted the Marine Corps motto of Honor, Courage and Commitment.  For the past 10 years, LeRoit has been a fitness professional and a community organizer.

 

After a thorough study of the entire US, Robinson-Grant and his wife decided in 2015 to settle their family in Dorchester County. 

 

LeRoi ran as the Democratic candidate for Dorchester County Sheriff in 2022 to ensure the Sheriff department develop a stronger community focus and keep Dorchester County safe for everyone.  While he was unsuccessful in that particular bid, you are likely to see him elected sometime soon to public office.  On the DCC, he has been organizing Democratic events and get-out-the-vote efforts across the County. 

Mary Dennard-Turner

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Mary Dennard-Turner is a lifelong Democrat, and currently represents Council District 4 on the DC DCC.Born and raised in Dorchester County, Mary attended Maces Lane High (class of 1966), as well as Warwick and Chesapeake Colleges.  She has had many careers, including serving in the National Guard (1976-1982) and as a corrections officer for the state of Maryland for 18 years, as well as a Commissioner for the East New Market City Council (2011-2019).  Mary currently works for Maryland Park Service at the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center while simultaneously serving on the Board of Trustees of Chesapeake College and the Dorchester County Committee of Aging.  Mary is focusing on ensuring that  Dorchester’s citizens have adequate and fair access to a world class education, humane living conditions, and decent jobs. She is particularly keen that politicians turn their talk into action.  

Zia Ashraf

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Zia Ahsraf is a DC DCC at-large member; his May 2022 appointment was confirmed by voters  in November 2022.
 

Zia was born in Pakistan and moved to the United States with his family in 2014. He graduated from Salisbury University in 2019, where he earned his BA in Political Science and International Relations, with three minors in Philosophy, Conflict Analysis Dispute Resolution, and South-Asian studies respectively.  He is currently working to get his J.D. degree from Delaware Law School (expected May 2024). In addition, he interned with multiple state and federal agencies including Maryland Lieutenant Governor Office (summer of 2019) and Maryland Secretary of State Office (summer of 2018 and 2019), and mounted his first run as the Democratic nominee for for the Dorchester County Council in November 2022 to represent CD-5. Zia was appointed to Hurlock Town Ethics Commission in February 2023. Zia brings forth diversity, experience, and political connections to the DC DCC.  He cares deeply about economic equity and bringing forth prosperity to rural America.  

Jennifer Brohawn

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Jennifer Brohawn is a DC DCC at-large member and a Dorchester native. She was appointed in May 2022 and has served as an elected member since November 2022.

After graduating from Salisbury University, Jennifer taught at Sandy Hill Elementary for seven years.  Following that, she moved to Easton, where she home schooled her two daughters up until high school.  She worked as a GED Instructor for Chesapeake College, instructing students at the Kent County Detention Center. Jennifer also served as a Talbot Mentor for four years, a greeter for Talbot Hospice, chairperson for the Children’s Foundation, as well as a member of the Bishop Search Committee for the Episcopal Diocese of Easton. During the 2022 campaign season, Jennifer spearheaded the Committee’s first major candidate event in Hurlock.  Jennifer is a social Democrat, whose main focus is education, mental health care, LGBTQ rights, reproductive rights, legalization of cannabis, and affordable housing. 

Sydney
Dorothy
Randy
LeRoi
Mary
Zia
Jennifer
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