Advisory Board

Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh

Nebraska State Senate

Senator Machaela Cavanaugh represents Legislative District 6, Omaha, in the Nebraska Legislature. She serves on the Health and Human Services Committee, Transportation and Telecommunications Committee and the Performance Audit Committee. She made history in 2019 as the first lawmaker to breastfeed her baby on the floor of the Nebraska Unicameral. Her policy agenda includes funding and services for developmentally disabled individuals and families, enhancements to childcare and child welfare and the advancement of family leave policies. Senator Cavanaugh led the effort to investigate and end the privatization of child welfare in the Eastern service area. Much work remains to be done with regard to child welfare and Senator Cavanaugh is continuing to push for improvements.

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Joe Coletti

North Carolina House Oversight Staff Director

Everybody has answers, recommendations, and solutions for state legislators to turn into policy. Joe Coletti leads the team that helps House Republicans ask the right questions and define the real problems. Joe has helped North Carolina and other states cut taxes by reining in spending since 2005. He led Gov. Pat McCrory’s government efficiency and reform initiative. In his current oversight role, Joe has led investigations into Covid spending, hurricane recovery, and other government functions.

Sen. Sara Gelser Blouin

Oregon State Senate

Sara Gelser was sworn into the Oregon House in 2005, and was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2014. She is Chair of the Senate Human Services Committee and also serves on the Judiciary Committee, the Education Committee, the Mental Health Committee and the Joint Transportation Committee. Prior to joining the Senate, she chaired the House Education Committee for 6 years and served as the National Education Policy Chair for the Council of State Governments. In 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Sara to the National Council on Disability. The nomination was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the US Senate.

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Dan Johnson

Mayor of Lewiston, Idaho

Mayor Johnson is the first Mayor elected by the citizens of the City of Lewiston since 1964. He was elected on November 2, 2021, when the citizens of Lewiston also voted to change the form of the City’s government from a Council-Manager plan to a Mayor-Council plan. 

Johnson has been a proud resident of Lewiston since 2001. Many know him for his role in the Idaho State Legislature; having served District 6, which includes Nez Perce and Lewis Counties, from 2011 until appointing a substitute to serve the remainder of his term effective January 2022. During his time in the Senate, Johnson took part in several working committees, including serving as the Chair of the Local Government and Taxation Committee; serving as the Co-chair of the Interim Committee on Urban Renewal; serving as the Vice-chair of the Senate Finance Committee, and serving as a member of the Idaho Bond Bank Authority.

Johnson believes that Lewiston has the potential to become a top-performing City in the great state of Idaho. His main priorities include lowering the tax burden, limiting budget growth, and taking the cost out of doing business.

Sen. Ed McBroom

Michigan State Senate

State Sen. Ed McBroom serves the people of the 38th Senate District in the Upper Peninsula and is Senate Republicans’ Caucus Dean.

McBroom serves on the Oversight Committee, the Transportation and Infrastructure, and the Elections and Ethics Committees.

McBroom is a fourth-generation dairy farmer, and operates his family’s 100-year-old farm, which in addition to raising Holsteins, also grows corn, wheat, and hay. He previously served a full three terms in the state House of Representatives from 2011 to 2016.

He is active in the community, serving on the U.P. State Fair Authority, as dairy superintendent of the Dickinson County Fair, and director of the Norway City Band. He also directs music at the First Baptist Church of Norway.

McBroom holds bachelor’s degrees in music education and social studies secondary education from Northern Michigan University.

Ed and his wife Sarah have five children and they reside in Waucedah.

John Sylvia

Director, Performance Evaluation & Research Division
West Virginia Office of the Legislative Auditor

John Sylvia is originally from Boston, Massachusetts. He received a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and a master’s degree in economics from Indiana University. John has conducted legislative research and performance auditing for the state Legislatures of Indiana and West Virginia for the past 36 years. Eight of those years were in Indiana where he worked as a budget and tax analyst. As a budget and tax analyst, John assisted several state agencies in developing their budgets, assisted in the revenue forecasting of Indiana’s general fund revenues and other dedicated state revenues, conducted tax analysis and fiscal notes on major state tax and budgetary issues, and conducted performance audits of state agencies. His work in tax analysis contributed to major policy changes in the state of Indiana. He is currently the director of the Performance Evaluation and Research Division within the West Virginia Office of the Legislative Auditor where he has been employed for the past 28 years. John has overseen an extensive number of performance audits of state agencies and legislative research projects for West Virginia’s Legislature. Many of his division’s performance audits and legislative research have led to positive administrative and legislative changes, cost savings, and facilitated effective state policy decision-making for West Virginia.