I'm an assistant professor of political science at Western Washington University and was a 2019-2020 APSA Congressional Fellow in the office of Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib. My research explores representation in American political institutions.
My latest research project (still in its infancy!) is tentatively titled Activists in the House: Intersecting Identities, Organizing Experience, and Progressive Politics in Congress. Thank you to the Center for Effective Lawmaking and the New Perspectives in Studies of American Governance program for supporting this project. You can read about it here:
In the midst of social movements focused on racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice, the 2018 and 2020 elections brought record-breaking diversity to Capitol Hill. Within this political landscape, some progressive members of Congress and congressional staffers have embraced their own identities as activists and community organizers. This book project focuses on progressive activism in Congress. I investigate how social identities and organizing backgrounds shape the experiences, goals, and strategies of self-identified progressives in the House of Representatives. Through semi-structured interviews, case studies of legislation, and political ethnographies, I explore two main questions: (1) How, if at all, do progressives in Congress who identify as activists differ from those who do not? and (2) In what ways do intersections of gender, race, class, religion, and other identities shape the experiences and tactics of progressive activists in Congress? This project expands research on institutional activism and highlights the various ways social identities matter in contemporary congressional politics. In doing so, it can shine new light on scholarly understandings of legislative effectiveness; the dynamics of intraparty politics; and the relationship between social movements, identity, and policymaking.