Meeting new board members: Rachel Bloom
by Peter Wagner, September 22, 2014
Next up in our blog series introducing several accomplished new members of the Prison Policy Initiative board: Rachel Bloom. Rachel is Director of Membership and Special Projects at the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation. We are so glad to have her on our team here at PPI.
Why did you decide to join the PPI board?
Rachel Bloom: I have long been an admirer (and colleague of PPI) and have worked with them over the years. I was working on state criminal justice reform for several years at the national office of the ACLU. As I transitioned to a new job I wanted to continue to work on criminal justice reform. Joining the PPI board seemed like the perfect step.
What does your work focus on? And what’s the connection between that work and PPI?
RB: I work at the Funders’ Committee for Civic Participation, a philanthropic network for foundations that support civic engagement work. Two of the issues I focus on supporting our membership with are the census and redistricting. I find it fitting that the issues that first introduced me to PPI — felony disfranchisement and prison gerrymandering — are still ones that I work on now 8 years later.
What do you think is most unique about the Prison Policy Initiative and the projects it takes on?
RB: I think that PPI has taken on some very distinct projects that no one else was willing to step up to the plate on. I am so proud of PPI for working on such important issues and moving the needle forward on them.
What’s something that you wish more people knew about the Prison Policy Initiative?
RB: I wish that people understood just how broad of a reach PPI has, how many issues we work on and how impactful we are – especially considering the size of our staff and budget. I was first introduced to PPI while working on felony disfranchisement and prison gerrymandering and thought that was the sum total of PPI, little did I know how wrong I was.