Board and Staff

Lisa Tyson, Director

Lisa TysonLisa Tyson is a powerful, and passionate, advocate for progressive change on Long Island. For almost 15 years, Tyson has won important victories around a policy agenda aimed at promoting sustainable development, revitalizing local communities, creating effective democracy, enhancing human dignity, and achieving economic, racial and social justice on Long Island. As Director of the Long Island Progressive Coalition (LIPC), Tyson formulates policy, raises funds, and manages a full time staff of eight, in support of that ambitious program.

Her successes are legendary: Passing a $3 million affordable housing bond in the Town of East Hampton; Writing and passing Nassau Counties Living Wage Law; Demanding fair elections by lobbying successfully for optical scanners in voting; And anchoring a statewide campaign to change the statewide education formula to be based on students’ needs. Tyson is a founding member of the Working Families Party who sits on the Executive Committee and is a Steering Committee member of the Long Island Regional Council where she plays a crucial role in endorsements. She was named one of 2010 Long Island Press‘s 50 Most Influential People on Long Island.

A life long resident of Long Island, Tyson was graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing/Communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 1993. She continued her studies in the Masters of Science program in Urban and Environmental Studies at Renssealear Polytechnic Institute in 1994.

Lisa can be reached at 516-541-1006 ext.11 or

John Delaney, LIPC Administrative Director

John DelaneyJohn Delaney comes to the Long Island Progressive Coalition after working for award winning Chicago Public Relations firm Zapwater Communications. At Zapwater, he served with great zeal as Office and Special Projects Manager. Previously, he held various positions at another Long Island nonprofit, the Long Island Library Resources Council. At the LIPC, John serves as the Administrative Director, focusing on the day to day operations of the LIPC. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University with a degree in History.

John can be reached at 516-541-1006 ext. 10 or at


Dan Fingas, Organizing Director

Dan Laborer for webDan Fingas joined LIPC after over a decade organizing in Michigan. For the past 3 years Dan worked for the Michigan Laborers District Council where he was tasked with member organizing, contractor marketing, political field operations, community organizing, coalition building, and represented the Laborers at several coalitions including the Michigan AFL CIO, the Michigan Democratic Party, and the State Legislature Campaign Committees.

Dan has also worked as an Organizing Coordinator for SEIU Healthcare Michigan, a Community Organizer for Michigan Organizing Project and served in many roles in political organizing including as a Campaign Manager for State Senate and Field Coordinator for State House. Dan was also proud to serve as Labor Liaison for Michigan’s 7th Congressional District in 2010 and as the Michigan Laborer’s Field Coordinator for Proposal 2 in 2012. Dan is a 2004 graduate of Albion College.

Dan can be reached at 516-541-1006 ext. 17 or

Blanca A. Villanueva, Long Island Community Education Organizer

Blanca A. VillanuevaBlanca A. Villanueva is a Long Island native, growing up in Brentwood, NY. She left beautiful Long Island briefly to attend New York University in Manhattan. While on a pre-med track she became a part of student led organizations, such as C-Roots and LUCHA, which strive to educate and unify the NYU community on social and cultural issues. Blanca graduated with a degree in Psychology and American Sign Language. After traveling in Europe using her multilingual skills, she returned to pursue her Master’s in Public Health at Brooklyn College.

She credits her masters studies in truly enlightening her on the important roles policy, environment, and education play in creating disparities and inequities in a community. She believes a good education is the key to a better future and change. Blanca is also a strong supporter for human rights, specifically speaking out against any form of abuse. Her Masters Paper was on the Risk Factors for Sexual Assault Perpetration in the US Military. Blanca is now the Long Island Community Education Organizer working with Alliance for Quality Education through the Long Island Progressive Coalition.

Blanca can be reached at 516-541-1006 ext. 20 or

Olivia Santoro, Lead Organizer

Olivia Bio

Olivia Santoro first began organizing when she was a student at Binghamton University. For three years she organized demonstrations, meetings and events with the University’s LGBTQ activist group. During her time on the board, she built awareness and encouraged students to think more critically about issues impacting the LGBTQ community. As a sociology and geography student, Olivia’s research focused on the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Olivia grew up on Long Island and her passion for research and organizing led her to the Long Island Progressive Coalition. She first joined LIPC in 2012 as an education intern. The following year she interned at LIPC’s affiliate, Citizen Action of New York, at their office in the Southern Tier and in 2014 joined the LIPC staff as a canvasser for the PowerUp Communities Program. She now serves as a community organizer working on a variety of campaigns. Olivia holds a B.A. in Sociology and Geography.

Olivia can be reached at 516-541-1006 ext. 12 or

Ryan Madden, Sustainability Organizer

As a graduate of Binghamton University, Ryan received a BA in Political Science and Environmental Studies. Prior to his work in sustainability, Ryan focused on electoral politics, campaigning for national and local candidates in his hometown of White Plains and in Binghamton. Throughout his last year in college, Ryan worked for the Energy Conservation Corps. of Cornell Cooperative Extension promoting NYSERDA’s Green Jobs Green New York energy efficiency program. After leaving Binghamton, Ryan remained committed to working on issues of climate and energy. In November 2013 he served as a delegate to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change with SustainUS, a non-profit advocacy organization. Upon returning home, Ryan worked as the Special Assistant for Policy at Dental Recycling International, a mercury recycling company, while also serving as the Policy Coordinator on SustainUS’ Steering Committee. Ryan joined the LIPC in September 2015 as a Community Organizer for PowerUp Communities. As the Sustainability Organizer, Ryan will continue his work on PowerUp, as well as focus on campaigns to enact comprehensive climate and sustainability policy in Long Island and throughout NY State.

Ryan can be reached at 516-541-1006 ext 13 or

Board Members

Richard Berkenfeld, Kevin Brady, Elaine Calos (Treasurer), Lauren Corcoran-Doolin, Jeffrey Friedman, Claudia Hanover, Michele Lynch, Paul Merkelson, Ruth Silverman (Officer), David Sprintzen (Secretary), Luis Valenzuela, and all full time staff.