Kate Hess Pace
What do you do at HA? I develop our organizing program, work with our staff, develop leadership throughout the region, and raise money. I primarily see my role as unleashing other people to take leadership around the things they care about and to build our power through our membership. I manage both statewide and national partnerships, working on collaborative campaigns in Indiana and across the country.
What do you love about Indiana? So many things! My family goes back in Indiana at least five generations and there is nowhere else in the world I feel more at home. I love the rolling hills and lush green beauty of Southern Indiana, I love the grit and heart of the people. I love working alongside so many people who want to make our state better for everyone.
What did you do before? I was a faith-based organizer in Minnesota with an organization called ISAIAH. I worked on a lot of economic justice campaigns - stopping predatory lending (payday lending, subprime car lending), passed the Homeowners Bill of Rights at the MN state legislators providing homeowners strong protections from the banks, and worked to defeat voter ID on the ballot in 2012. Before that I worked a million different jobs from restaurants, to graphic design, to childcare, to office support.
What do you do at Hoosier Action? As the general coordinator for Project Midterm, I lead trainings, maintain spreadsheets, coach captains, track teams' progress, conduct outreach to candidates and institutional partners, and do whatever else is necessary to transform the politics of the state so that the values and needs of ordinary people are reflected in the halls of power.
What do you love about Indiana? The splendor of its wooded hills and small town courthouse squares, the resilience of its everyday people in the face of relentless attacks from billionaires and mega-corporations, and the depth of its history of working class strength and vitality.
What did you do before? In April of 2017, I moved here from New York City to help get Hoosier Action off the ground. In New York, I worked as an organizer with 1199/SEIU and Working America and a communications associate with the NYS Nurses Association. I also wrote for The Washington Post, Rolling Stone, The Nation and elsewhere.
What do you do at Hoosier Action? I organize around rural and environmental justice issues. I am currently working in Franklin, IN where childhood cancer rates soar above state and national averages, and carcinogenic compounds have been found in people's homes. This community is ready to see answers and to fight for their children. I work with others to organize and facilitate this fight.
What do you love about Indiana? I love the Hoosier fields, forests, and farmlands. I love how when you drive through the summer countryside, people wave from their cars and porches like neighbors; an act that has been forgotten in so much of our country. I love bluegrass music and the spirit of Indiana's people and culture.
What did you do before? In the summer of 2014, I designed and built a Tiny House out of scrap and reused materials. I moved the house to Indiana last year when I began working as a Garden Intern at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, a local food pantry and resource center.
What do you do at HA? I'm the "behind-the-scenes" person at Hoosier Action, taking care of the day-to-day operations so staff and members can tackle more projects and have greater impact in the community. From general admin to human resources and bookkeeping, I am the hub - the familiar face in the office that helps keep things moving smoothly. At least, that is my goal.
What do you love about Indiana? Having recently returned to Indiana from Southern California, I love seeing green everywhere, hardwood trees and four distinct seasons. I don't think I will ever tire of country roads, rolling hills and deer crossing my path in the mornings. It is a beautiful landscape for very down-to-earth people.
What did you do before? Most recently, I was the database manager for a theatre company in Los Angeles. It was a similar supporting role for a member-run organization. I loved the energy and creativity that surrounded it. It has been fun stepping back into that familiar space again - creative energy focused on community. Different mission but very similar heart.