Q: Tell me a little about yourself and where you’re from. Major? Hobbies?
I was born in Atlanta but my name comes from Nigeria. My parents came to the US for their college education and decided to plant roots in Atlanta, and many years later I am still here. I attended Agnes Scott College, which is a women’s college in Decatur, Georgia, where I studied sociology and anthropology. There I did social research on health care reform and care for lower income families. I also worked with the Board of Health, which opened my eyes to how policy can impact people’s’ health. From there I worked for SEIU, organizing nationwide and learning more about what people deal with day to day. From that grew my passion for working in the community with organizations related to progressive issues. I then went back to school and studied political management at George Washington University to hone my skills as an organizer. That program not only put me in the heart of DC with policy makers and enabled me to grow my network, but also sent me to London and South Africa, where I was able to develop a unique understanding of community organizing.
Q: What specifically about PTP appealed to you?
The approach of finding and establishing best practices is what appealed to me most. Having been an organizer for so many years, I’ve always been interested in finding out how to do better with messaging and improve turnout. I think the progressive movement has become stuck in our ways of doing things and we need to change the playbook. With all the different movements that exist today, we need a different method for engaging voters. I believe PTP is on the right track to investigating new practices and coming up with solutions that address it.
Q: How did your experiences abroad shape your view as an organizer?
I would say it gave me a sense of what’s going on on the global scale. I don’t think people realize how our vote impacts other nations in terms of economy and trade, but those decisions impact the individual as well as the nation. I’ve always known that policies set in the US have wider international implications, but to actually understand that and be able to engage in those discussions because of my experiences has been powerful and motivational for me.
Q: What qualities do you look for in hiring an effective field representative?
One of the things I look for is how the individual approaches field work and whether or not they have a passion for it. That was another thing that attracted me to PTP because we value face-to-face voter contact over other methods of communication, which I think is extremely important. So in interviews I like to listen about how people value direct voter contact and how their experiences in the past reflect that.
Q: With the primary next week, what is the mood in GA-06 like right now?
Being a Georgia native, it’s crazy. I’ve never seen a campaign that has made people on a local level so excited. This is the first time that I’ve seen so many people here want to get engaged and active. On the national level, there’s a lot of excitement, but here on the local level it’s even more intense. People can’t stop talking about it and there are volunteers out everywhere, which we’re just not accustomed to here in Georgia.
Q: What’s your favorite thing to do in GA-06?
There are a lot of wooded areas with different hiking trails. So when I have down time I like to go hiking. It’s a real nice landscape here.
Q: What do you recommend someone visiting do in Atlanta?
I think Atlanta’s walking and bike trail is underestimated. It’s a great thing to encourage visitors to do because we have a great landscape here that people should take advantage of. Also the aquarium is pretty fun.
Q: Based on your conversations at the doors, how are you feeling about next week’s election?
Since we’re coming in with a different message from the campaigns, we’re able to engage voters in different conversations. A concern I have is that when things are going well during a campaign, progressive individuals tend to relax. I don’t want the excitement to distract voters from fulfilling their civic duty as individuals.