A familiar face to many volunteers, this year we welcomed Jacob Barondess back to VNP as a full-time staff member!
A lifelong resident of Okemos, Jacob was certainly no stranger to our grassroots movement, even before he joined our staff.
I remember voting for Prop 18-2 to end gerrymandering, and I was impressed and inspired that a grassroots group was able to enact such a big change for the benefit of voters in the state. Voting and fair representation are crucial to a functioning democracy and I wanted to be a part of an organization that was committed to protecting those values and systems.
After starting out as a volunteer with Voters Not Politicians in 2021, Jacob was hired as a regional organizer for our successful Proposal 22-2 campaign to protect voting rights in Michigan. As an organizer in the Central region, including Ingham, Livingston, Washtenaw, and Monroe counties, Jacob worked closely and established strong relationships with volunteers across the region. This made him the ideal candidate to take on the newly established Statewide Field Organizer role this July!
As the Statewide Field Organizer, my job is to help recruit, train and support volunteers and volunteer leaders and their teams in the programs and activities that VNP is currently engaged in. I act as a bridge between volunteers and the upper management at VNP so volunteers can be in the best position to carry out their goals.
Now as a full-time staff member, Jacob will continue building connections with volunteers across the entire state. Coincidentally, that’s also his favorite part of the job!
My favorite part about working with VNP is interacting and working alongside the volunteers. I remember many long and hot days collecting signatures in the summer for Prop 22-2 which was made much more fun by circulating with my local team of volunteers. We were all in it together, and time and again I have been inspired by our volunteers’ passion and dedication to VNP’s causes.
Jacob’s work as the bridge between staff and volunteers will help keep the magic of Voters Not Politicians (our amazing army of dedicated volunteers) going strong as we continue moving democracy forward in Michigan.
This year, I am looking forward to helping VNP and our volunteers achieve their goals through our Clerk Engagement and Legislative Liaison programs. Our goal is to have as many people as possible engaging their clerks and legislators on prop 22-2 implementation and priority legislation that we would like to see the legislature pass in their next session. We can not do any of that without our dedicated volunteers so I am looking forward to mobilizing and supporting them in any way I can.
And if you haven’t volunteered with Voters Not Politicians yet or if it’s been a few years, Jacob wants you to know that there is always a space for you in the VNP team 😊
I would like the general public to know that Voters Not Politicians is one of the few non-partisan activist groups in the state. We pride ourselves on including volunteers from across the political spectrum. No matter where you land, there is a place for you here.
VNP is a great example of what we can achieve when we put some of our differences aside and work toward a common goal.