America is witnessing a resurgence of civic power. Millions of people are standing up to make their concerns heard: they are challenging the accumulation of power into the hands of the few and demanding a greater say in the political process.

Groups of folks, from across all racial, gender, class, religious, and party lines are organizing. Some people are well-acquainted with the political process and have been for years, while others are getting involved for the very first time. Many are wondering what they can do beyond attending a rally, protest, or event.

The Making Civic Power Work blog showcases concrete examples of citizens using civic power to tackle problems within their own communities. Each post will describe how individuals joined together to bring about change, what obstacles they faced, the stakeholders they had to convince, and much more. This blog will emphasize key lessons and take-aways from recent and historic instances of civic power so that you — the reader — can use the example to get started in their own community.

Three Citizen University Fellows from the Harry S. Truman Foundation will be managing this blog. Our names are Hasher Nisar, Bianca Guerrero, and Jacob Miller and you can learn a little bit about us by reading below. We hope that Making Civic Power Work will offer your positive and constructive lessons and inspire you to tackle similar issues within your own communities.

Hasher Nisar

Hello everyone! My name is Hasher and I’m a recent graduate of Middlebury College. I was born in the United States, but moved with my family to Pakistan at the age of 6 because my parents wanted my siblings and I to learn more about our religion and culture. In 2008, we returned to the United States. In Pakistan, I grew up thinking that I could only become a doctor or engineer. However, attending high school in the United States opened up a whole new world for me. I was fascinated by the opportunities available to citizens to become involved in their communities and help shape the decision-making process. In college, I was a Political Science major and Religion minor. I look forward to showcasing examples of civic power from my own experiences in the United States to the readers as well as delving into history.

Bianca Guerrero

Hi everyone! My name is Bianca and I’m a 21 year old student at Columbia University. I was born in the Bronx and raised in Yonkers by two phenomenal New York City public school teachers. I’m a podcast enthusiast, half-hearted vegetarian, and a political science major. My dad, a strong advocate for workers’ and immigrant rights, taught me the importance of using civic power to ensure a decent standard of living for myself and those around me. I’m excited to write for the blog and to get feedback from readers!

 

 

Jacob Miller

My name is Jacob and I’m a recent graduate of UMass Dartmouth, where I studied Political Science, English, Leadership, and Urban Studies. I am currently the Director of Community Affairs for Massachusetts State Senator Mark Montingy. In this role, I work with a broad range of community members and recently hosted New Bedford’s first community conversation dinner series. As a someone who grew working class and is a first generation college student, I know how elusive opportunity can be, so I spend my time advocating and working towards solutions that help people better themselves and their community.