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LeeAnn Hall, Executive Director
LeeAnn Hall is the executive director of the Alliance for a Just Society, founded in 1993 as the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations. She has been on the leading edge of social and racial justice organizing for 30 years, influencing and effecting national reform in health care, immigration and fair pay. She has guided and inspired hundreds of young organizers into careers in social justice work.
LeeAnn was at the forefront of designing testing models to address under-enrollment in public benefits programs. As the director for Idaho Community Action Network, she developed the successful campaign to cover farmworkers under Idaho’s minimum wage laws. She now leads a network of 14 organizations stretching from Oregon and Washington state to Maine and Virginia.
She received the prestigious Leadership for a Changing World Award from the Ford Foundation, the Advocacy Institute, and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and the Prime Movers Award. She has contributed opinion pieces to national newspapers, her work is highlighted in several books and journals, and she is a sought-after panelist.
In addition, LeeAnn serves on boards including Race Forward and the executive committee of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement. She lives in Seattle, Washington.
Amanda Ballantyne, Main Street Alliance, Director
Amanda joined the Main Street Alliance as Network Director in the fall of 2013. She brings more than a decade of progressive organizing, policy and legal experience. She worked for several national non-profit organizations, including Public Citizen and Free Press. She has also worked as a labor organizer and policy analyst for CWA and SEIU. Amanda graduated from Smith College and earned her law degree from the University of Washington School of Law.
Harsimran Bagri, Administrative Director
Harsimran joined the Alliance full time in June 2014 as the Administrative Director after interning to support work on criminalization and native organizing. She graduated in June 2014 from Seattle Pacific University with bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Philosophy. As a Canadian born, American-Punjabi Sikh, Harsimran has held the ideals of liberation from oppression and equality for all as achievable goals from an early age. Harsimran is deeply involved in the community, participating in the Social Justice Fund’s Gender Justice Giving Project and working for LGBTQIA rights.
Sam Blair, Director of Strategic Partnerships
Sam Blair is the Alliance’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. He directed the Main Street Alliance small business network from 2008-2013, working with small business leaders in states across the country to bring their voices to debates on health care, immigration reform, responsible fiscal policies, and workplace benefits. Sam started organizing as an intern with the Alliance in 2002, and then moved to Idaho and joined the staff of Alliance affiliate Idaho Community Action Network from 2003-2006, working on health care access, utility rates/deregulation, and immigration campaigns. Sam is a graduate of Swarthmore College and lives in New Hampshire.
Julie Chinitz, Special Projects Director
Julie Chinitz returned to the Alliance in 2015 where she previously served as policy director from 2010 to 2012 and as a staff attorney/policy analyst from 2002. She developed projects combining participatory research, policy analysis, and base-building. Prior to joining the Alliance, she was an Equal Justice Fellow with Northwest Health Law Advocates, where she launched a program to increase access to health care in Washington’s Yakima Valley. She is a graduate of Oberlin College and Columbia University School of Law and has worked extensively with public interest and human rights organizations.
Bill Daley, Legislative Director
Bill is the Legislation and Policy Director for the Main Street Alliance and the Alliance for a Just Society. Based in D.C., he represents these Alliances at national coalition tables. He provides policy analysis and strategy on federal issues. Before joining the Alliance team, Bill served as a lobbyist for Washington Community Action Network. He worked as a policy expert in Washington state government for 40 years, including time with the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, the Governor’s Office, and the Insurance Commissioner. He also served as the Mayor of Olympia, Washington in the 1980s.
Libero Della Piana, Senior Organizer and Digital Director
Libero Della Piana joined the Alliance for a Just Society as a Senior Organizer in 2014. Libero has broad and extensive experience as an organizer, trainer, curriculum developer, digital strategist, writer, editor and public speaker. He previously worked as a senior researcher and trainer for the Applied Research Center (now Race Forward) and was the Digital Director of the People’s World progressive news site. Libero received the prestigious Bannerman Fellowship for Young Activists of Color in 1997. He lives in East Harlem, New York.
Allyson Fredericksen, Policy Analyst
Allyson joined the Alliance in 2012, and holds an M.A. in Policy Studies from the University of Washington with a focus on safety net and racial justice issues. After working with at-risk youth in Southern California and in San Francisco, she recognized the need for policy change to help families and communities thrive. Her prior experience includes working for Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco; interning with the Alliance as a graduate student; organizing people of faith to advocate for increased affordable housing and a strengthened safety net; and conducting research on training outcomes for child care workers in Washington State. Allyson manages the Alliance’s Job Gap Economic Prosperity Series.
Policy Areas: Job Gap Economic Prosperity Series, Jobs and Fair Pay, Medicaid Expansion, Economic Justice, Racial Justice and Decriminalization.
Ben Henry, Senior Policy Associate
After a 10-year journalism career working as an award-winning newspaper production editor, Ben graduated from the University of Washington’s Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs with a Master’s in Public Administration with a Nonprofit Management Certificate in 2012. Ben was elected Vice President of UW’s Graduate and Professional Student Senate in 2010, representing graduate student interests to Olympia and Washington, D.C. During his term, he successfully advocated for the reinstatement of a state program that offers financial aid for students with children. Ben, whose mother immigrated to America from Korea in the 1970s, is President of the Board of Directors for the Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE) in Washington state.
Policy Areas: Economic Justice, Fair Housing, Jobs and Wages.
Judith Le Blanc, Senior Organizer and National Coordinator, Native Organizers Alliance
Judith has been an organizer, journalist and public spokesperson on issues of economic, social and racial justice for four decades. In the early 1970s, Judith went to work on behalf of the Wounded Knee Defense/Offense Committee at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota during a time of immense upheaval in that community. In 2002, Judith became a nationally recognized organizer and leader in the U.S. peace movement — a central organizer for numerous campaigns and mobilizations as a national co-chair and elected leader of United for Peace and Justice and as National Field Director of Peace Action. Judith is an enrolled member of the Caddo Tribe of Oklahoma. She lives in Harlem, New York.
Kathy Mulady, Communications Director
Kathy Mulady has more than 20 years of journalism experience as an award-winning daily newspaper reporter in California, Idaho and in Washington. She has covered government, politics, and business. As a writer, Kathy traveled to some of the poorest corners of in the country, including the colonias of Texas, rural Alabama, and deep in the Ozark mountains to write about the intersection of families, poverty and policy. She’s served as the communications director on high profile Seattle political campaigns. Contact Kathy Mulady with media inquiries.
Jill Reese, Associate Director
Jill is the Associate Director of the Alliance for a Just Society. Jill joined the Alliance staff team in April 2003 after working three years with the Alliance’s affiliate, Idaho Community Action Network, where she was part of the team that successfully fought for the state’s landmark farmworker wage protection laws. As director of the Alliance’s Health Rights Organizing Project, a coalition of 35 organizations in 23 states, she played a leadership role in the field campaign that pushed the Affordable Care Act to victory, and helped ensure that the historic law included provisions to address racial disparities in health. She currently oversees the Alliance’s policy department and is instrumental in developing the leadership, skills and political analysis of affiliate staff and leaders. Jill has a degree in Economics and Political Science from the University of Texas.