Ellie Collinson

Chief Operations Officer
President, RepresentUs Education Fund

I grew up in the suburbs of New York City (one of the most liberal counties in the U.S.) and attended college and grad school in Colorado Springs, CO (one of the most conservative counties in the U.S.). 

I led a small community-based nonprofit organization in Colorado Springs called Citizens Project. Much like RepresentUs, Citizens Project convenes people from different political points of view to strengthen democracy. I worked on candidate forums and surveys, local ballot issues, and lobbied at the city and state level for a variety of issues including strengthening the democratic process.

I’ve lived in Washington D.C. for 15 years now, and in that time I have worked as a federal lobbyist as well as for a major political party committee. And I come to RepresentUs now because in neither environment could I create lasting social change, despite the hard work of well-meaning advocates and elected officials. And while democracy may feel like it is about reaching 51 of 100 votes, it needs to be about lifting up everyone’s voices and finding common ground. We have major problems in our country, and across the world, and I am very concerned about our ability to solve them when the political process so clearly punishes cooperation and rewards well-financed special interests.