Tessa is the Leadership Development Manager at the ACLU of Northern California, where she manages the ACLU chapter and volunteer programs across Northern California. She is also an organizer with the technology and civil liberties team.
In her work with volunteers, Tessa provides support and connects chapters and grassroots activists to resources within the organization as they pursue local advocacy, community education, and participate in state and federal campaigns. She leads efforts to provide ACLU-NC chapter board members and local activists opportunities to build skills and experience in local organizing and advocacy tactics. Tessa loves the opportunity to get to know our amazing activists with diverse stories and captivating histories of political engagement.
Tessa leads the ACLU-NC campaign to help cities and counties adopt ordinances that create mechanisms for transparency, accountability, oversight and meaningful community input when considering surveillance technology. Several major cities and counties in the Bay Area are currently working to adopt such an ordinance.
Prior to joining the ACLU-NC, Tessa worked as a field assistant for the Yes on Prop 34 Campaign, a statewide movement to replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. She also managed a political canvassing office for a range of international aid organizations. In 2008, she worked on President Obama’s election campaign in Charlottesville, Virginia and on the campaign of congressional candidate Tom Perriello.
Tessa is a graduate of Occidental College. She graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in diplomacy and world affairs and worked as a programming assistant at the Intercultural Community Center. Her thesis on extraordinary rendition received the Honor of Distinction award and first put her in touch with the ACLU.
In her spare time, Tessa is an avid wood and leatherworker creating bags and house goods out of found leather or wood furniture discarded on Bay Area streets. She serves on the board of directors for NAMI San Francisco, a peer-led services organization for people and families experiencing mental illness, and volunteers for the Ella Baker Center.