Kortenay Che’ Gardiner

What is your work focused on?
Having conversations with activists, potential activists, and voters; getting out information (factual, civic, procedural), so as to build momentum and stoke energy behind progressive causes and candidates, getting behind progressive candidates such as Katie Sponsler, for whom I plan to work as Campaign Manager this election cycle. I have in-person and digital organizing experience; meaning, I have planned, participated in, promoted and recruited volunteers for events and canvasses (door knocking) as well as made a hell of a lot of phone calls.

How long have you been doing this work? And what motivated you to do this work?
Since 2015 when I started volunteering at Alliance for a Progressive Virginia (APV), a small 501(c)4 nonprofit that advocates for multiple progressive causes; founded in response to attacks on women’s repro rights. I started with fundraising and donor relations. In 2017, I was hired for an advocacy and community organizer while still active in APV. I have been motivated by personal experiences of sexism and racism and by outrage at the human rights violations committed by the United States in the name of border security. Dismayed by the plight of Black and brown people across the globe. I stand in solidarity with and work to amplify the voices of impacted communities whenever possible. I am also fiercely anti-exploitation and see white supremacy in the roots of capitalism and I am a proponent of universal basic income, unions, and equitable public education. I believe that the means to get the change we deserve is the vote and community civic engagement, electing and holding public officials accountable for their actions.

What is your theme song?

If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why?
Sonia Sotomayor, I’m thinking. She rocks!

What is the most exciting thing you have worked on or work you are most proud of?
Going to Reading, Pennsylvania and working as Deputy Voter Contact Canvass Director for VoteBlue for Biden/Harris! I am very proud that every day I work hard to become 100% bilingual and have made progress, especially in the last 3-4 years. I love that Richmond is home to so many diverse communities and I feel grateful to the communities and individuals who have embraced me, helped me, and become my best friends and advisors.

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