State of the Union June 2019

Political Updates

Three Poverty-Reducing Bills Pass in the House

On Monday, May 20th, three poverty-reducing bills passed in the House of Representatives with the help of a bipartisan push from Committee of Foreign Affairs Chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) and Ranking Member Rep. McCaul (R-TX-10).

  • Global Fragility Act – The Global Fragility Act would stabilize conflict-affected areas and address the root causes of violence and instability in at-risk countries and regions. To learn more about this bill and its future, read Content Team Writer Anna Lagattuta’s article in BORGEN Magazine.
  • The Refugee Sanitation Facility Safety Act of 2019 – This bill would provide women and girls with safe access to sanitation facilities in refugee camps. Keeley Griego, Content Team Writer, explored this bill and the next steps in its path to becoming law in this article.
  • Digital Global Access Policy Act of 2019 – The Digital GAP Act seeks to promote internet access in developing countries. Take a look at this piece by Content Team Writer Gwen Schemm outlining the implications and provisions of this bill.

These bills must first pass in the Senate before they can be signed into law by the President. Remember to contact your Senators and voice your support.

Washington, D.C. Trip

In May, part of The Borgen Project team traveled to D.C. to lobby Congress on behalf of the world’s poor. Tristana Leist, a Borgen Project Political Affairs Intern, was the lucky winner selected for the trip. Tristana attended a handful of Congressional meetings and got to watch the magic happen first hand. Continue reading for a glimpse into Tristana’s D.C. experience:

“When I am here in D.C., I know more than ever that this is where I am meant to be. To meet some of the faces behind The Borgen Project was an absolute joy, and I couldn’t have been happier with how we hit it off; the crew even managed to support me in vegan restaurant endeavors! Now, a few weeks out, I relish at our meeting with a third of the Senate in one day. […] Despite long days and over 50 meetings, joy and laughter was experienced with every misdirected office venture and drop of a soda bottle.

The following day the teams switched around, and I utilized this as a chance to keep using my one liners… thankfully the team was patient with me. As a whole, to meet with our government officials was/is both humbling and empowering; they are mortal humans like you and me (that is oft forgotten). Friends, our government works if you work it, but we have to demand that it works! Lobbying trips like this one, calls and letters to legislators, it all makes a difference in the grand game of politics. Keep playing and keep pushing.”

-Tristana Leist, Political Affairs Intern, Spring 2019.

For another look into TBP D.C. Trip, head to Tristana’s Instagram Takeover.

Lobbying Efforts

  • Total # of Lobbying Meetings in May: 81
  • Total # of Lobbying Meetings in 2019: 189
  • Lobbying Meetings Goal for 2019: 775

Advocacy Emails

  • Number of Advocacy Emails in May: 7,619
  • Advocacy Emails Goal for 2019: 80,000
  • % of Congress Emailed in April: 93%

Congressional Office Meetings

Political Affairs Team member Sandy Kamel met with Kari Osmond, Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman’s (D-NJ-12th) Deputy Chief of Staff.

Political Affairs Team member Kristin Allgaier secured a meeting with Rep. Gerry Connolly’s (D-VA-11th) Foreign Policy LA, Molly Cole, at the Rayburn House Office Building in DC.

Political Affairs Team member Jay Andreacchio secured two meetings in May!

Meeting 1: Jay (left) pictured with Legislative Assistant to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Taylor Sanchez.

Meeting 2: Jay met with Grace Albergo, the State Director to Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL).

Town Halls

Political Affairs Team member Chase Heckaman met Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) at a town hall event. Chase asked the Presidential Candidate how her administration would prioritize global poverty.

Warren’s Address

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


Content Team Updates

Thanks to the great articles produced by our Writers, Journalist and Editors, website traffic continues to grow:



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

      • Chief Closer Award (raised $1,000 or more): Amy Dickens and Heather Hughes of the Content Team and Jacob Eastridge and Chandra Thorson from the Political Affairs Team
      • President’s Circle (held 3 congressional meetings): Jainaba Gaye, Tanisha Mali and Benjamin Hourani from the Political Affairs Team
      • Public Outreach Award (30 or more people mobilized): Brianna Bennett, Political Affairs Team has mobilized 43 people throughout her internship
      • Article of the Month: Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen by Andrea Rodriguez

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

Getting the Word Out

One-Mile Campaigns

HR Team member Gulnahar Begum completed 1-Mile Campaign in Pittsburgh, PA

Political Affairs Team member Taylor Tody’s sister and dog accompanied her for her 1-Mile Campaign

HR Team member Justin Li completed his 1-Mile campaign in Boston, MA

During her 1-Mile Campaign, Political Affairs Team member Kiarra Coley posted fliers in Norristown, PA.

Political Affairs Team member Sathvik Kaliyur completed his 1-Mile Campaign around the Palo Alto office of Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA-18th).

Political Affairs Team member Jainaba Gaye is ready to begin her 1-Mile Campaign

Political Affairs Team member Eliza Davern made t-shirts for her and her sister (pictured right) to wear while completing her 1-Mile Campaign.

Political Affairs Team member Rebecca Young’s 1-Mile Campaign

Political Affairs member Lavender Ross completed her 1-Mile Campaign in DC!

PR Team member Alexia Kochin posting fliers for her 1-Mile Campaign

Letters to the Editor

William Ellis, PR Team, in the Tucson: Letter: Global poverty legislation and Letter: Keeping Girls in School
Tanisha Mali, Political Affairs Team, in the Statesman: Aid to fight poverty can lessen the refugee issue
D’Angelo Gatewood, PR Team, in Tulsa World: Crucial foreign aid
Sean Ericson, Content Team, in Star Tribune: Cutting economic assistance won’t solve the migration crisis
Becca Cetta, Content Team, in The Florida Times-Union: State leaders must oppose Trump’s plan to cut aid

Political Affairs Team member Jared Schooley was also quoted in this article.

Outreach & Mobilizing Materials

Infographic series created by PR Team member William Ellis

Infographics created by PR Team member Natasha Otton

Additional infographics created by PR Team member Natasha Otton highlighting global poverty statistics.

PR Team member Alison Chan, “End Global Poverty”

Infographic created by PR Team member Hannah Williams

“Global Poverty 101,” by PR Team member Kendall Altenburg & “Be a voice for the voiceless,” by PR Team member Aparna Marathe

PR Team member Gianna Gonzalez created infographics for the Keeping Girls in School Act (S. 1071, H.R. 2153)


Political Affairs Team member Rebecca Young mobilized and created a swarm with several of her coworkers.

Swarms can take place anywhere! Political Affairs Team member Ben Hourani created a swarm at a beer garden. Ben had his friends call and email Congress in support of the International Affairs Budget.


When team members collide: Political Affairs Team members Bryan Portinari and Logan Channer both live in the Portland area and met to discuss how they can work together on certain aspects of the program. They plan to meet with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) early next month.


Political Affairs Team member Chandra Thorson, who is also a teacher at a school of less than 700 students, hosted a coin war. The seniors were out during this time because of graduation, so only Freshmen through Juniors participated. Altogether, the coin war earned $506.72!

Political Affairs Team member Eliza Davern walked dogs as a part of her fundraising campaign.

Political Affairs Team member Emma Smith created a unique photo series to share on social media platforms with her fundraising campaign.

“We all hold the world in our hands. With every choice we make, whether that be big or small, we directly or indirectly change the world for better or for worse. This summer I have decided to try to make change for the better by interning with @theborgenproject , a non-profit, nation-wide organization working to make poverty a focus of U.S. foreign policy. While ending global poverty may seem like an impossible task, it is actually super easy to do your part in helping out the cause. All you have to do is click this on this link: in my bio), choose a bill you would like to support, and fill out your information to send an email to your Congressional Leaders showing your support for this poverty reducing legislation. You won’t get an email back unless you choose and the email is all written for you! It’s so easy and it only takes 7-10 people contacting their leader in support of a bill for the leader to vote yes on it! Please take a minute out of your day to be a voice for the world’s poor! If you do choose to send an email, please let me know using the poll on my story so that I can keep track for my internship. Feel free to reach out of you have any questions!”

Media Outreach


One-Mile Campaign reflection from PR/Marketing Team member Alexis Blacknik

PR and HR Team member Nevada McOwen hosted a Borgen Project information event


PR Team member Natasha Otton gave The Borgen Project a shoutout on Instagram


Meme created by Political Affairs Team member Taylor Tody


PR Team member Mathilde Henriksen created a Borgen Project PSA and “Did You Know?”
Did you know…?