Smiley, Gardner & Dart

Today, Brett Smiley announced that his campaign is bringing on Aaron Gardner as Deputy Campaign Manager and Kristen Dart as a new campaign co-chair.

A Providence native, Gardner graduated from URI in 2006. He served as an organizer on President Obama’s 2008 campaign and went on to serve as Connecticut State Director for Obama in 2012. A former fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Gardner was heavily involved with organizing the “School to Prison Reform Project.” He has also worked as an organizer for Fogarty for Governor in 2006 and most recently as a law clerk for Lt. Governor Roberts.

Gardner commented, “I’ve known Brett for eight years, and I’ve always been impressed by his integrity, his work ethic, and his commitment to bettering the lives of everyone in our community. Brett is among the most passionate defenders of Providence I’ve ever met, and his detailed plans to improve our public schools, keep our streets safe, and create economic opportunity in every neighborhood provide exactly the blueprint we need to make real progress for our city.”

Kristen Dart, a resident of the South Elmwood neighborhood, currently works as the community organizer for Planned Parenthood Southern New England. A graduate of the Women’s Policy Institute, Dart has been a staunch advocate for reproductive justice and helped ensure additional protections for pregnant workers in Providence. She has also run advocacy training seminars for youth and young adults, is an executive board member of the Providence NAACP, and serves on the board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

Dart commented, “Brett Smiley has been a tireless fighter for women’s rights and an inspiration for young activists throughout his career, and those are two of the many reasons I’m excited to join his team. From working to end bullying and harassment in our schools, to consistently defending our right to choose, to ensuring universal access to high-quality healthcare and so much more, Brett always stands up for women, for young people, and for everyone in our community, and I’m proud to stand with him.”

Brett Smiley added, “Aaron and Kristen both bring a wealth of grassroots organizing experience and in-depth policy knowledge to our campaign team, and I’m thrilled to have them on board. With just a month to go before the election, I’m confident that they have what it takes to help lead us to victory.”