Jeff Raines – Communications & Engagement Director

Jeff Raines is the Communications and Engagement Director at CHANGE Illinois, where he overseas all communications, including strategic planning & messaging, press outreach, and digital & social media. Before coming to CHANGE, Jeff was the Communications Director for a winning, top-tier 2016 Congressional race, where he oversaw the campaign’s communications strategy and acted as chief spokesperson and speechwriter.

Prior to that, he was a Media Associate at ReThink Media where he focused on other democracy issues, specifically money in politics and fair courts. At ReThink, Jeff provided messaging assistance, media trainings, and strategic communications work to other good government advocates around the country. Jeff has also served as a communications advisor for the racial justice group: Million Hoodies Movement for Justice and Chair of the Roosevelt Institute’s Student Board of Advisors. He is a graduate of American University.

For any media inquiries for CHANGE Illinois, please contact Jeff at or on Twitter: @jeff_raines.

Nelly Viramontes – Project Coordinator

As the Project Coordinator, Nelly Viramontes plays a critical role in keeping our team organized and operating at full capacity. Prior to joining CHANGE, Nelly worked for the Marj Halperin Consultants team and spent 17 years as the Administrative Manager and Intern Coordinator for the political watchdog group: the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform. She began her work in politics at the League of Women Voters of Illinois as a data entry assistant and went on to become the organization’s administrative manager and executive assistant.

Born and raised in Chicago, Nelly is a newsie who is always following key issues that impact our city. Active in local politics, Nelly is a founder and honorary board member of the Jalisco Federation of Midwest Clubs, helping unite families from her father’s home state of Jalisco, Mexico. The organization helps members find jobs here in Chicago and supports families in Mexico with nutrition and health care services. Nelly also founded “Mezquiticenses en Chicago” for families who trace their heritage to the Jalisco town of Mezquitic. She has served on the board of directors since the organization’s founding in 1996.


George Ranney – Chair Emeritus

John Sirek – Board Chair

Hon. Kathy Ryg – Secretary

Hoy McConnell – Treasurer

Deborah Harrington – Vice Chair

Brad McMillan – Vice Chair

Peter Bensinger – Member

Bob Gallo – Member

David Hoffman – Member

Rev. Al Sharp – Member

Andy Shaw – Member

Martin Torres – Member

Scott Turow – Member

Hon. Corinne Wood – Member