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These are challenging times. More and more Americans are concerned about policy changes that impact their families, friends, neighbors or fellow human beings. Simultaneously, the number of nonprofit organizations in need of legal assistance grows everyday.
But there's hope. An unprecedented number of lawyers are stepping forward. We The Action connects talented legal volunteers to nonprofit organizations seeking assistance. This community can play a crucial role in protecting fundamental rights and advancing values that bind America together.
We're the people committed to making that happen.
Sarah Baker is a Bruce Springsteen fan who is also a lawyer. Sarah worked at the White House from 2011 to 2017, serving as Special Assistant and Associate Counsel to President Obama in the Office of the White House Counsel, as well as Senior Policy Director to Dr. Jill Biden. Previously, Sarah was an Associate at Hogan Lovells, ultimately serving as the Senior Associate in charge of the law firm's domestic pro bono practice. Despite her high school guidance counselor's terrible advice to pursue a career in dance, Sarah instead opted to spare the world from that horror and continued her education, graduating from Rutgers College and the University of Virginia School of Law.
Managing Director and General Counsel
Jacek Pruski believes that ordinary people can do extraordinary things--and that coffee helps. Jacek has served as a lawyer in the Obama White House, as associate general counsel of the U.S. Department of Education, and as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Federal Programs Branch. He also was a law clerk for Judge Sidney R. Thomas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. In addition to his legal experience, Jacek has worked in education policy; advocacy; organizing; strategy consulting; and co-founding nonprofits such as The 10,000 Hours Show, a social venture that recruited and rewarded volunteers at nonprofits with an annual free concert. Jacek is a graduate of Stanford University (J.D., M.P.P.) and The University of Iowa (B.S., B.A.).
Jacek is a member of the State Bar of California. While his D.C. Bar application is pending, he is supervised by a member of the D.C. Bar.
Chief Operating Officer
Katie Waldo started volunteering at age five, and decided it would be her superpower. Thursday nights are reserved for “crazy feet dancing,” as a Play Ranger with The Homeless Children's Playtime Project. Before joining We The Action, Katie served as the White House Trip Manager, traveling the world with President Obama. Her 125 trips and 350,000 miles on Air Force One earned her a new title: “White House Camp Counselor.” Prior to her eight years of service in the White House, Katie was an early member of the Obama ’08 campaign as an operations director in multiple battleground states. Katie is a graduate of Creighton University and promised her husband she would never go to law school.
Drew Larsen still wants to be the next President of FIFA, but until that call comes, he is the proud coach of his daughter's U10 soccer team. When not supporting We The Action, Drew operates his own law firm where he specializes in counseling small to medium sized start-up businesses, and teaches Sports Law at William & Mary Law School. Drew started his legal career at Patton Boggs in Washington, DC before leaving to help launch the Washington Freedom of Women's Professional Soccer. He is a graduate of the College of Holy Cross and the University of Virginia School of Law, and a very proud alum of Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, Arizona (Go Chiefs!).
Board of directors
Marc Elias is the chair of Perkins Coie's Political Law Group, where his clients include the DNC, the DSCC, the DCCC and the DGA. He was the general counsel to Hillary for America, the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016, and served in the same role for John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign. As a litigator, he is involved in voting rights and/or redistricting litigation throughout the country and, in 2016, successfully argued three such cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: Wittman v. Personhuballah, Bethune Hill v. Virginia State Bd. of Elections, and Cooper v. Harris.
Addisu Demissie is a Founding Principal of Bay Area based political consultancy 50+1 Strategies and a veteran of three presidential campaigns. Some of the highlights of his 15-year career include serving as National Political Director for Organizing for America and as Campaign Manager for Senator Cory Booker’s successful 2013 campaign. Addisu currently manages Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom’s campaign for Governor of California. He is a 2001 graduate of Yale University, 2008 graduate of Yale Law School, and a member of the state Bar of California.
Marshall Fitz, Managing Director of Immigration at Emerson Collective, is one of the nation's leading legislative strategists and advocates in support of progressive immigration policy solutions. He has regularly advised Members of Congress, the White House, and the Department of Homeland Security on policy, politics, and strategy. Marshall is also a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) where, prior to joining the Emerson Collective, he served as Vice President for Immigration Policy. Appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council by DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, Marshall also led the Immigration Working Group for Secretary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.