Vision & Mission
Leadnow is an independent advocacy organization that runs campaigns on the major issues of our time, engages people in participatory decision-making, and organizes in communities across Canada. We envision a country where people work together to build an open democracy, create a fair economy and ensure a safe climate for all generations.
It’s been just over three years since 3,000 people from all across Canada came together before the 2011 election and began building the Leadnow.ca campaigning community.
People become part of this community by taking part in campaigns to defend our democracy and hold governments accountable to the values of a majority of people across Canada.
By taking action through a wide range of campaigns – from the omnibus crime bill and budget bills, to the Canada-China FIPPA investors deal and the CBC takeover clause – our community has grown from a small youth-led team to include over 400,000 people across Canada, and our voice keeps getting stronger everyday.
The Leadnow.ca community believes that as we come together to defend the things we care about, we can also help build the momentum this country needs to rise to the major challenges of our times.
Through local gatherings and online surveys, the Leadnow.ca community has decided to focus our long-term efforts on strengthening Canada’s democracy, doing our part to stop runaway climate change, and building a fair economy that reverses the trend of growing inequality.
Your input is crucial because this community’s people-powered campaigns only work if they help you have a powerful impact on the issues you care about. Look at what our community has told us and help us make the big decisions about the future of our work together by visiting our Connect page.
Leadnow currently has a small, dedicated staff team, and many amazing volunteers and advisors who support our work.
Lyndsay Poaps is passionate about engaging people in community building and decision making. Before joining Leadnow, Lyndsay founded Frontrunner: a campaign school for young women. She brings a background in public policy to Leadnow and is a former City of Vancouver Park Board Commissioner (2002-2005). She is an Action Canada fellow, a former Urban Fellow with the City of Toronto, and the spokesperson for the City of Vancouver’s Engaged City Task Force. Lyndsay holds a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Simon Fraser University.
Jamie has a background in large-scale online and offline collaboration to develop policy and campaigns. He began organizing in the youth climate movement, co-founding Common Energy and goBeyond to bring university communities across British Columbia together to support regional climate action. Jamie’s research focused on the need for democratic innovation to tackle social, ecological and economic problems. He has served on the boards of multiple environmental, social justice, and educational organizations.
Director of Engagement Innovation
Matthew trained as an atmospheric scientist, and has a decade of experience as an organizer, facilitator and campaign strategist, working with a variety of non-profits, public institutions and governments. Originally from England, he now lives in Grimsby, Ontario, where his wife’s family have been farming for seven generations.
Amara ran Vote Together, Leadnow’s campaign to defeat the Harper Conservatives. She joined Leadnow in 2013 to engage members in setting priorities and designing campaigns for an open democracy, a fair economy, and a clean environment. Now that we have a new government, she works with the Leadnow community to run rapid response campaigns and to take action on economic justice.
Based in Toronto, Amara is a trainer, facilitator, and organizer who has been involved in movements for ecological and economic justice through a wide range of projects, creative actions, and campaigns. She chairs the board of the Centre for Story-based Strategy, and recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation, where she explored the intersection of social justice, social innovation, and solidarity.
Head of Technology
Francis brings over ten years of experience working with technology and non-profits, combining his training as a software engineer with an interest in online engagement and community-building.
In his role at Leadnow, he is responsible for finding (or building) the best tech tools to support the organization’s campaigns and community. Francis is based in Toronto.
Danielle is based in the Toronto area and has previously worked and consulted in different industries including: publishing, higher education, health promotions, medical education, and web development. In her role with Leadnow, she manages the day-to-day operations of the organization including: human resources, budgeting, finances, and organizational development. She is an avid world traveller and enjoys exploring different cultural experiences. After sailing on the Semester at Sea Summer 2011 voyage as a Diversity Abroad scholar, Danielle has deepened her understanding of diversity and our responsibilities as global citizens. She is interested in exploring the changing ways we leverage technology and digital media for collective collaboration across nations and borders.
Community Support Coordinator
Chloe comes from a background in fundraising and advocacy, and has worked on campaigns for a number of causes including gender equality, animal welfare, environmental justice, and human rights. She works in many areas of the organization providing administrative backing and fundraising support, while connecting with Leadnow community members and supporters on a day-to-day basis.
Katelynn is currently responsible for leading strategy and digital tactics on Leadnow’s electoral reform campaign. Before Leadnow, she worked on numerous youth civic engagement projects in Nova Scotia and Manitoba. She has an MA in Political Science from Dalhousie University and is based in Toronto.
Brittany joins Leadnow as an Online Campaigner, bringing her experience in campaigning and advocacy with NGOs, grassroots groups and the United Nations. A human rights activist for many years, Brittany has worked on a variety of issues – from mining justice, to women’s rights and state violence – in places like Canada, Bangladesh, South Africa and Palestine. Having been abroad for many years, she’s excited to return to Canada to join Leadnow’s Online Campaigns team where she’ll be launching high-impact, online campaigns to help hundreds of thousands of people across the country come together for an open democracy, fair economy and clean environment.
Rodrigo has been with Leadnow since the end of 2013 and has since held different roles with the organization. He is currently an online campaigner and social media coordinator, acting as one of the main points of contact with the Leadnow community. When he’s not campaigning for progressive policy, he enjoys spending time in BC’s vast outdoors, where he can forget about politics and instead remember what he’s fighting to protect.
Manager of Field Organizing
Logan’s background is in environmental justice, deliberative dialogue and petro-politics organizing. She has designed and implemented deliberative projects that engaged hundreds of University of Alberta community members in sustainability planning. Her petro-politics organizing was directed at engagement around the tar sands, Indigenous solidarity, and water justice issues. Logan joined Leadnow in the spring of 2012, as a coordinator of decentralized days of action. Now she works on Leadnow’s national organizing plans, which build a foundation for action leading up to the 2015 federal election and beyond.
As National Organizer, Jolan supports Leadnow members to organize offline in their communities and to start campaigns about the issues that they care about. Before joining Leadnow, Jolan helped galvanize opposition to pipelines and tankers in BC, through tried and true, boots-on-the-ground organizing. Jolan believes that the key to people-powered change is empowering regular people to step up to lead campaigns in their communities, and is excited to create pathways for Leadnow members to play a leadership role in our campaigns.
Western Canada Field Organizer
Rachel is the Field Organizer for Western Canada and is working with teams on the ground to on the ground to build capacity and make change on the important issues of our time. Before joining Leadnow, Rachel worked as a Settlement Youth worker with the Vancouver School Board supporting newcomer immigrant and refugee youth in civic engagement and youth-led projects. Her experience in social justice work stems from her time in Quebec organizing with the Student Movement and the Palestinian Solidarity Movement where she became passionate about working with people to take collective action for the change we want to see.
Mike is helping Canadians stand up and speak up for a People’s Climate Plan based on science, justice, and a 100% renewable economy. With a decade of work supporting community and youth-led sustainability initiatives, Mike has worked closely with the campus, faith, and municipal divestment and clean reinvestment movements across Canada. As a trainer and organizer, Mike helps bring new people into the global movement for a fossil free, clean energy future. He lives and works in Vancouver.
Eugene Kung is a Vancouver based lawyer practicing in the areas of human rights, environmental, regulatory, administrative and constitutional law. Born and raised in Burnaby, B.C., he holds a B.A. in Political Science from UBC and a J.D. from Dalhousie Law School. Eugene has served on boards and steering committees of several organizations working on democracy, poverty reduction, human rights and social and environmental justice. In his spare time Eugene is a mediocre musician, a so-so snowboarder and a horrible hockey player.
Marie-Marguerite is a campaign strategist and environmental policy specialist. A Montreal native, she holds a BA from McGill and a Masters in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. She began organizing in the Canadian youth climate movement. Most recently, she developed strategies and executed campaigns to mobilize the public in democratic rights, education, and human rights at Purpose, and was Chief of Staff of Here Now, a global climate movement accelerator. As a Jeanne Sauvé Fellow, she toured across Canada as one of the first Climate Reality Canada Leaders. Fun fact: she has a Lego action figure from a previous life playing a children’s TV superhero.
A proud Edmonton native, Shawn spent his formative years living in Wild Rose Country. Shawn holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McMaster University and a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He began supporting the scaling and development of organizations as a management consultant, before founding a non-for-profit serving the needs of rural communities in remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa through sustainable economic programs. Shawn currently serves as National Advisor on issues of community development to Uganda.
Patricia C. Barrera
Patty is a political jedi, a paddler, a data geek and holds graduate degrees in economics and political science.She’s a political & campaign strategist. She’s developed, coordinated and run municipal, national and international campaigns. She cut her teeth in the student movement (CFS), and by fighting globalization and free-trade on the streets and in negotiating rooms through Common Frontiers and the Hemispheric Social Alliance.Patty now works in Political Action & Membership Mobilization in Canada’s largest union in the private sector, Unifor. In past lives, she was National Director of Special Projects, Political Action and Government Relations at the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada (CEP) and a National Representative in Political Action and Campaigns with the Canadian Labour Congress (CLC).
Leadnow relies on skilled, dedicated volunteers to drive our work forward. It’s impossible to recognize every person who’s contributed, and we are thankful to each and every member of our community who’s stepped up. Our current long-term champion volunteers include:
Laura Cornish recently completed her M.A. in Resource Management and Environmental Studies at UBC. Her research is focused on processes and strategies capable of mobilizing the general public, and specific communities in supporting and implementing climate solutions. Laura answers general Leadnow emails, contributes her organizational skills to keeping track of many of Leadnow’s to do lists, and helps out on-the-ground organizing in Vancouver.