Margarida Jorge is a 23-year veteran of electoral, union, civic engagement and issue campaigns and a recognized expert in the development of field strategies for local, state and national issue advocacy.
From 2008-2013, Margarida served as the National Field Director at Health Care for America Now, where she pioneered a new field model now widely used across issues and organizations that increased capacity for over 200 grassroots organizations in 44 states to pass, implement and defend the landmark Affordable Care Act.
Over the past 10 years in Washington, DC, Margarida also led SEIU’s Americans for Health Care campaign, developed and implemented field strategy for the Americans for Tax Fairness campaign, and built the intersectional “Stand with Women” campaign to integrate reproductive rights and economic justice at the Women’s Equality Center, where she served as National Director.
Prior to working in DC, Margarida spent over 10 years working for labor unions, community organizations and candidates in states like Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Florida and others. She was been recognized for her contributions to organizing and campaigns with the St. Louis City NAACP Outstanding Leadership & Dedicated Service to Labor Award (2005), the Hershel Walker Peace and Justice Award (2005), the Campaign for America’s Future Nominee for Maria Leavey Tribute Award (2009), and the USAction Progressive Leadership Grassroots Activism Award (2009).
Margarida currently works as a strategic and organizational development consultant for a variety of progressive organizations including Vision First, PICO National Network, Working America, Main Street Alliance, and the Child Care and Early Learning Action Hub.
ichard Kirsch was an architect and National Campaign Manager of Health Care for America Now from the Campaign’s founding through the successful passage of the ACA in 2010. As HCAN’s chief spokesperson, Mr. Kirsch appeared on PBS’s The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, CNN, ABC’s World News Tonight and Good Morning America, Fox, CSPAN, and the Colbert Report and was frequently quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other national newspapers, as well as NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered and Marketplace. He told the story of this historic effort in Fighting for Our Health: The Epic Battle to Make Health Care a Right in the United States, published in February 2012 by the Rockefeller Institute Press.
Kirsch came to HCAN after serving as Executive Director of Citizen Action of New York, a grassroots citizen’s organization with 20,000 members and seven offices in New York, from 1985 through 2008. As a long-time health care advocate, Kirsch has received awards Progressive Leadership Award from USAction, the New York Progressive Leadership Award by Citizen Action of New York, was honored by Families USA in January 2001 as national Health Care Consumer Advocate of the Year.
Following HCAN, Richard became a Senior Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute from 2010 through 2016. Richard Kirsch combines a wealth of experience in developing and communicating narrative with an outstanding record of accomplishment leading national and state efforts to win social change. Currently, Richard serves as the Director of Our Story – The Hub for American Narratives. Our Story, which was founded in 2016, is working to support and develop the capacity among the progressive infrastructure for powerful, values based communication on core American beliefs.
Ethan Rome was the deputy campaign manager and then the first executive director of Health Care for America Now, the national grassroots coalition that ran a $60 million five-and-a-half year campaign to pass, protect, and promote the ACA from 2008-2013. For more than 30 years Rome has been a leader, strategic communicator, and manager of issue and political campaigns, including efforts to protect Medicare and Medicaid, win better wages and benefits for child care and home care providers, and increase state revenues to support public services. In 2013 Rome was featured on Moyers & Company as one of the 19 “Activists to Watch,” leading grassroots movements to change America.
Prior to HCAN, Rome directed national communications for the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). Rome also served as legislative and policy counselor to Speaker of the House Thomas D. Ritter in Connecticut, where he built one of the first comprehensive political operations for a state legislative caucus in the country, co-directed the historic campaign to win a state income tax, and helped develop cutting-edge, bilingual voter registration programs in the Puerto Rican community.
Since HCAN, Rome has been a consultant for labor on trade, home care, and health care issues. Most recently, he worked as executive director of the Child Care and Early Learning Action Hub, which unites parents, providers, educators and the community to win affordable, high-quality child care and pre-K for all families.