August 3, 2021
VNP’s work to implement Proposal 2 and make sure that the map drawing process is fair and inclusive is managed by VNP’s volunteer Community Mapping Committee, which exemplifies the stellar programming that VNP volunteers produce.
In May, VNP welcomed Alyson Grigsby to the team. As the new Civic Engagement Associate, Alyson provides much needed staff support to the Committee and ensures the Communities of Interest (COIs) VNP have the resources they need to draw their maps.
Born and raised in Detroit, Alyson recently wrapped up her studies at the University of Michigan. It was in Ann Arbor where Alyson first heard about Voters Not Politicians. Though, it wasn’t until she joined staff that she realized the scope of our volunteer force.
“Some of my earliest memories would be seeing VNP volunteers advocate for Proposals 2 and 3 around my college campus. Although I was in support of these proposals, I had no idea how robust VNP’s volunteer base was in getting the proposals passed!”
The Community Mapping Committee, which is composed of 35 volunteers, is a volunteer force to be reckoned with. Volunteers on the Committee designed the curriculum and training materials, facilitate workshops, speak at public events, and provide technical support for remote events. It is a lot of work for people who are giving up their free time to make sure that the maps that are drawn are actually representative. Alyson provides our volunteers with the resources and support they need to execute assignments, keeps the project organized, and collects and monitors performance metrics to make sure everyone is on track.
Coordinating a project like the Community Mapping Initiative with its many volunteers and stakeholders is a daunting task, but Alyson quickly proved that she was up to the task. She and the Committee are hard at work educating COIs across the state on how they can draw their maps and where to submit their testimony. Alyson is eager to see the final outcome.
“I’m looking forward to seeing what these new district maps look like. Considering our active engagement with COIs and ensuring that they make their voices heard regarding the new maps, it’s exciting to see these maps reflect the diversity of Michigan’s communities.”
Though Alyson is laser-focused on Proposal 2 Implementation at the moment, she has quickly joined the larger VNP community. Alyson has enjoyed getting to know VNP staff and volunteers who are working on different projects, but with the same mission in mind.
“My favorite part is getting to work with staff and volunteers that are so incredibly passionate about the work that they do. There is a huge sense of community and collaboration throughout the organization where even if we’re focused on completely different projects, we all actively want to see people succeed as much as possible because ultimately, we all are working towards the same goal.”
Anyone who meets Alyson will notice the positive energy she brings to the conversation, both in tone and pace. She admits that her secret talent is her ability to talk very quickly and clearly.
“In fact, for my middle school talent show, I recited the Star-Spangled Banner in under a minute!”
(Note: the Star-Spangled Banner you sing at baseball games is only 1 of the 4-verse poem.)
Alyson’s verbal skills continue to serve her. During the VNP Staff Meeting earlier this year, she carried her team to victory when pitching their product for our team-building version of Shark Tank.