amplify recruits, trains, elects, and supports progressive champions for state and local office in the Northwest, prioritizing people of color, women, young people, and LGBTQ candidates.
Our policies and processes are not as equitable, democratic, or effective as they could be, and we believe everyone should be able to participate in the responsibility of shared governance. Elected office and appointed boards and commissions have incredible impact on people's ability to thrive; it's why those officials should come from all communities — not just communities with access and wealth.
Then, those leaders pass legislation that works for everyone to thrive, be safe, and live their fullest life. Because when leaders share a lived understanding of the issues facing their communities, they are best positioned to help solve them.
To recruit better leaders, find better policy, and build consensus we can't just be innovative — we have to be disruptive. We believe innovation is improving the existing way of doing things: we work to make old ways obsolete by doubling down on our values. Grounded in principles of equity, representation, and social justice, our work is built on disrupting the ideas of who is best positioned to lead and how leaders are found. We will build local networks and leaders to leverage change at the state and national level.
EJ Juárez came to Amplify from Progressive Majority Washington, where he was the Executive Director. Prior to PMWA, he worked with Washington’s largest anti-poverty organization, the Statewide Poverty Action Network. While there, he managed statewide communications campaigns, research and development campaigns. Prior to this EJ worked with SEIU 1199NW and the Win/Win Network. Additionally, he has managed several candidate and issue based campaigns across Washington state.
EJ has focused on serving his community with organizations that work to end generational poverty and promote civic engagement in underrepresented populations. He serves on the Board of Directors for Seattle Education Access, a group advancing opportunity for youth facing poverty access higher education opportunities, and served on the board of the Washington Bus for five years. Additionally, he was appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee to serve on the Commission on Hispanic Affairs and the Washington state Commission on Judicial Conduct.
EJ holds a B.A. from Saint Martin’s University and a M.A. from the University of Washington, Bothell. While at UW-Bothell he was a Civic Engagement Fellow and AmeriCorps member. His research is focused on the racial dimensions of voter suppression tactics and media representations of electoral fraud. He now serves on the UW-Bothell Alumni Council as the co-chair of the Alumni Advocacy Committee. EJ is originally from Wenatchee, Wash. and now resides in Seattle.
Mario Parker-Milligan came to Amplify from the Oregon Student Association, where he was Executive Director. Mario describes himself as an example of OSA's impressive leadership development pipeline. Prior to serving as ED, Mario was the Legislative Director, Equal Rights Organizer and Board Chair while a student at Lane Community College. There he successfully lobbied for over 26 pieces of legislation in the 2015 legislative session and helped secure the state's largest reinvestment in higher education since the early 1990s. While at OSA the organization broke multiple records, first in 2012 when they successfully registered over 50,000 students for the general election and followed that up with over 55,000 students for the 2014 mid-term elections.
Mario has focused his work on centering policy around his communities and ensuring organizations and institutions are investing capacity and resources to anti-oppressive and anti-racist practices. He's served on the United States Student Association Board of Directors, Oregon United for Marriage's Finance Committee, Common Cause Oregon's Board of Directors and was appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber to serve on Oregon's Commission for Student Access. Mario is originally from Federal Way, WA, grew up in Eugene, OR and now resides in Portland.