We held our first Ready to Lead training in Arizona seven years ago, back when lawmakers in the Copper State were doing everything they could to take away the rights and freedoms of both citizens and non-citizens alike.

And we’ve been here ever since.

Now our alumni are on school boards, city councils, and in the state legislature. They’re working hard to represent their communities and bringing progressive ideas to the table that benefit all people.

Last weekend, we were back in Arizona training the next generation of New American leadership. Our first Ready to Lead participants of 2019 learned how to message, target, fundraise, and embrace their heritage to become successful candidates. They also got to hear from #PeopleLikeUs who ran for office and won. People like Tucson City Councilmember Regina Romero, State Representative Andrés Cano, Coconino County Treasurer Sarah Benatar and Phoenix City Coucilmember Vania Guevara, who took our Arizona training in 2013.

As one participant put it:

“The whole weekend was incredibly transformative! Ready to Lead helped me connect with my family’s story in a meaningful and authentic way.”

From our first cohort seven years ago to our newest alumni, we understand that true political power can only be built by continuing to lift each other up.

That’s how we built our Arizona program — and that’s how we’ll build a just democracy.