This week’s organizer spotlight features David Carlson of the ACLU of Wisconsin’s Campaign for Smart Justice:

1) What did you learn from the challenges of being an organizer in 2020?

Construct a strategy, revise as you go, but stick to your plan. 2020 presented a barrage of issues, that if we had tried to tackle them all, we would have accomplished nothing. We remained focused, and came out of the year with some tangible victories that we are currently building upon!

2) What sustains you? Where do you get the energy to keep going with the work?

What sustains me is the example I know this will set for my sons. I look back at my father and feel only pity and estrangement when I think of his legacy. I want my sons to feel empowered by their origins.

3) What is your vision for community organizing post-election?

I would like to train/mentor more people with similar backgrounds to me in this work. Organizing has been instrumental in my professional development, and it has given me a source for agency that is not common for previously incarcerated individuals. Continued deconstruction of racist, discriminatory, misogynistic, predatory systems is also at the top of my priority list!