Meet The Board
The first time I ever voted was for Al Gore. I had just graduated high school and was only 18 years old. I swore to myself I'd never vote again because my vote didn't matter. That never happened though. I grew up in a very liberal family in New Jersey. My father told us that if we didn't vote, we couldn't live in his house. I have voted in every election since I was 18. I've worked for many political candidates, knocked on many doors, and marched in more marches that I'd like to admit. I moved to Savannah in 2019 from my home state of New Jersey with my 2 dogs and 4 cats. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into moving to such a conservative state but I really wasn't as prepared as I thought. I very quickly jumped into Kurtis Purtee's campaign and plastered lawn signs all over my lawn. I look forward to working with the Federation to get even more Democratic candidates elected and to promote positive change in the Democratic Party.
I am a realtor by trade, a mom by choice, and Vice President of the Savannah Chapter of the Federation of Democratic Women. Becoming a mother and moving to a new area of the country really opened my eyes to a lot of political and social issues and made me more determined than ever to create change, both for myself and future generations. I strongly believe in the idea of leaving this world better than I found it, and that is my life goal. I am passionate about so many issues we as a society face today, but I especially focus on reproductive rights, paid maternity leave, universal healthcare, affordable childcare, and several facets of criminal justice and prison reform. I look forward to using my position in this organization to inspire others to action and create real and lasting change.
2nd Vice President
Kristy started campaigning when she was in middle school. She grew up as an “Army Brat”, and decided to make Savannah her home 28 years ago. After a stint as a Capitol Hill staffer, Kristy resumed working on the campaign side of politics - including flipping a congressional seat as the campaign manager. Now, Kristy uses her skills to support local candidates up and down the ballot. She has been married to Steve, a Savannah native, for 28 years, and they have one adult son. Through her role as secretary of the Savannah Federation of Democratic Women, she will support the objective of the organization, which is to unite women of the Democratic Party; to promote the cause of the Democratic Party and to encourage full participation of women in every level of the Democratic Party Structure.
3rd Vice President
Gail Buckner isn't just our 3rd Vice President but also the President of the National Federation of Democratic Women. Gail was a Democratic member of the Georgia State Senate, representing its 44th District from 2009 to 2011. She was formerly a Georgia State Assembly representative of district 76, encompassing parts of Clayton County from 1990 to 2006. She represented district 76 and was also a candidate for Secretary of State of Georgia. Gail is married to her husband Charles Buckner and they have been married for 41 years. Together they have three children who were educated in the public schools of the Clayton County School System. They are now successful adults with children of their own.
4th Vice President
Erika K. Hardnett is the founder and co-pastor of Agape Empowerment Ministries located in Savannah, Georgia. She and her wife Candace founded Agape in 2009 and have worked diligently to bring about awareness of God’s inclusive love for all people through their many community development programs and their advocacy for equality. Erika is a passionate activist and champion for human rights. Erika has rallied on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, marched and protested locally within her city for LGBTQ+ Equality both nationally and with her local government. Most recently, she joined the board of Georgia Equality and has also been appointed by Savannah’s mayor, Mayor Van R. Johnson to the Executive Committee of the city’s first LGBTQ+ Equity task force, Proud Savannah.
Professionally, Erika has enjoyed a successful career in talent management, working alongside artists from all genres. Erika is currently a business owner and herbalist. She resides in Savannah, GA, with her wife and youngest daughter Maya, and is the mother of two older daughters who live on their own Mariah and Mika. Erika looks forward to collaborating with like-minded individuals within the Federation of Democratic Women, working collectively to shape a more inclusive and equitable society.
I am originally from New Jersey and have moved around the country with my Husband’s job inspecting cargo ships. We moved to Savannah in 2018 for the second time, having previously lived here from 1989 to 1993. In 2022 I retired from H&R Block as a Tax Professional and Tax Law Instructor, after working in 3 different states since 1989.
I have always been involved in my community and politics. Prior to moving to Savannah, I was elected to the Board of Education of Cranford, NJ. I also served on the Cranford Township Recreation Advisory Board and as Chairperson of the Cranford Teen Advisory Board.
After attending the Women’s March on Washington on January 21, 2017, a group of women from my Congressional District formed “Flip NJ 7” whose goal was to elect a Democrat for the first time in over 100 years. We succeeded in electing Tom Malinowski to represent the 7th CD of NJ!
In 2022, my husband Tom and I got very involved in Wade Herring’s campaign to unseat Buddy Carter. Unfortunately, we did not have the same result as in NJ, but we are not done working yet!
Tigerlily is a lifelong Georgian, and a Savannah resident since 2022. As the Vice President of the Young Democrats of Chatham County, she is very active in the local community, and she is excited to expand her involvement as Secretary for the Savannah Federation of Democratic Women. Prior to moving to Savannah, Tigerlily worked on campaigns for a variety of Democratic candidates, was a fellow with the Democratic Party of Georgia, and did voter protection and anti-gerrymandering advocacy work with the Georgia Youth Justice Coalition. She graduated from Kennesaw State University in 2023 with a degree in Political Science. Tigerlily was honored to be the 2023 recipient of the NDFW’s Rilla Moran Woods award, which allowed her to spend the summer as an intern at the Democratic National Committee HQ, which was an incredible experience. She is excited to continue working with the Federation on the board of her local chapter.