Winning the Big Fights when Everything is on the Line

Winning the Big Fights when Everything is on the Line

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Friday, Oct. 8 3:45 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Friday, Oct. 8 4:45 PM (Eastern)

In 2021, the progressive movement faces an extraordinary governing challenge. Overlapping crises — COVID-19, climate change, systemic racism, rampant inequality — cut across individual organizations’ priorities and challenge us to build cross-movement solidarity. This restructuring has supported important wins in the American Rescue Plan and Build Back Better package. We’ll take a look at our successes and the lessons we learned. And we’ll look ahead at how we can work together across issue siloes and across the gulf between DC and the grassroots.


Alan Barber


Alan is the Policy Director at the Progressive Caucus Action Fund (PCAF) where he leads the policy team and the Center’s Policy and Research Council, a coalition of think tanks, advocates and experts dedicated to strengthening the progressive movement. Prior to joining PCAF, he supported communications and policy efforts at the Center for Economic and Policy Research on a wide range of economic issues and worked on several national electoral campaigns. He was a proud member and former president of the NonProfit Employees Union, IFPTE Local 70.


Melissa Garcia


Melissa currently serves as the Managing Director at LUCHA/ACE. With over 9 years of experience Melissa has been dedicated to organizing on issues that have deeply marginalized her community. While pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Arizona State University, Melissa started organizing during the ‘Adios Arpaio’ campaign in Phoenix, AZ registering Latinxs to vote, and continued her passion by organizing low-wage workers in the hospitality industry in Arizona and Texas. In 2015, Melissa joined Planned Parenthood’s Raiz program to push & implement Comprehensive Sex Education in the largest school district in Tucson, AZ and soon after became the Latinx Campaigns Associate Director at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She sees her work as part of a larger, radical framework for dismantling oppression & cultivating our own inherited power.

Maurice Mitchell

Maurice Mitchell

Maurice Mitchell is a nationally-recognized social movement strategist, a visionary leader in the Movement for Black Lives, and a community organizer for racial, social, and economic justice. He is currently national director of the Working Families Party.

Maurice worked as a longtime community and political organizer in New York organizing diverse communities. After Mike Brown was murdered by police in Missouri, Maurice relocated to Ferguson to support organizations on the ground responding to the police violence. Seeing the need for an anchor organization to provide strategic support and guidance to Movement for Black Lives activists in Ferguson and beyond, Maurice co-founded and managed Blackbird. Maurice was a key organizer of the Movement for Black Lives convention in Cleveland in 2015.

Maurice joined the Working Families Party in August 2018, and led the national organization through a successful midterm election season that ended Republican control of legislative chambers in New York and Colorado, and ousted conservative corporate Democrats in states from New Mexico to Maryland to Rhode Island. This year the WFP has won a raft of municipal races across the country, from the Public Advocate’s election in New York City to school board elections in Milwaukee to city council races from Phoenix to Chicago to Morgantown, West Virginia. Maurice is building the Working Families Party to be America’s authentic, multi-racial populist party.

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State Sen. Jessie Ulibarri


Senator Jessie Ulibarri won his race for a four-year term representing Senate District 21 in the 2012 election. Sen. Ulibarri graduated from CU, and became the first person in his family to receive a bachelor’s degree. He went on to work in non-profit advocacy, and over the last decade has worked to promote policies that safeguard opportunity and fairness. His employment history includes working as a policy fellow with the office of Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois), as Public Policy Director with the ACLU of Colorado, and as Senior Managing Associate for JVA Consulting.

He now lives in Commerce City with his partner, Louis, just five miles from his childhood home. They are raising two kids, Israel and Silvia.