About Us

We believe that when WE the People have the power,
great changes can be made.

Humanity First for Illinois is a grassroots, people-driven political organization fighting for Humanity First initiatives in Illinois and for candidates up and down the ballot who will fight with us at the local, state, and federal level.

Who We Are:


We envision an Illinois where every resident, from Galena to Anna, from the Gold Coast to East St. Louis, are guaranteed the right to a safe, healthy, and prosperous life. To do that, we are committed to not accepting corporate donations.

What We Believe:


Why? Because this is the Land of Lincoln. And we believe in breaking the chains that the Machine has placed on us to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the people of this great state. Together, we can shape the Illinois of tomorrow with Humanity First.

Why We Are Fighting:

We believe Putting Humanity First means paying it
Four Points Forward.

Expanding Democracy to WE the People

A Green Future for Illinois

An Educated and Debt-Free Workforce




Ralph Yaniz

Executive Director

Ralph Yaniz served as the Executive Director of the Florida Society of Clinical Oncology Foundation in 2016, helping establish the organization and begin serving the community. Prior to that he worked for AARP, where he was a Regional Vice President for a decade and, prior to that, the Illinois State Director for four years. In his capacity as the Illinois State Director, Mr. Yaniz led AARP Illinois in major legislative victories. Before going to AARP, Mr. Yaniz was Executive Director of the Berwyn Cicero Council on Aging, assisting adults over 60 in maintaining their independent living with the highest quality of life.


He holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in psychology from Loyola University of Chicago and worked as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Illinois for three decades. He also holds an MBA degree from Regis University in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Yaniz has served on Boards of nonprofit organizations and in 2018 founded the LGMD2L Foundation to help look for treatments and cures for this form of muscular dystrophy.


Katherine Brown

Policy & Constituent Advocacy Coordinator

Katherine Brown holds a Master's in European Union Studies from the University of Illinois and has written extensively on international military and security issues. Katherine is the author of Theoretical Explanations for the Minsk II: Power, Preferences, and Interactions Examined. In 2018, Katherine served as a working group member of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and Drone Working Group in conjunction with the University of Pittsburgh. Her internships include 2 years in the United States Senate, a U.S. Presidential Campaign, and for the Hudson Institute of Political Military Analysis. She is currently a grant writer for a non profit working in the south suburbs of Chicago.


Adriana Sheehan
Public Relations Coordinator

Adriana Sheehan is the Public Relations Coordinator at Humanity First for Illinois and previously served as Digital Media Associate where she focused on Latinx stakeholder engagement and developing integrated Spanish-language bilingual marketing strategies around Four Points Forward and other Humanity First for Illinois initiatives.  Adriana brings extensive experience in business development, brand marketing and communications. She creates collateral and digital media for large and small companies and is driven by the desire to create a positive impact in the world. Adriana earned a Bachelors of Art in Communications and Media from DePaul University in Chicago.


Guiding Principles


We celebrate the diversity of our communities and recognize that only empowerment to live as we are fosters innovation that enriches society.



We maintain clear and transparent relationships with all internal and external partners and accept responsibility for our actions when we are wrong.



We support resolving the social paradigm that actively disenfranchises communities based on the intersectionality of identity.


We are committed to managing a work environment that fosters the free flow of information up, down, and across all of our teams in accordance with our Guiding Principle of Trust.

Our workplace culture goes to great lengths to ensure that our team members are able to be authentic in all aspects of their work in accordance with our Guiding Principle of Respect.

We actively provide and protect accommodations for our team members on the basis of personal conviction under our Personal Conviction Accommodation Policy (PCAP) in accordance with

our Guiding Principle of Equity.


Our Teams

Personal Conviction Accommodation Policy (PCAP)

PCAP means Accountability
Humanity First for Illinois recognizes and affirms the fundamental human rights of all team members.
PCAP enables us to uphold Equity in the workplace and protect our most valuable asset – our team members.

PCAP aims:

  • to provide a clear, transparent, and protected process for Team Members to raise concerns about actions taken or policies enacted by Humanity First for Illinois, its Team Members, or external parties; and

  • to request reasonable accommodations to be able to continue to work as a Humanity First Team Member without significant work disruption.


Humanity First for Illinois does not concern itself with any distinction between what defines a “sincerely held” personal conviction and what does not.
We Trust our Team Members and Respect their personal convictions.

For more information regarding PCAP, reach out to us at


Join the Movement