Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Friday, Aug. 14 12:00 PM (Eastern)
Ends: Friday, Aug. 14 12:50 PM (Eastern)
How can we harness the energy in extreme blue states like California and New York to impact elections in red or purple states? Many politically passionate Americans live in states without truly competitive races for federal offices. The anti-democratic structural distortions of the electoral college and the Senate lead many residents of the bluest (and reddest) states to doubt the significance of their own ballots. But their energy and enthusiasm can be channeled to impact elections in the most competitive states. In this panel, we’ll discuss innovative tactics for harnessing volunteer energy from afar.
Ashlei Blue is a proud grassroots organizer. As a native of Fayetteville, NC and a graduate of UNC Charlotte, Ashlei began as a campus volunteer with Obama for America in 2008 and continued working in electoral politics throughout her home state. She is passionate about defeating voter suppression, gerrymandering and election fraud across the country.
Ashlei started political consulting in 2012, assisting candidates and community issue campaigns. She most recently served as Field & Political Director for Kathy Manning’s campaign for Congress in North Carolina’s 13th Congressional district before joining Swing Left where she currently serves as Political Director. She has worked as a trainer for Arena, New Leaders Council and other grassroots training programs across the country.
In her spare time, she is an avid songwriter, amateur storm chaser (#KashDoppler) and snack connoisseur.
Ruby Anaya is an award winning product leader with a passion for building products that help people, improve society, and contribute to a greater purpose. She started her career focusing on user experience design, leading product at various start-ups and larger tech firms in the Bay Area and New York City. Now based in Brooklyn, Ruby is the Head of Product at Swing Left, an organization founded in the wake of the 2016 election that helps people find the most impactful actions to help Democrats win the most important elections up and down the ballot.
Other sessions: How to Attract and Keep the Best Volunteers
Scott Forman is the Founder and Executive Director of Vote Forward, a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that harnesses volunteer energy to help increase civic participation among traditionally underrepresented communities and Democratic-leaning voters using handwritten letters. Scott was an early employee at Opower, where he built direct mail programs powered by software and insights from the behavioral science literature to persuade millions of households to significantly reduce their home energy consumption.
María Urbina is Indivisible’s National Political Director leading national political strategy and electoral campaigns. In this role, Urbina is charged with developing Indivisible’s national electoral engagement strategy by defining electoral objectives, priorities and targets and leading Indivisible’s grassroots national endorsement program to grow independent political power and usher progressive gains in all 435 congressional districts.
Lala is a Co-Founder and the Executive Director of Sister District, which builds progressive power in state legislatures. She is thrilled and humbled to be the first woman of color to take the helm of the organization. In her previous role as the Director of Engagement & Partnerships, she successfully led the expansion of the organization’s volunteer infrastructure, which now has 60,000+ members and over 170 groups in 32 states.
Since its founding in 2016, Sister District has raised over $4.25m in small dollar donations directly to candidates and reached out to over 3.5m voters through doors, calls, texts, and postcards on behalf of over 130 state legislative races in key swing districts. Lala also led the development of strategic partnerships with local and national organizations such as the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, EMILY’s List, Human Rights Campaign, Vote Save America, and more.
Prior to Sister District, Lala clerked for federal judges in the Northern District of California and the District of Massachusetts. She was also an attorney at Morrison & Foerster LLP in San Francisco and Kaplan Kirsch & Rockwell LLP in Denver where she practiced environmental and energy law. Lala graduated from U.C. Berkeley, School of Law and Barnard College of Columbia University.
Lala serves on the Boards of the AAPI Victory Alliance and Together SF, and the Advisory Boards of Asian American Women’s Political Initiative and Project Camp. She is a New Leaders Council alum.
Other sessions: Elections Q&A with Daily Kos Elections!