While the chaos of this election cycle will be analyzed for years to come, the leadership and impact of our alumni on the election was resoundingly clear. Across the country, Public Allies alumni ran for office and empowered others to do the same, and participated in game-changing efforts to organize and mobilize our communities. Their efforts reflected our values and advanced our goal of helping remake the country into a more just, equitable, and thriving version of itself. Now, we must turn to the critical work of innovating and reimagining our systems and institutions for an emerging world.
Below are just a few examples of our alumni nationwide who will help lead the way:
Grassroots organizing is an essential part of the electoral process and community-building. Anabel Maldonado (class of 2012) has had a significant impact on the future of her state in many ways, including directing Invest in Ed, the organization behind the successful proposition to raise taxes on those earning over $250k in order to increase teacher salaries. Brooklynne Sundseth (class of 2016) served as the current director of marketing/development for AZ Democrats, which played a historic role in flipping the state from red to blue. Diali Avila (classes of 2011 and 2013) has an experienced background in organizing and this election cycle worked for Planned Parenthood in Phoenix to get out the vote.
Public Allies alumni have long helped shape the civic landscape of Delaware. This election, Senator Elizabeth “Tizzy” Lockman (Class of 2005) ascended further into state leadership by being selected to serve as Majority Whip. Nnamdi Chukwuocha (Class of 1997) was re-elected to the Delaware House of Representatives (representing District 1), and Rysheema Dixon (Classes of 2010 and 2011) was elected to her second term as Wilmington City Council Member At-Large.
In Indianapolis, Zion Miller (Class of 2020) worked as a field organizer with RISE, an education advocacy organization, to elect four new school board members. In Zion’s words, “It humbled me to see parents, students, teachers, and other community members volunteer during the pandemic to help us with direct voter contact. I’m thrilled to know that the future of Indianapolis Public School education was tied to the important work that stakeholders and I did over the past few months.”
In Miami, three Public Allies alumni, Francesca Menes (Classes of 2009 and 2010), Krystina Francois (Class of 2012), and Aaron McKinney (Classes of 2009 and 2010) are the co-founders of The Black Collective, which played an important role this cycle by elevating political consciousness and amplifying the economic power of Black communities. This year they created voter guides, organized canvassing, and engaged the community in critical dialogue. And Noor Fawzy (Class of 2014) ran a competitive campaign for Coral Springs City Commission.
In Milwaukee, Public Allies alum Supreme Moore Omokunde (class of 2011) is Milwaukee’s newest State Representative, joining alumni David Bowen (classes of 2008 and 2009) and Jonathan Brostoff (class of 2003) who were successfully reelected to the Wisconsin State Assembly. Meanwhile, Leaders Igniting Transformation (LIT) was an organizing force for the state of Wisconsin, helping turn out the vote on college campuses and among Black and Brown young adults in Milwaukee and communities throughout the state. LIT was founded by alum Dakota Hall (class of 2015) and is a movement largely powered by alumni, including: Amanda Avalos (classes of 2014 and 2015), Yaniliz Rosario (Class of 2019), Jaleese Johnson (Class of 2020), Solana Perez (Classes of 2019 and 2020), and Nailah Johnson (Class of 2018).
Public Allies partnered with Every Woman Vote 2020, along with 15 other non-partisan national organizations, to inspire women to vote at the local, state, and national levels, and to select candidates that support the issues that they care about. Additionally, we joined other nonprofits and foundations in providing paid leave on Election Day so our employees and Allies across the country were able to volunteer to protect the integrity of voting and increase turnout with get-out-the-vote efforts.
Ensuring a Future Designed By and For Everyone
Congratulations and thank you to each of these leaders and partners and every member of the Public Allies network who demonstrated their leadership in this once-in-a-lifetime election. Whether through simply voting or a commitment to more extensive public service, we continued challenging assumptions of who should lead and how, and what it means to truly support one another as Americans. Together, we will ensure the future is designed by and for everyone.
If you ran for office, worked on a campaign or organized in this past election, we’d love to know! And if you are interested in running for elected office, organizing grassroots campaigns, or developing public policy, Public Allies wants to help you realize your aspirations. In both cases, please contact us by clicking this button: