As the Northeast Organizer based in Green Bay, Jessica empowers community members, volunteers, activists, and partner organizations to advocate for climate solutions, protect drinking water, and expand the freedom to vote at all levels of government.
I grew up in Ashwaubenon, the third oldest of five children.
My dad was a union millwright and the primary breadwinner for my family, so when the majority of paper mills closed up shop and moved out of the state, his work went with them. To keep the lights on, mortgage paid, and health insurance active, my dad worked out of state, often being away for six months at a time or longer.
Towards the end of the summer, before I started sixth grade, my 22-month old sister contracted bacterial meningitis, and the household that was already precariously balanced on my mom’s shoulders collapsed around us. Even with my dad’s union benefits, my sister’s 12 weeks in the ICU resulted in my mom losing her job. That and a childhood full of corrective surgeries, and a mountain of medical debt nearly bankrupted my parents.
The disparity in wealth between my family and the families of my peers – and the inequities that came along with that – became painful reminders of my place in a society that prioritizes profit over the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of its people.
My own experiences and those I’ve witnessed, continue to lay bare the structures and systems within society that distribute power and resources in an inequitable way – often based on race, gender, class, disability status, and more. That continues to affirm the importance of unity, equity, solidarity, and brotherhood between the groups that have had their power and resources stripped away and divided by society along those lines.
These are core values that have shaped me as a person and fuel my passion and dedication for community organizing.
Gardening, hiking, kayaking, pottery wheel throwing, collecting curios for my cabinets of curiosity, and feeding my neighborhood crows.
I’m a conservation voter because clean air and clean water are our rights by virtue of our humanity.
Favorite place in Wisconsin: Devil’s Lake