I often get asked what my day job, as Senior Legislative Organizer for the Center for Popular Democracy, actually entails. (I was a teacher for years, including in MCPS, but shifted during the Trump administration.)
Recently, I’ve been building a fellowship program that brings together impacted people who are members of grassroots advocacy organizations in key districts from Florida to Alaska, to form a lobbying and organizing team. (The team includes members from Maryland's immigrant justice nonprofit CASA and local health equity and economic justice nonprofit Spaces In Action!)
We’ve been doing intense trainings, and this week, the team is in DC!
We met with lots of Congressmembers and staff, lobbied with some and strategized with others, on issues including:
student debt cancellation
expanding the Supreme Court so it doesn’t roll back everything we’ve worked for decades to achieve
federal funding for counselors, social workers, nurses, etc. in schools
We also attended the historic first Senate hearing ever for Medicare For All, as guests of Sen. Bernie Sanders, and welcomed White House staff to work in the morning with a musical protest led by the NCAA calling for student debt cancellation.
This is not a typical lobbying team — and that’s the whole point. Our team brings the voices and stories of people on the ground to electeds who depend on those votes. We also help organize rallies, press conferences, and protests to hold electeds accountable as needed!
And in other good news, for ALL of the above issues, there are state and local policy options available to us here in Montgomery County! We can be a leader in all of these spaces, creating model policy (or a safety net, such as for abortion) for other regions.