TOLA 6
Watch NEW Berkeley vs Big Soda Film!

Watch NEW Berkeley vs Big Soda Film!

In November 2014, Berkeley became the first US city to pass a measure taxing distributors of soda and other sugary drinks. One year later, Berkeley’s soda tax has generated over $1.5 million for community nutrition and health efforts! Concerned about skyrocketing type 2 diabetes rates among children, many communities throughout the United States and the...
TOLA Alums in Action

TOLA Alums in Action

Interview with Giuliana Martinez After graduating from The Organizing and Leadership Academy in 2014, Giuliana was hired as program coordinator for ‘Healthy Hearts SF’ in the San Francisco Department of Public Health. As part of the TOLA 6 class, Giuliana worked on the successful Berkeley vs Big Soda campaign, the first successful effort to tax...
Speaking Up is Key

Speaking Up is Key

By Giuliana Martinez Although TOLA has pushed me out of my comfort zone both professionally and personally, I never imagined how much I could change in a matter of four months. Before TOLA, I was working for a non-profit as a case manager helping lower income families in Marin County. I enjoyed the work, but...
Leaps of Faith

Leaps of Faith

By Ali Archer What’s it like becoming a community organizer? An incredible struggle. And I mean struggle in the most optimistic sense, because that’s where as TOLA fellows we have grown the most. That’s where the learning is – where we’ve come to understand ourselves and the magnitude of our potential. When looking back on...
Fighting Big Soda

Fighting Big Soda

By Lisa Alvarado The Berkeley vs Big Soda tax measure is more far reaching than simply taking a stand against sugary beverages.  If Measure D passes, it has the potential to affect families like mine in monumental ways. My parents struggled with their weight throughout my childhood. My mother drank about 4 sodas a day — with...
Making a Difference

Making a Difference

By Michael Guadamuz Early in the TOLA fellowship, I learned that a potential project we may be working on would be an independent expenditure campaign in San Francisco. Having had some experience with political campaigns, I was pretty confident in what to expect. What I wasn’t expecting was becoming an integral part of the formation...
Power of Listening

Power of Listening

By Joyce Ganthavorn There’s a Fred Ross Sr. axiom that says, “When you are tempted to make a statement, ask a question.” In TOLA we have been learning about the value of listening. Although I think all of The Organizing and Leadership Academy Fellows are great listeners, the program is challenging us to take our...
Reflections on La Paz 2014

Reflections on La Paz 2014

By Stephanie Hernández It‘s not every day you have the opportunity to meet living legends. On our trip to La Paz, we had the opportunity to meet United Farm Workers (UFW) leaders Gilbert Padilla, Arturo Rodriguez, and Dolores Huerta. TOLA 6 Fellows and I were thrilled to get to know these individuals on a more...
Welcome to the 2014 TOLA 6 Fellows!

Welcome to the 2014 TOLA 6 Fellows!

Please join us in welcoming the 2014 TOLA 6 Fellows: Lisa Alvarado Ali Archer Joyce Ganthavorn Michael Gudamuz Stephanie Hernandez Guiliana Martinez Follow their progress over the next four months here at our website! Sincerely, TOLA Team  

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