Deep Canvassing to Transform American Politics

Deep Canvassing to Transform American Politics

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Oct. 8 1:00 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Oct. 8 2:00 PM (Eastern)

Spiraling polarization and unfettered misinformation threaten the fabric of our democracy. But we can counter these threats by adapting the oldest tools in our movement: deep canvassing and conversation. Learn how grassroots organizations are integrating deep canvassing and movement politics to build a multiracial working class movement and elect progressive champions up and down the ballot. Learn how groups are pioneering ways to help win elections and advance a range of issues — and are scaling up this tactic in 2022.



Mehrdad Azemun

Mehrdad Azemun is Senior Strategist at People’s Action, an economic and racial justice organization working in 30 states and at a national level. Mehrdad has over 20 years of experience running electoral and legislative campaigns with immigrant communities at the state, regional, and national/federal level. His roots are in the immigrants rights movement and community organizing.

Mehrdad ran a successful Deep Canvass program in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan in fall 2019 that focused on immigration and health care. He is helping build People’s Action’s electoral program for this fall.

Mehrdad is an immigrant from Iran.

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Ella Barrett


Ella is one of the country’s leading experts in grassroots innovation and voter persuasion through deep canvassing. She previously served as the National Field Manager at the Los Angeles LGBT Center, where she led the landmark study in collaboration with SAVE Dade. Through this work, Ella and her team proved deep canvassing as an effective tactic to make lasting change in voters’ minds. Ella blends 15 years of organizing and management experience with a love for building healthy, innovative teams and systems to create measurable social change. Currently, on the founding team of the New Conversation Initiative, she is working to transform the electorate by developing models that allow organizers and activists to have compassionate persuasion conversations.

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David Broockman

David Broockman

For identification purposes only: David Broockman is an Associate Professor of Political Science at UC Berkeley. He has previously worked for the Analyst Institute, New Organizing Institute, CREDO, and the AFL-CIO.

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Ken Whittaker


Ken Whittaker is a native Detroiter who has spent over sixteen years fighting for racial and economic justice for the 99%. Ken has traveled the U.S. training activists and inspiring new leaders. With a strong background in information technology, Ken brings process and procedure to the power building movement. Ken is a long-time community organizer and former Movement Politics Director at Michigan United. For the past ten years, he has played key roles in local political races throughout Detroit, and has worked as a legislative aide in the state legislature. He was previously the state president of the Michigan Young Democrats. Ken also has a background in IT, web design, and computers. Ken has been with the organization in various capacities for 5 years.