Meet Our Staff
Dwight Pelz, Washington State Democrats Chair
A fifth generation Washingtonian, Dwight was born in Seattle in 1951. In 1954 the family moved to Washington DC, when his father joined the staff of Seattle Congressman Don Magnuson. Dwight graduated from the University of Michigan in 1974, and returned to Seattle the next year.
A Community Organizer
For fifteen years he worked as a community organizer for a variety of grassroots groups on a variety of social issues. In 1977, Dwight organized the statewide initiative campaign which repealed the sales tax on food.
The State Senate
He was elected to the State Senate in 1990, where he represented the 37th District for six years. He chaired the Senate Education Committee for two years; and Labor and Commerce Committee, also for two years.
The King County Council
In 1996, Dwight was appointed to take Ron Sims' place on the King County Council, representing South Seattle. He was elected in 1997 and re-elected for a second term in 2001.He became a recognized leader in the areas of transit and transportation, growth management, the environment, human services and civil rights. He served on the Sound Transit Board, and led the fight for the East Lake Sammamish Trail.
Dwight was elected Chair of the Washington State Democratic Party in January 2006 and re-elected in 2007, 2009, and 2011.
Jaxon Ravens, Executive Director
Jaxon Ravens grew up in Missoula, MT. He has a bachelors degree in politics and economics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and an MBA from Thunderbird, the American Graduate School of International Management. He was the Executive Director of the King County Democrats for a couple of years at the turn of the century and has been working for the Washington State Democrats since 2004. He served as President of the Washington State Young Democrats from 2000 to 2001 and as President of the National Association of State Democratic Executive Directors from 2009 to 2013. He spent the 1990s traveling overseas and in 2003 biked solo across the US following the Lewis and Clark Trail. Jaxon is actively involved in several local non-profit organizations including the School for Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA), where he serves as Board President, Seattle Works and the Red Cross. In 2011 he was presented with a Washington State Volunteer Service Award from the Governor. He also serves as a member of the Washington State Arts Commission.
Shawna Ousse, Development & Special Events Director
Shawna Ousse grew up in Kennewick, WA and graduated from Eastern Washington University with a bachelor's degree in government and history. She began her political career as an intern with the Spokane County Democrats in 2002 and has been working for Democrats ever since. She moved to Seattle to work on the 2002 Coordinated Campaign. In 2004 she was the Operations Director for the House Democratic Campaign Committee. She has been the Development Director at the State Party since early 2005. Shawna is on the board of Institute for a Democratic Future.
Patrick Mead, Technology Director
Patrick Mead has had interest in politics from a young age, but had not considered politics as a career until he served as president of the Washington State University Young Democrats during the 2004 election. Since graduating from WSU he has tried his hand at many different sides of political work and worked on many projects with the Washington State Democratic Party. As the Grassroots Mobilization Manager he currently works with the website, the data program, and the rest of the office's IT needs.
Misty Shock, Digital Media Director
Misty Shock grew up in Port Orchard and developed a lifelong devotion to Kitsap County, before coming to the big city of Seattle to attend the University of Washington. After school, she worked at Microsoft as a Technical Editor. Her first political memory is the Clarence Thomas hearings (yikes!), where she was glued to the set watching the bizarre ramblings of Orrin Hatch. She didn't become really engaged in politics until the 2004 election, when she began as a full-time volunteer and later was hired on as staff. Misty recently took a break from politics to travel around the world. She likes reading, singing loudly in the car, long walks on the beach, laughing, and being a messy eater.
Kim Cobuzzi, Finance Director
Kim Cobuzzi moved to Seattle in November 2005 from Boston, Massachusetts. She went to Suffolk University and UMASS Boston. Back home other than being politically motivated, she worked at Lasell College in Newton, MA as the Business Office Manager and then moved on to be the Director of Student Services for the Technology Department . As much as she misses home, she loves Seattle, living on her boat and her dog Walter. Go Red Sox!!!
Heather Hess, Office Manager
Heather Hess grew up in Missoula, MT. She spent her college years in San Francisco and moved to Seattle in 1994. She has worked as a bookkeeper/office manager for a few small local businesses in the Seattle area. She started working for the Washington State Democrats in 2011. She enjoys writing fiction, live music, hockey (Go B's!), politics and photography.