Melahat Rafiei is a two-term Democratic National Committee Member (DNC), former Executive Director of the Orange County Democratic Party, refugee, single mom, and small business owner. Growing up, she and her family fled a war-torn Iran, and in the spring of 1983, they arrived in San Jose, California, with less than $500 cash and nowhere to go. Like so many Americans before them, through hard work, determination, and the opportunities made possible in The United States, her parents built a good life, making it possible for all of them to live the American Dream.
As a DNC member, she has been an advocate for California and worked to navigate and reform the top-down organization. Her progressive record includes votes to give more power and influence to local delegates, support a Climate Change Debate in the 2020 Democratic Primary, and travel across the United States fighting against poverty issues, including fighting for an Earned Income Tax Credit in Iowa, Arkansas, and Nebraska.
Locally, Melahat has been a voting delegate with the California Democratic Party for over 20 years. She currently serves as a voting member of the Rules Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Finance. As an active democratic leader, she has led countless campaign finance trainings across California to help local clubs, county central committees, and democratic organizations maximize their funds to elect more Democrats. She has also worked to help get dirty money out of our state party while ensuring we have the resources to remain competitive and helped to expand ADEM Elections.
Professionally, Melahat serves as the Principal of Progressive Solutions Consulting, a full-service boutique campaign consulting firm where she works to elect women of color and LGBTQ candidates to office. She has led several groundbreaking campaigns, including Farrah Khan for Irvine Mayor (the first Muslim woman Mayor of a major city in California), Sepi Shyne to the West Hollywood City Council (the first woman of color in the history of West Hollywood), Mary Zendejas to the Long Beach City Council (the only woman in a wheelchair elected in the United States), and countless others throughout Southern California.