by Bob Geary
Never heard of her? (That hurts. She was an Indy Citizen Award winner.)
Here's a precis:
Lanya Shapiro is a social entrepreneur, a tireless activist and organizer, and part of the vanguard of the modern progressive movement. Her most recent cutting-edge endeavor is Traction, a Durham, N.C.-based offline social network designed to turn young voters into energized and engaged activists who will, over time, power the progressive movement as volunteers, donors, board members and elected officials. By putting a creative spin on classic progressive issues, Traction helps the forward-thinking nonprofits with whom it collaborates to reach and engage a younger audience. During the three years before she started Traction, her political organizing in the Howard Dean grassroots earned her the respect of Democracy For America staff; when Bush brought his Social Security privatization tour to Raleigh in 2005, Lanya organized the counter-rally. Lanya served on Durham's Citizens' Advisory Committee, which advises local elected officials on Community Development Block Grant allocations and helped transform the advisory committee into a force that elected officials are aware of and actually listen to.
There's more below the fold from her fellow Tractivist, Celeste Richie:
from Celeste Richie:
If you haven't heard already, Lanya Shapiro (Traction's founder and director, and my favorite community organizer) is a finalist for an amazing award. I'm especially excited about this, because I nominated her (see nominating statement below). Voting ends tonight, so if you haven't logged on to vote (and told everyone in your family, office, circle of friends, and person you met on the bus to vote too), you still have time — but only a few hours! Please vote today!
I have been a Tractivist for nearly 5 years now, and it has changed my life in so many wonderful ways. Besides the amazing community I found through Traction, I've been mentored in my own activism and progressive identity — transforming me from a young person who didn't even vote in the 2000 elections (I know... the shame, the shame...) to someone with the skills and confidence to be a role model to friends and a progressive leader. I learned how to incorporate progressive values into my day-to-day life, to serve on (and chair) a non-profit board, then decided to get a Master's in Public Policy and I'm currently a Presidential Management Fellow, bringing a progressive edge to the federal government. Lanya's tireless and innovative efforts are building the ranks of young progressives like myself, energizing and fueling the progressive movement.
The Maria Leavey Tribute Award is given each year by the Campaign for America's Future. The award recognizes a progressive who is:
A Persistent Advocate
A Selfless Organizer
An Idea Generator
Show your support for Traction by voting for Lanya in the online balloting. VOTING ENDS TONIGHT and it just takes one minute. Also, please post this as your status on Facebook and send it on to anyone else you know who will support Lanya's amazing progressive leadership.
And if you HAVE already voted, why not make a contribution to Traction in Lanya's honor? You'll help us continue building this community and supporting young people's progressive involvement in the movement.
With thanks and aloha,
grateful protege, proud nominator, Tractivist