Welcome to Down Home, Austin! We are really excited to have you here. Can you tell us a little bit about why you wanted to join the Down Home team?
I am so excited to be here! I first learned of Down Home in 2019, when a few of your organizers flew out to Los Angeles for a week to sit in on the Yes on Measure R deep canvassing campaign that I was a part of and learn about some of our operations. I was immediately impressed: here’s a group that’s trying to build multiracial, cross-class power, and they’re using it to deep canvass people about immigration in the rural south. Wow! I was deeply inspired and have admired DH from afar ever since, so as soon as I saw y’all were hiring I jumped at it.
What are some of the experiences that you are bringing with you into your role that you think will help guide your work here?
I’ve organized with a few deep canvassing campaigns at this point, focused on both ‘persuasion’ and pure voter turnout, and I hope to bring that experience with me in building out a chapter in Watauga. Whatever happens electorally, I am a deep believer in the Movement and the transformative, healing power that collective action can have, so I hope to be able to facilitate that kind of growth for people here in the same way that people did for me when I was coming into the work.
What are you most passionate about in this multiracial, working class movement we are building?
In my life, coming into Movement work was a deeply powerful, transformative experience. It changed the way I think about myself and the world, and I’ve seen how my own personal healing is ultimately bound up in the healing of all of us, in collective liberation. Obviously, I want to build power, and I want to win, but I hope to do what all good organizers do and give people the opportunity to take action on things that matter to them, and in doing so, see how there is no liberation without collective liberation.
What’s the best biscuit you’ve ever had?
If only for nostalgia’s sake, I think I’d have to give it to Pat’s Kountry Kitchen down in McCaysville, GA 😉