Katie Simon is a political and grassroots strategist dedicated to making change through political engagement, lifting up and centering marginalized voices, and removing barriers to participation in the democratic process.
Katie has served on the advisory board of the Saint Teresa Leadership and Services Institute for Women and is a second-generation AmeriCorps VISTA alumna. She was raised near Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is a graduate of Saint Mary's University of Minnesota in Winona.
Empowering Women & Making Change
In 2016, Katie became the Associate Director of Field Operations at AAUW. In this role, she directed the impactful signature AAUW GOTV project It's My Vote: I Will Be Heard, which provided key voter information to the American electorate in all 50 states, registered new voters, and engaged on every level with the key demographic of the rising American electorate of young women, people of color, and Millennials.
Shortly after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Katie was tasked with leading the deeply influential national chapters network of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, united with the Million Mom March.
Read more about Katie's work on this important issue here: Addressing Gun Violence
In 2008, Katie was a member of the Wisconsin for Obama team, based in Fond du Lac and Ripon, Wisconsin - deeply Republican communities. She took leadership of organizing faith leaders, as well as outreach to the robust organized labor community in the area.
Later in 2008, Katie traveled to Virginia and organized for Tom Perriello (VA-05) for the remainder of the election, based in Bedford County, a long-time Republican stronghold. In a perpetually Republican county, Perriello received a 14-point bump on Election Day, and outperformed Obama by a wide margin. In a race ultimately decided by only 727 votes, Perriello's win became the narrowest victory in the country.
National Service: Serving Children of Promise
In 2009, Katie began work in the Mentoring Children of Prisoners (MCP) program through Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay. Through this program, in her capacity as an AmeriCorps*VISTA member, Katie coordinated mentoring services for children impacted by the incarceration of one or both parents in Solano County, California.
This work involved working closely with families deeply impacted by the intersection of the criminal justice system, institutional racism and inconsistent policing practices, and a child care system that did not in every case act with the best interests of the child in mind. In addition, this position involved on-site visits to state corrections institutions, where Katie met with prison staff and toured the facilities of medium- and high-security prisons.
Following her AmeriCorps*VISTA year, Katie was invited to continue her work with MCP by directing and coordinating all aspects of the Youth4Youth program. This proven program has been shown to reduce rates of teen pregnancy, dropping out, and incidence of discipline, in addition to producing higher grades and a greater likelihood of attending and completing higher education.