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Courtesy: Katy Batdorff

Don Lee gathers signatures for the proposed local referendum and registers voters at the Apartment Lounge in Grand Rapids.

The Fahey Q&A with Don Lee, advocate of equal representation

Having organized last year's grassroots movement Voters Not Politicians ending Michigan's politicized gerrymandering, Fahey is now executive director of The People, which is forming statewide networks to promote government accountability. She interviews a colleague in the world of democracy reform each month for our Opinion section.

Don Lee leads the Grand Rapids Democracy Initiative, which is advocating to expand the size of the city council in Michigan's second largest city in order to give more neighborhoods and demographics a voice. He's the chair of the Eastown Community Association and has been an adjunct lecturer at Aquinas College, my alma mater. When he reached out to me this summer about his group, we were excited to help them work towards a more representative democracy in a place we both have called home.

Our recent conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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Courtesy Katie Fahey

"We have invited, and want to have, all voices at the table," says Lisa Nash.

The Fahey Q&A with Lisa Nash, leading a new movement in the first primary state

Having organized last year's grassroots movement ending Michigan's politicized gerrymandering, Fahey is now executive director of The People, which is forming statewide networks to promote government accountability. She interviews a colleague in the world of democracy reform each month for our Opinion section.

Lisa Nash, a Democrat who lost a close state House race last year, and former Republican state Rep. Terry Wolf are the dynamic force behind The People's incredible New Hampshire leadership team. They just pulled off a three-day, five-city statewide kickoff tour where we heard from some incredible Granite Staters of all stripes.

As the tour ended, I spoke with Lisa about our time on the road and about what it's like to be one of those people who jumps into action and helps her community regardless of anyone's personal politics.

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Photo courtesy The People

The People's Virginia leaders, Cindi Copeland (left) and Kim Collins (right), join Katie Fahey at the First National Assembly of The People.

The Fahey Q&A: How Cindi Copeland is searching for political humanity in Virginia

Having organized last year's grassroots movement ending Michigan's politicized gerrymandering, Fahey is now executive director of The People, which is forming statewide networks to promote government accountability. She interviews a colleague in the world of democracy reform each month for our Opinion section.

Cindi Z.S. Copeland has gone from someone who never voted to someone who spends her free time meeting in libraries, coffee shops and at dinner tables to unite Virginians of all political stripes around improving civic life.

Her life is inspiring and resonates with me on many levels. Neither of us share the same beliefs as some family members, both of us have lost relationships because of such differences and each have stayed involved in politics because we think all people have the right to make their voices heard. We find inspiration from connecting with people from different backgrounds, because you never know if your next conversation is going to transform your life.

Our recent phone conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.

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