In December of 2017, Beyond the Choir hired two full-time organizers (and hired a third in March of 2018) to support the ongoing work of Lancaster Stands Up and specifically the development of a door-to-door canvass operation to elect our endorsed candidates in November 2018 (to this date Lancaster Stands Up members have endorsed Jess King, and a vote will take place in June for down-ballot state house and senate candidates). The three full-time staff for Lancaster Stands Up are Eliza Booth, Michelle Hines, and Julia Berkman-Hill, while Jonathan Smucker serves as the Executive Director of Beyond the Choir. Read more about our partnership with Beyond the Choir here.
Julia Berkman-Hill – Field Director
Julia was first politicized through the fossil fuel divestment movement, where she was a student organizer for three years and learned the importance of both leadership development and momentum. She also has held a number of roles in the anti-occupation movement IfNotNow, including launching its college organizing program. After graduating from Bowdoin College with a BA in Sociology in 2017, she moved to Lancaster, PA to work with Lancaster Stands Up and has helped to develop the organization’s electoral field program.
Eliza Booth – Community Outreach and Administrative Coordinator
Eliza was inspired by the Bernie Sanders’ primary campaign to get involved in activism in her local community to affect positive change. She started out as a volunteer for Bernie Sanders’ campaign and after the general election in 2016 she got involved in Lancaster Stands Up and joined the leadership team in January 2017. She currently holds a seat on the Lancaster City Democratic Committee where she represents her home precinct. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration & Political Science from Bloomsburg University.
Michelle Hines – Campaigns and Communications Director
Michelle is a former molecular biologist and biochemist who left her career in science to dedicate her life to social movement work. She has organized in her home community of Lancaster, PA, advocating for economic and racial justice. As a leader of Lancaster Stands Up, she has played a key role in campaign strategy, communications, political training, direct action, and field strategy. Her organizing work has been featured in The Nation, The Intercept, and Observador.
Jonathan Smucker – Executive Director of Beyond the Choir
Jonathan has worked for two decades in grassroots movements for social, economic and ecological justice, as a grassroots organizer, campaigner, and strategist. He has trained thousands of change agents in campaign strategy, framing and messaging, direct action, and other skills. He also researches collective action, identity, and politicization processes as the focus of his doctoral work in the sociology department at UC Berkeley. His writing has appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, The Huffington Post, New Internationalist, VICE Magazine, The Sociological Quarterly, Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and he is the author of Hegemony How-To: A Roadmap for Radicals.