A Conversation with Jamie Yuenger, Central WI Field Organizer

Jamie Yuenger was born in Colorado and has lived in Louisiana and Alabama. She graduated from UW-Madison with a B.A. in Scandinavian Studies (and can speak Norwegian!) She was the director of the YWCA GALAXY Program in La Crosse, and in August of this year, became the field organizer in central Wisconsin.

To plug into the Fair Wisconsin campaign in central Wisconsin, email Jamie at jamie.yuenger@fairwisconsin.com.

Why is this issue important to you?

I worked as the Director of the YWCA GALAXY Program for one year. During that experience, I had the opportunity to spend time with a number of young people who were struggling to understand themselves and the world around them. I watched them grow into themselves and become more aware of the world around them and the issues affecting them. This issue undoubtedly affects them. Their view for their futures partly rests on their rights; and I want very much for them to view their futures as big, wide, and equal.

Describe an average day on the job.

My days vary considerable, since I travel between Stevens Point and Wausau several times a week, but I always wake at 7:30AM and work-out at the YMCA to keep my head clear and body strong for what's ahead.

I listen in to the 9:30am conference call - usually while I'm eating my breakfast. I arrive at the office about 9:45am. Checking email is first on the list, and then I prepare a "To-do and To-da" list for the day that prioritizes my work.

From 10:30-4pm, I'm often preparing for what's happening that night. I am either prepping for a canvass or for volunteers to come in and help make phone calls and enter data.

Since I've only been in Stevens Point for two weeks, I'm also working on getting internet, creating the canvass flip-charts, getting a sandwich board out on the sidewalk, and calling or emailing area leaders to introduce myself.

I am with the fair folks of Point or Wausau from about 5pm-9pm each night and then I bike or drive home to dial in for the evening's conference call.

I could fall asleep immediately after all that, but I try to prepare my bag for the gym and read a bit before turning out the light.

What is the most challenging part of your job?

I would say the most challenging part of my job right now is balancing what needs to be done. Recruiting people, making calls, problem-solving internet options, prepping for canvasses, and entering data all takes time; and figuring out when to do what is a challenge.

Can you share a positive or inspiring experience you've had while fighting the ban?

I think the most positive experience I've had while fighting the ban was actually when I participated in the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force's Power Summit in Milwaukee in April. It was phenomenal to be with some many people and such high energy around this issue. It was the first time I ever canvassed, and it was great to do it with over 100 people. Very uplifting and powerful!


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