Resident Volunteers: Advocacy in Northeast Ohio

Hey everyone, my name is Zach and I live over at The Tappan!

When I’m not working my day job as a Project Manager at Progressive Insurance, I am doing a lot of political work throughout Northeast Ohio. I started my journey doing issues-based advocacy with Students and Moms Demand Action, an organization dedicated to championing gun-sense prevention policies such as universal background checks, red flag laws, and safe storage.

In the 2020 cycle, I was fortunate enough to help elect my dear friend, Monique Smith, to the Ohio House of Representatives! Monique was the only Red-to-Blue flip across all 99 statehouse seats, and now proudly represents Bay Village, Westlake, Rocky River, North Olmsted, and Fairview Park. I worked on our field strategy, comms, paid digital, and a few other things with some kick-ass women for around a year and half!

In Monique’s race, we won by literally 1.76%. (Your vote matters, don’t let folks tell you otherwise.)

The experience was really great. I learned how critical yet how unfamiliar our statehouse and state senate are to our everyday lives—probably more so than any other level of government. Everything from Medicaid expansion to abortion access to school funding is managed in Columbus; right now, until we elect more Democrats to balance out the supermajority of Republican representaion, those rights and funding streams are under attack.

Getting to meet Senator Brown on a few occasions was also very neat!

Sherrod P

These days, I’m working on a few efforts—one of which is to help elect Rebecca Maurer to Cleveland City Council. She’s running to represent Old Brooklyn, Slavic Village, Brooklyn Centre, and a small part of Tremont that is not in our Ward. (The part of the neighborhood that is over by Terrapin Bakery and Urban Orchid.) This election cycle is critical for Cleveland. We will elect not only a new Mayor, but also City Council representation.

I get asked, "Did you study political science or how did you get involved?" a lot.

The cool thing about this work is that if you care about other people, if you want folks to have equal access and opportunity under the law, if you believe as Barbara Jordan once said in an America as good as promise, then there’s work for you—in fact, there’s a ton of work for you.

If this past year has shown us anything, it’s that the status quo isn’t sufficient. And, let’s be real, lots of people, particularly BIPOC folks, knew this for years and we sucked at listening. From police brutality to the current eviction crisis to climate change, what has been standard not only doesn’t work anymore, but it’s sought to protect powerful interests over everyday, working people. We deserve better and that starts by electing better representation at all levels of government!


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