I started canvassing for CALPIRG in the summer of 1999. When I went back to college that fall, the canvassing that I did that summer really changed my thinking about what I was studying and motivated me to want to take a more active role in the world around me. I have been with The Public Interest Network for my whole career — for 21 years this is what I’ve done. I got into this work wanting to figure out how to make the planet livable for us and for other living things for generations to come.
There are really two reasons why I’ve stayed and done this work over the past 20 years. The first is seeing that we’re able to win new laws and enact policies that help protect our health, the environment and consumers — like stopping the overuse of antibiotics in livestock or making transportation work better for people. I know that the world is a different place because of my work with the organizations in The Public Interest Network. The second reason is the pipeline of people that we’ve engaged in this work over the years. People just like me, who in college wouldn’t have thought of themselves as an activist, learned how to do this work here. It’s a real privilege to do this work. It can be frustrating at times, it can be tedious at times, but it’s also incredibly rewarding. I love the community of people I work with, and I love that at the end of every year I can point to specific accomplishments that we’ve achieved together that make this world a better place.