When Hillary Clinton was asked during a 2016 primary debate if she was a progressive or a moderate, she responded, “I’m a progressive who gets things done.” I had never heard a better encapsulation of my worldview or theory of change.
Growing up in public housing and being raised by a single mom made me intimately aware that at the center of every political, policy, or legal fight are real people deeply affected by the outcomes of these debates. Those people need leaders who are committed to getting things done. I dedicated my career to making sure we elect public servants who have sound judgment, compassionate values, and an understanding that government can and should be a force for good.
After working in political campaigns, I eventually launched my own consulting firm focused on communications and advocacy. I spent years working with passionate progressives who wanted to make the world a better place, but I also found myself frustrated with the worldview of many of the personalities that dominated these spaces. Finding a career in progressive advocacy often requires taking unpaid internships or a low starting salary. This locks out many people who cannot afford to do either and shapes the ethos at these organizations. I, too, often found myself locked in debates about process with people who had lost sight of the stakes. This dynamic eventually inspired me to try a new path, and I decided to go to law school. I knew doing so would provide me with an opportunity to be a shrewd advocate while maintaining a commitment to making the world a better place.
I’ve always respected the ACLU for balancing a commitment to progress with a record of achieving results. The ACLU doesn’t just commit to doing good when it is easy or popular; the organization understands that if we allow the rights of the unpopular to be compromised, that puts the rights of everyone at risk. When I had an opportunity to join the ACLU of Virginia for a fellowship, I knew that it was the right place to start my legal career.
I am excited to spend the next year fighting for the vulnerable and ensuring that our constitutional rights are protected. I am even more excited to do so alongside a team that is passionate, driven, and understands the work we do is important. I’m ready to get things done.