When we rolled out our new Long-Term Agenda, we realized that in order to achieve our vision of multiracial feminist democracy, we would need to grow and scale up. As we continue to build people power in cities across the country, we know that strengthening our team will enable us to drive transformative campaigns alongside our affiliates. Over the past few months, we’ve welcomed six new team members to help us do this work:
- Alonso Hernandez, Creative Lead
- Elizabeth Brownlow, Communications and Research Strategist
- Jessica Vollmer, Campaign Director - Stop Corporate State Interference
- Rodney Brown, Base Building Manager
- Silvia Saldivar, WILL Empower Apprentice
- Vincent Acuña, Campaign Coordinator for Worker Power and Corporate Accountability
Get to know them below and learn more about their work and roles on the PowerSwitch team here.
We're building people power across the country so that we can transform our communities, our economy, and our democracy. What excites you about being a part of achieving this vision?
Alonso: Our bold vision for a more compassionate and inclusive future is at the core of why I am so excited to work at PowerSwitch Action. Our focus on local fights is more important than ever—change has and always will be created from the bottom up.
Elizabeth: Raised in an area where people feel quite disconnected from their economic and democratic systems, I am passionate about helping communities realize they have a voice and showing them how to use that voice. I’m ready to get my hands dirty, plant some seeds, and help nurture movements that will help us achieve a shared vision of multiracial feminist democracy.
Jessica: I’m excited to be a part of building power across cities and states, connecting our work so we’re moving together towards our goals and values, and taking on corporations as a coordinated movement across the country. It’s the only way we can achieve the transformation all our communities need!
Rodney: There are so many new people to engage around our politics, whether it’s building power, reimagining public safety, or finding new ways to attain climate justice. There are conversations we haven't had, and I'm excited to work with our affiliates to achieve our vision.
Silvia: I am most excited to see people power in action, and all the victories that come from organizing! I am excited to build power with an equitable and inclusive mindset and identify the intersecting issues that threaten our basic human rights.
Vincent: What excites me the most is the opportunity and potential to completely transform the lives of many. To help liberate us from the current parasitic and oppressive system; and replace it with one that holds the values of love, inclusion, equity, and communalism.
Where are you from (whatever that means to you) and what is something about that place/space/community that you’re really proud of?
Alonso: I was born and raised in the Bay Area although a lot of my identity and sense of self can be traced to the summers I spent in Mexico as a kid. I love the Bay Area’s diversity and arts and culture scene. I’ve been getting more involved with the Bay Area’s Son Jarocho community—I’m always looking for a fandango to get my fix.
Elizabeth: I’m from Texas, and therefore understand that real barbeque is seasoned and slow-smoked. My father grew up working for a Texas BBQ joint, and now nobody’s brisket beats his!
Jessica: I’ve lived and worked all over the country (and I carry pieces of Indianapolis, Denver, and San Jose in my heart), and when I think about how I’ve become who I am now, it’s the connections I’ve made over the years and the lessons and wisdom I’ve had the privilege of gathering from them that have had the most influence.
Rodney: I’m from St. Louis, and I'm proud of the fact that it's a hub for political experimentation. It’s a city that is constantly renewing itself.
Silvia: I am from the transborder community: San Diego! I have the privilege to live 10-15 minutes away from Mexico, and from the beautiful beaches. I am able to plan a day where I can get delicious TJ tacos, and then go to the sunny beach on the same day!
Vincent: I’m from a 3rd generation Mexican-American family that was really into lowrider and car culture. The best times of my upbringing were going to early morning car shows and different family members’ houses while they worked on their VWs and barbecued. I am very proud of my culture and the community I was raised in.
What is something that you’ve read, watched, or listened to that constantly inspires/grounds you?
Alonso: This month I’ve been obsessively listening to a song called “El Compromiso” by Patricio Hidalgo, which he wrote while visiting the Lacandon jungle during the Zapatista uprising. His verses tell us to defend the land on which we grew up and to praise nature for all of the gifts we are blessed with—all necessary reminders in today's chaotic world.
Elizabeth: I devour anything by Tressie McMillan Cottom. She’s like that brilliant friend who blows your mind and then brings you back down to earth. Whether I’m reading Thick: and other Essays, delighting in one of her New York Times opinion articles, or listening to an episode of one of her podcasts, I am continuously inspired to look at the world around me from unexpected angles.
Jessica: A quote I find myself coming back to often is from Fred Hampton: “You don’t fight fire with fire. You fight fire with water.” We can’t fight systems with replicas of those same systems, or by tweaking small pieces. We have to be bolder, think radically, be creative — we have to replace them with new systems.
Rodney: It's not something I've read or watched, but doing acro-yoga weekly grounds me. Finding new ways to be present in my body and identifying places in myself that could use some more flexibility.
Silvia: I think music does a great job of both inspiring and grounding me. Since I was young I’ve listened to Natalia Lafourcade, a Mexican singer who writes beautiful songs about her culture, the land, and love. My favorite song is “Soledad y el Mar.”
Vincent: Something that grounds me is listening to older music. I enjoy a variety of artists from Jorge Ben and Sun Ra to Dorothy Ashby and Cortex. Music plays a large part in keeping me balanced, focused, and inspired while doing my part in this movement.