Who We Are

Carolyn Riggs
Founder & Principal

"Riggs" moved to Tannersville, NY in the summer of 2017 to work on a congressional primary race and fell in love with the Catskills. Originally from Denver, Colorado, Riggs spent 15 years in the rural, small towns of the western slope of the Rocky Mountains where she earned a BA in Communications, served as a Planning Commissioner and City Councilor, owned/operated a bar, served on multiple countywide and regional nonprofit boards including a Rural Transportation Authority which managed air & ground transportation in a rural county and was a founding board member to Mountain Roots Community Gardens Project. She started her political career knocking on doors for local candidates and Obama as a volunteer in 2008 and never looked back. Since then she has managed 14 races from county to congressional level in Colorado, California, and New York with a 10-4 winning record. She brings expertise in field, operations, strategic planning, and specializes in rural organizing. She is a die hard Denver Broncos fan, devoted to the US Women's National Soccer Team and enjoys snowmobiling, cycling, and hiking in the mountains. She currently serves as Chair of the Town of Hunter Democratic Committee and Chair of the Greene County Democratic Committee, voting member of the Democratic Rural Conference and the NY State Democratic Committee.

You can reach her at carolyn@ruralmajority.com.

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Leslie Berliant
Founder & Principal

Leslie has been living in upstate New York since 2012. With a BA in Political Science and MAs in History and Women’s Studies, she brings more than 25 years experience in Strategy, Communications, Policy, and Training. Her background includes working in the New York State Senate as Chief of Staff to a rural Senator, with State agencies across the country on traffic safety, running communications at the largest local of the largest labor union, serving as Editor and Lead Writer at a leading online journal on climate, and consulting with organizations, non-profits and mission driven companies. She knocked on her first doors at the age of six and has worked on races at the local, state and federal level as a volunteer, activist, Political Director and Campaign Manager. She is passionate about organizing in rural towns and counties and currently serves on the boards of the Democratic Rural Conference, and the League of Women Voters. She also serves as the Fundraising Chair for the Otsego County Democrats and on the New York State Democratic Committee. She is passionate about helping rural Democrats, improving rural economies, and increasing access to great local food.

You can reach her at leslie@ruralmajority.com.

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© 2018 by The Rural Majority Project.