State Representative-Elect Brian Sims, the Commonwealth’s first openly gay member of the legislature, made two key staff appointments. He named Mason Lane as his chief of staff and Anna Aagenes as the district office director.
“Philadelphia is full of really strong, progressive professionals and I knew I had an opportunity to recruit some of the best for these new positions,” says Sims. “Mason and Anna will be fully integrated in every part of the work that I do to represent Center City. I’m pleased to work with them, but I’m also very excited by the talents that each will bring to the District and to Harrisburg.”
In his new role, Lane will develop and implement legislative initiatives, advise on policy matters, and oversee office operations. Currently a third-year law student at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law, he’s been serving as Sims’ transition director since the April 24 primary victory over longtime incumbent Representative Babette Josephs. Lane previously served as the Eastern Pennsylvania Field Organizer and Policy Coordinator for Equality Pennsylvania, the state’s LGBT political advocacy organization fro which Sims served as president.
“Over the last few months we’ve been able to start reaching out to the people and partners that are going to make Brian as effective as he can be in the Capitol,” says Lane. “Economic development, tax reform, education funding and certainly civil rights are all on the table and we have strong partners and supporters here in Philadelphia.”
Aagenes, meanwhile, will manage the Philadelphia district office in addition to overseeing constituent services, fostering and building organizational relationships, and directing community outreach and engagement. Aagenes had worked at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia with the Adolescent Initiative’s clinical research team, serving HIV positive youth. Aagenes graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010 as a member of Phi Beta Kappa, where, as Captain of the Women’s Track and Field Team, she became a NCAA Division I Regional qualifier and a school record holder in three events. She is currently the executive director of GO! (Generation Out) Athletes, the nation’s first organization created to educate and empower LGBT student-athletes.
“Brian, Mason, and I share the same desire to see progressive change happen on a state level,” says Aagenes, “and to simultaneously serve the diverse community we have right here in Philadelphia.”
Both Lane and Aagenes live in Center City.