State of the Union April 2019


Would you like to head to Washington, D.C. this May to lobby Congress with Clint Borgen and The Borgen Project’s Board of Directors? We will select one lucky winner to attend Congressional meetings and watch the magic happen firsthand.

Eligibility Requirements:

Any volunteer or intern who has met the following requirements will be entered into a drawing for an all-expenses-paid trip to D.C. to lobby on behalf of the world’s poor:

  • Completed three (3) Congressional meetings in their state OR
  • Mobilized the most people to email Congress through The Borgen Project’s Action Center. Please send your manager a list of the people you mobilize. As a frame of reference, our 2018 winner mobilized 313 people to email Congress!

Deadline for Eligibility:

April 12th

Political Updates


Lobbying Efforts

  • Total # of Lobbying Meetings in March: 34
  • Total # of Lobbying Meetings in 2019: 76
  • Lobbying Meetings Goal for 2019: 775

Advocacy Emails

  • Number of Advocacy Emails in March: 7,313
  • Advocacy Emails Goal for 2019: 80,000
  • % of Congress Emailed in March: 82%

Congressional Office Meetings

Political Affairs Team member Patrick Parker (left) met with staff members Claudia Morales, Constituent Representative, and John Preston of Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-7th).

Political Affairs Team member Tristana Leist met with Collin Tracy, staff member of Rep. McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-5th).

Political Affairs Team member Yona Andrews secured a meeting with Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL-6th).

Political Affairs Team member Matthew Svancara met with David Dobo, District Representative for Rep. Gonzalez (R-OH-16).

Warren’s Address

Listen to the latest from Warren about the goings-on in D.C.


Content Team Updates

We had a huge increase in web traffic. A record-breaking 654,000 people visited last month. The previous record was 547,000.



Congratulations to the following team members that have achieved Borgen Project Honors & Recognition.

      • Chief Closer Award (raised $1,000 or more): Matthew Bumgarner, HR Team; Carol Alcantar, HR Team; Elizabeth Tramontin, PR/Marketing Team, David Sar Political Affairs Team
      • President’s Circle (held 3 congressional meetings): Sarah Chocron, Regional Director, Isaac Rutiz, David Heinold, Maggie Wells and Mikaella Brouillette, from our Political Affairs Team
      • Public Outreach Award (30 or more people mobilized): Marche Beadles, PR/Marketing Team

Visit the Our Team Members page and read about success stories with our organization.


Getting the Word Out

Political Affairs Team member Nivedan Dharmavaram gave a presentation about The Borgen Project to his AP European History class.

Another member from The Borgen Project’s Political Affairs Team, Maria Castrogiovanni, presented to an AP World History class. She discussed facts about global poverty and the importance of contacting Congressional leaders. Maria successfully mobilized five people to email in support of the International Affairs Budget.

Maria also created a swarm and had lifeguards email Congress after their in-service training. Way to go, Maria!
HR Team member Jennifer Irwin created a swarm with her friends.
PR Team member Kayla Aragones held an information meeting and had people email Congress.
HR Team member Ana Clever made posters to create awareness for TBP.

Even our furry friends support the International Affairs Budget. HR Team member Jeffrey Jubinville’s dog, May, gave Congress a call.
HR Team member Natasha Matveyuk provided her professors with a presentation to showcase to students in her group.

One-Mile Campaigns

Political Affairs Team member Kellen Cody completed her One-Mile Campaign with a little spray paint.

Political Affairs Team member Maria Castrogiovanni completed her One-Mile Campaign in downtown Chicago.

PR Team member Ben Jacobson pictured completing his One-Mile Campaign.

Content Team member Janiya Winchester provided Borgen Project fliers to people walking into local businesses. Head to Outreach & Mobilizing Materials for a close-up of the poster Janiya created for her One-Mile Campaign!

Maggie Wells, a Political Affairs Team member, seen posting fliers for her campaign.

A successful one-mile campaign for Adrian Ghainda, a Political Affairs Team member.

PR and HR Team member Nevada McOwen used balloons to complete her One-Mile Campaign.


HR Team member Jennifer Irwin pictured posting fliers for her One-Mile Campaign.

HR Team member Lily Carbajal had a succesful One-Mile Campaign.


In search of a creative way to mobilize? Political Affairs Team member Michael Jensen posted a step-by-step video on Facebook to teach people how to email Congress using The Borgen Project website.

Letters to the Editor

Mikaella Brouillette, Political Affairs Team, in the Democrat & Chronicle: Protect the future of displaced women and girls

Maggie Wells, Political Affairs Team, in Go Dan River: Wall doesn’t address the problem

Isaac Echeverri, PR Team, in The Columbian: U.S. should address global poverty
and in the Missoulian: Be aware of incentives to address poverty

Olivia Causse, PR Team, in the Deseret News: Save the International Affairs Budget 

Matthew Svancara, Political Affairs Team, in the Cleveland: Vaccines, poverty, and economic development

Colette Sherrington, Content Team, in News-Press: Helping poor

Ana Clever, HR Team, in Her Campus: 5 Myths About Global Poverty


Ms. Aasha Doshi is 39 years old.
She lives with her beloved son and daughter-twins-
who are both 4 years old.
She loves them like anything,
as much as an old man loves the thought of his childhood.
She gets up in the morning,
goes to work,
comes back,
and sleeps.
Ms. Aasha is just like you and me.
We both have the same dreams.
The same wants,
the same needs.
We both wish for the best for our family and for ourselves:
to be happy and decent and well in all aspects of life.
But you see,
there is one thing different between you and me and Ms. Aasha.
A stark difference.
One that separates our lives a mile away from hers.
Ms. Aasha Doshi is dreadfully and utterly poor.
She works at the local market,
hauling fruits and vegetables for hours upon hours
in the dangerous, thick heat,
helplessly swatting away clouds of flies and mosquitoes.
She sleeps on the side of Appuchetti street,
next to an old shut down auto store
that reeks of mold and dust.
The sound of cars
and trucks
and motorcycles
zip by
blaring their horns through the dark night
and smothering her in clouds of pollution.
She clutches her children’s heads tightly against her,
fearing for their safety
at 3 in the morning
when everything around her is dark and unknown.
She cannot afford proper clothes,
so she drapes herself in a ragged grey shawl
to hide her torn and withered saree
and lack of gold upon her skin.
Her children are hungry-
their ribs visible from meters away,
and they beg for money or food from those who pass,
only to be ignored by business suits and diamond earrings.
Ms. Aasha’s dreams crumble at her feet a little more each day.

Poverty is a problem more severe than any other problem India faces. More than 350 million people are currently in poverty in India. That’s nearly 30 percent of India’s entire population. Poverty deprives people like Ms. Aasha of their necessities and opportunities on a daily basis. It pulls the poor into a never-ending cycle of helplessness and despair.

-Krithi Sekaran, PR Team member

Outreach & Mobilizing Materials

PR Team member Alexis Blacknik’s diverting branding campaign

Content Team member Janiya Winchester created a poster to use for her One-Mile Campaign.

PR Team member Ceren Colak: “Your Guide to Donate”

Political Affairs Team member Yona Andrews created a handout for her One-Mile Campaign.

PR Team member Ellen Cruise’s poster shows the value of $1.

PR Team member Krithi Sekaran created fliers to use for her One-Mile Campaign.

PR Team member Krithi Sekaran created mini information cards for her event.



HR Team member Natasha Matveyuk made and sold dog treats for her fundraising campaign. Along with the treats, Natasha created fundraising campaign posters to post and hand out to local businesses.

Political Affairs Team member Eleanor Harris held a car wash in her neighborhood.

PA Team member Paige Downey hosted a 50/50 raffle with her sisters of Tri Delta at William & Mary. Altogether, they raised close to $220. With a 50/50 raffle, half of the money goes to the organization and half goes to a lucky raffle winner. When the sorority called the winner to congratulate her, she decided to donate half of her winnings back. In the end, Paige raised about $178 for The Borgen Project.

PR Team member Cindia Escalante held a bake sale in Spain!

Political Affairs Team member Maria Castrogiovanni sold items on Poshmark as a part of her fundraising campaign. Maria included a note in her packages encouraging buyers to check out The Borgen Project’s website.

Political Affairs Team member Eliza Davern created a flier for her fundraising campaign!


PR Team member Paula Ruiz asks Senator Patty Murray (D – WA) to protect funding for the International Affairs Budget.

Content Team member Janiya Winchester introduced her internship and fundraising campaign with The Borgen Project on YouTube. A giveaway is a great incentive to encourage donations!